• Rigorous and Engaging Classrooms

    Why Rigorous & Engaging Classrooms  (our flagship pillar)?

    Learning should be fun.  Research shows that student-led strategies that are focused on opportunities for discourse around relevant activities that require strategic thinking will lead to greater achievement and connectedness to school.   Relationships founded in high expectations are the foundation to ensuring that all students learn at high levels.

    What problem are we trying to solve in Selah by focusing on Rigorous and Engaging Classrooms?

    • Increase the achievement and engagement of students in our classrooms.  
    • Increase student motivation to learn and attend school.  
    • Increase student connectedness; especially at the secondary level.

    What district and school level support, including professional development or instructional materials, are needed to ensure that the Rigorous & Engaging pillar is implemented successfully?

    During the 2020-21 school year, all buildings will continue work around the 4 look-for areas in staff meetings and monitoring through walk-throughs.

    What would it look like if this pillar were implemented effectively?  What would we see?

    Look-fors would be evident in all PK-12 classrooms.  We would see an increase in Tier 1 success to 75%.  In the student survey, students would feel more motivated and connected to school.

    What Rigorous & Engaging Tier I Practices Should be Occurring in Every Classroom (these will be a part of an overall, multi-year implementation plan)? 

    The following look-fors were developed for implementation in 2019-2020 in every classroom:


    • Inviting classrooms with positive teacher and student interactions.
      • Student names are used.
      • Student interests are incorporated into learning
      • Teacher makes daily contact with each student.

    Lesson Clarity

    • Know what students are supposed to learn
      • Standards based learning targets and success criteria shared with students throughout the lesson .
      • Students can articulate purpose and relevance of the lesson. “Why”
    •  Know how students learn
      • Students’ prior knowledge is accessed
      • Multiple activities that address different learning needs are present.
    • Communicate feedback on learning
      • Formative assessment-check for understanding within the lesson.
      • Specific, timely feedback from teacher to student.


    • Inviting the struggle
      • Tasks are just beyond what students can do.  Varying levels of complexity and entry points to the lesson.
      • Students are engaged in productive struggle
    • Strategic Thinking
      • Students setting goals and reflecting on learning
      • Higher order questions/activities that promote choice.

    Student Voice

    • Opportunities for discourse
      • Students collaborating with one another around meaningful topics.
      • Students agreeing and disagreeing with each other and explaining their thinking.
    • Honoring student expression
      • All students sharing ideas.
      • Students ask questions when they don’t understand.
    • Student led Learning
      • Student voice is the prominent voice in the classroom
      • Students encouraging and supporting each other.