Implementing RTI in High Schools
This Talk has concluded.
Please scroll down to the bottom of this page to view the questions and the expert's answers.
Implementing RtI at the secondary level presents unique challenges and new questions. Join Drs. Matthew Burns, Hollie Pettersson and Rebecca Sarlo as they explore the application of multi-tiered systems of support in high school settings and answer your questions about key issues. They will also offer examples to illustrate the application of RtI practices that increase student achievement for academics and behavior at the high school level.
- Sharon Vaughn, Paul T. Cirino, Jeanne Wanzek, Jade Wexler, Jack M. Fletcher, Carolyn D. Denton, Amy Barth, Melissa Romain, and David J. Francis (2010). Response to Intervention for Middle School Students With Reading Difficulties: Effects of a Primary and Secondary Intervention. School Psychology Review, 39, 3-21.
- Michael S. Garet, Andrew C. Porter, Laura Desimone, Beatrice F. Birman, Kwang Suk Yoon. (2001). American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 38, pp. 915-945
I suggest using the National Reading Panel's (NRP) 5 areas as the focus. Find an intervention for phonics (e.g., REWARDS), one for fluency (e.g., Six Minute Solution), one for vocabulary (e.g., Read On) and one for comprehension (e.g., Questioning the Author). I would not worry too much about phonemic awareness at the high school level. Math is addressed objective at a time. There are no math programs for different areas like there are for reading, but there are programs that focus on specific skills (e.g., Accelerated Math or Math Facts in a Flash) that could serve as Tier 2 interventions.
While a variety of options have been utilized and considered, currently, all four of our high schools are utilizing a 4x4 schedule. We have found that this schedule is great for some but not all students.
Therefore, we have scheduled "skinnies" where the student attends class daily to receive intervention for math or reading. In these intervention courses, the class size is smaller and the student can be exited at regular intervals.
These skinnies are for students who demonstrate low skill in key areas over-time. For those who may require intervention tied to the content of the school year, we have before and after school intervention times and what we call "concept mastery" every other day. During concept mastery students work with the content teacher to review, pre-teach, or extend the concepts taught during the week.
So, we have created "late start" days where students come to school later than their teachers. During this time, teachers review data, discuss content maps, and plan for intervention, both in the class and in the day. Basically we have found 30 additional minutes in the day by adjusting start and end times for teachers.
We schedule our struggling students to be evenly spaced across courses and with our best teachers. This can be done in advance because we have a district-wide data system that helps us to identify who needs what additional support. Additionally, our teachers have time together weekly to plan for enrichment and intervention.
This is very valuable to the education of all of our students - including those who are historically unsuccessful and those who "miss a beat" during the academic year and need concept reviews.
Schools are engaged in important conversations about expectations for both adults and students in an effectively implemented RtI system. Coming together with real purpose can be galvanizing for a staff, creating a climate of collegiality and results. Additionally, students (including student leaders) can contribute much to the dialogue in an RtI structure.
So, we have embedded the interventions in the day for reading a math. For enrichment, we have found that before and after school offerings are somewhat successful - but for our most vulnerable learners - we schedule for their needs during the academic day.
Intervention programs that are scheduled during the school day, on the other hand, can be directive--meaning that we can require and more closely monitor student engagement. The only time I have seen after school programs achieve any consistent student attendance occurred when staying after school for intervention was mandatory. In Florida, the state law allows schools to require after school tutoring for students who are nonproficient readers as long as they are provided with transportation home afterwards.
Even this scenario, however, resulted in lower student attendance rates than could have been achieved with during the school day intervention time.
- Provide a 20-30 minute daily homeroom in which targeted interventions occur for some students,
- Use a remediation course, 30 minutes of which are dedicated to targeted intervention.
- Co-teach a content area course (e.g., Social Studies) in which an interventionist works with students for half of the time to deliver targeted interventions with content area material (e.g., comprehension strategies with the social studies book).
There are other creative options as well. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages that I cannot get into adequately here. Just remember the critical components - flexible grouping, targeted interventions, and frequently monitoring progress.
My colleague Ted Chris does quite a bit of research in this area and has found that until you get about 8 data points, using high quality assessment procedures, your data are too unreliable to make decisions.
Therefore, the more frequently you collect data the faster you'll be able to adequately judge student progress.
- Professional development that includes peer coaching and an external coaching component that is structured and consistent.
- Use of data to chart progress and mark successes.
As a former high school English language arts teacher, I realized that many of my colleagues were uncomfortable with the standards-based and accountability movements. At first, I thought it was because it was a perceived threat to their autonomy. Over the years I have learned that most times the discomfort can be attributed to a lack of belief in the ability of teachers to truly change the learning trajectory of their secondary students.
Once a teacher, department, or faculty experiences success, they are more likely to believe that success can happen again. This increases the acceptance of professional development and shifted ways of instructing and interacting with students.
However, they usually are not terribly systematic and often times not targeted. The focus has to be on credit recovery, but there also needs to be highly targeted interventions within the day. Moreover, the Standard Reading Inventory (SRI) is probably not a good tool to monitoring progress because you cannot administer it frequently enough and informal reading inventories tend to be very unreliable (different conversation).
I suggest using a tool like oral reading fluency (ORF) or MAZE as well, but to use your SRI and coursework records too. The question of documentation is one that should be answered by reading your state guidelines. Most states have very explicit requirements for documentation.
I also think special education teachers are very good candidates to deliver Tier 3 interventions. Your question is an important one. We (including you) are much more concerned about kids than boundaries, but a conversation with your supervisor is probably a good idea.
What we can do, when faced with this reality is utilize the collective power of our schools through deliberate decisions (as opposed to reactionary management) for the use of personnel. We must prune whatever we can from the responsibility tree for our school personnel.
For example, our school counselors participate in scheduling decisions but the responsibility lies with administration to "build a board" and plan for intervention time. This affords counselors more time to guide students and review student achievement and behavioral data.
After we consider screening data for important access skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, then we focus on content assessments. These assessments are district or teacher created and tied to our state standards. We highly encourage use of the work of Stiggins' and colleagues as their model has been the best (of those we have tried) to yield usable and meaningful data.
The combination of skill deficits plus low productivity and engagement places students at significant risk for eventual dropout. With this said, there is much that can be done to prevent disengagement and to respond to it when it occurs. Student engagement is a multi-dimensional construct and as a result, intervention plans to address disengagement will likely need to be multi-dimensional as well.
For instance, many students become disengaged from school because they lack a peer group at school, a sense of belonging, or positive relationships with their teachers. If these conditions are the source of the student's disengagement than the appropriate intervention plan would involve helping the student to establish friendships, become involved at school (e.g., extra-curricular participation), or establish a mentoring relationship with at least one adult at school. Other students become disengaged from school because they lack a future orientation, an understanding of the relevance of school and school work, or feel as if they are not competent enough or not in control of their school success.
If these factors are the source of disengagement, then the interventions would need to focus on helping the student to develop long term career goals, set goals, understand the relevance of school to achieving his/her goals, and progress monitor his/her progress toward his/her goals.
Like any issue, the more we understand about the root causes (through problem analysis) of the disengagement, the more effective our intervention plans are likely to be. Check out "Best Practices for Fostering Student Engagement" (Christenson, Reschly, Appleton, Berman-Young, Spanjers, & Varrro, 2008) in Best Practices in School Psychology (5th Ed.) for more information on this topic.
First, in Florida a significant portion of a high school's grade is determined by the percent of students who are enrolled in and successfully complete advanced coursework (i.e., IB, AICE, AP, and Dual Enrollment). The inclusion of acceleration into the high school's grades has been greatly beneficial in that it has encouraged schools to build stronger pipelines to advanced courses, enroll students in advanced courses which may have not been challenged in this way in the past, and provide support services to ensure student success in the advanced coursework (e.g., AVID).
A second example also comes to mind. One of the districts in which I do a lot of work is struggling to meet the needs of their gifted learners. As a result, less of the district's gifted learners score within the highly proficient range (i.e., 4 or 5) on the state assessment than anywhere else in the state. It is just as important to problem solve this problem as it is to problem solve around the needs of nonproficient students.
As students develop, it is normal and healthy for parents to take on less of a directive role and more of a consultative role in their child's lives and education. For instance, parent involvement at the high school level often involves parents helping a student learn to advocate for his/her self rather than coming to the school to address an issue.
One of the most important roles parents can play is to help their student develop college and/or career goals, understand what it will take to accomplish those goals, and monitor the student's progress toward the goals. Thus, allowing parents to be fully involved typically includes providing them with on-going information about their child's goals, relevancy of coursework, and progression toward achieving the goals. Ready access to their child's academic and engagement (e.g., attendance, discipline, work completion) data will greatly enhance parents' ability to be involved and supportive of their child's education.
Although this is fairly standard practice, most of the schools have historically achieved less than desirable outcomes from the courses for a few key reasons. First of all, the courses were often viewed as a stand-alone course and not as a support for student success within their core math course. As a result, many students who were enrolled in math intervention simultaneously failed their math course, which resulted in them becoming off-track for graduation.
Worse yet, a significant portion of the students also failed their math intervention course! When asked what the purpose of the course was, intervention teachers most often reported that the course existed so that students “passed the FCAT.” Most were unaware that many of their students were currently failing their core math course and that the purpose of all intervention is to support student success within core.
Many were unaware of what their students were expected to know, understand, and be able to do as a result of core instruction or what was preventing their students from being successful in core. As a result, the intervention teachers were unable to support their students’ success within the core math course. They also lacked a way of accurately evaluating the impact of their instruction over time because the criteria for success was defined as “passing the FCAT” and the FCAT is administered in late Spring semester and scores are often not released until summer.
Providing guidance, support, and time for core math teachers and intervention teachers to unpack standards together, communicate frequently, and co-plan instruction will go a long way to improve the effectiveness of this already existing intervention. Thus, look for opportunities to use already existing supports more effectively before looking to add additional supports. Also, consider providing intervention as a credit generating elective courses, which will provide students the opportunity to progress toward graduation while receiving necessary support.
Another approach is to schedule a "Zero" period into the school day to take advantage of the time students are at school before 1st period. Also, many successful schools are paying very close attention to how they schedule students into their existing schedule.
For instance, they are working hard to design master schedules within which struggling students have smaller classes and more personnel support for their core courses and elective courses become intervention courses for students who need supplemental instruction.
With this said, two schools with successful Tier 1 PBIS programs and Tier 2 support programs come to mind. Both schools have done a great job of attending to critical implementation components. First of all, both schools have defined essential social-emotional skill that they want ALL of their students to have. This is a critical first step not only in implementing an effective Tier 1 PBIS program but also for designing Tier 2 supports that will support students in achieving the Tier 1 goals.
For instance, both schools set the goal that all students would possess the skills necessary to establish and maintain positive relationships with adults at school. To accomplish this goal, the schools provided all 9th grade students with social skills instruction specific to this goal (e.g., conflict resolution, asking for help, communication, etc.). Students who struggled with establishing and maintaining positive relationships with adults were assigned an adult mentor whose responsibilities included establishing a positive relationship with the student, reinforcing critical social skills, and assisting the student with conflict resolution.
This Tier 2 intervention did not require a change to the master schedule as the mentoring took place once a week during lunch at one school and during an existing home room period in the other school. Designing an effective Tier 2 program requires that we have thoroughly defined what we want students to know, understand and be able to do as a result of our Tier 1 PBIS program and then understanding what is getting in the way for students who do not respond sufficiently to the Tier 1 program.
Many Tier 2 PBIS supports at the high school level can be provided without changing the school’s master schedule and include such things as peer and adult mentoring, support for goal setting with more frequent data chats and progress monitoring while others can be built into existing infrastructure (e.g., providing skill instruction during homeroom, advisory periods, or experience/elective courses).
The social worker sometimes serves as the problem-solving facilitator within a Tier 3 problem-solving team. These are all just ideas and I'm sure there are many more, but itinerate staff are important.
I'm guessing that the main concern will be Tier 1. Make sure that you have universal screening data, that student performance data are being used to screen kids, and that effective instruction is occurring in Tier 1.
Also, working collaboratively as a team with content area teachers will make your efforts easier.
For example, full inclusion is a great ideal - but what do you do when a student requires more intensive instruction than the inclusionary setting allows? How will you extend the curriculum for those who may need enrichment? What mechanisms have you put in place to ensure flexibility in scheduling and, perhaps more importantly, teacher behaviors?
So, if a school finds that 35% of its students have significant attendance issues than would be a gap between what is expected (100%) and what the school is getting (65%). This is the identified problem and should be addressed at a tier 1 level. Next the team would want to identify barriers to consistent school attendance (i.e., Problem Analysis) and design and implement intervention supports which address the barriers.
Finally, the school would need to evaluate the impact of the attendance interventions over time by asking and answering, "Our we closing the gap between the expected percentage of students consistently attending (80%)and the baseline level (65%)(i.e., program evaluation).
The initiation of a behavior intervention plan would likely represent a tier 3 intervention in that it would be produced through an individual problem solving process. Likewise, attendance contracts are likely to be a tier 2 intervention if they are used to address the needs of some (no more than 20%) of students or a tier 3 intervention if the interventio was designed as part of an individual problem solving process and are utilized with a few students (no more than 5%).
Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) is utilized for all students in math K-8. This provides high schools with a data set demonstrating who is most at risk for failure academically.
For reading, we utilize CBM for all K-6th grade students. In 7th through 11th grades, we utilize the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI). Students in the 7th through 11th grades who score below-basic (lexile level) on the SRI are then administered CBM oral reading fluency to ensure that they are in need of intervention. These data are used to plan for intervention and chart progress.
For content areas, we use district benchmarks and school-created common formative assessments.
We also utilize data on student attendance, student discipline, and student engagement.
Other measures such as Star Reading and Star Math can work well. I'm intrigued by common assessments to monitor progress. If your school has good common assessments, it would be easy to incorporate comprehension questions to those and use those data as part of the process.
Our schools have open networks and students are encouraged to bring their own devices. We also use online delivery mechanisms to recapture credit and award original credit. Finally, technology has become an essential tool for adult communication and professional development enhancements.
Technology-based assessments can greatly enhance the technical adequacy of the data (e.g., Star Reading) and allow teachers to assess the kids without sitting down with them one on one. Finally, interventions can be computer delivered which makes it possible to do a good intervention with 20 or 30 kids.
HOWEVER, technology enhanced approaches to intervention are not instruction. They are ways to practice what the teacher teaches. Things like Accelerated Math, Math Facts in a Flash, Study Island, etc. can certainly be a solid component of the intervention system, but is only a part of it.
Sometimes we deliver tier 2 interventions within a content area like Social Studies and we either have the teacher deliver it, a paraprofessional, a special education teacher, or a different co-teacher. There is also the possibility of peer tutoring and community volunteer programs.
I firmly believe that our content area teachers have a duty to support literacy in their areas but I am realistic in thinking that they are NOT reading specialists. We have a cadre of English Language Arts (ELA) teachers that we support with professional development and coaching to provide skills-based reading classes.
These teachers had to learn some new skills in order to deliver high yielding practices for struggling readers in the secondary setting. We did an analysis of their CBM data and found that they are having a great effect.
Besides English/Language Arts and Mathematics, were other departments onboard with aspects of implementation?
Also, elective course teachers begin to see themselves as integral to enhancing student engagement in school, which is essential to maximizing student outcomes. In the same vein, support staff (e.g., guidance counselors, school psychologists, and social workers) begin to see their roles and responsibilities as aligned with the overall mission of the school (i.e., full option graduation) as they work to support students' social-emotional skills.
What we are in the process of doing is helping all high school departments develop robust data sets and protocols for dialogue related to student progression.
Fluency - Six Minute Solution
Comprehension - Questioning the Author
There are many good interventions. What matters most is that the interventions are correctly targeted. In other words, using Six Minute Solution with a student who can't decode will be a waste of time. I also highly recommend the High School Peer Assisted Learning Strategies model as a Tier 2 or even Tier 1 intervention.
We have implemented skills-based reading courses for our secondary students. We follow a standard protocol for identification and intervention (see graphic for diagnostic plan). The interventions, which have yielded high results within our district and in others, are:
- Rewards (which addresses decoding multi-syllabic words)
- Six-Minute Solutions (which builds fluency reading connected text)
- Signature Reading (an intervention for improving vocabulary, comprehension, content area reading and meta-cognitive strategies)
I also would recommend using Tier 1 interventions where needed (e.g., High School Peer Assisted Learning Strategies) as part of that process. In other words, if I have to pick one thing, it will always always always be Tier 1.
However, a solid Tier 2 is a good place to move next and if you have good core instruction in place, then I would focus on Tier 2.
Of course, problem solving is unlikely to be utilized effectively without sufficient time built in for team collaboration. So, time for problem solving is also critical.
The best "universal screener" for identifying at-risk students at the high school level is a systematic review of existing historical data. At the secondary level, we do not typically have to screen students to know who is at-risk for academic failure and disengagement. Students come to us with years of data which indicate that without intervention, these students are likely to experience course failures, continue to have skill deficits, and remain disengaged. So, I recommend developing a structured protocol for reviewing existing data to identify students in need of support. The earlier that high schools can receive information from feeder middle school regarding their incoming students the better. Earlier identification can help schools in their development of a data-informed master schedule.
The time and personnel energy saved on screening can be re-allocated conduct diagnostic assessments which are necessary to design effective intervention plans and progress monitoring assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of programming.
In addition to these data, we have district-created benchmarks that are tied to content courses. We also expect teachers and departments to implement formative assessment for students in content areas.
However, the question that I think you are asking is a bit more complicated. Believe it or not, the situation that I think you are describing is one reason why a student is identified as SLD within RTI. If a student is experiencing success, but the intervention is too intense to continue in general education, then that student is identified as SLD under an RTI model.
The true path to LD within RTI is student success NOT student failure. Most districts are not ready for that, but most (if not all) states allow for it. So, if I'm understanding your question, then the situation should not happen.
Would the Kansas University model SIMS be considered a Tier 1 schoolwide intervention model?
Check out the Florida Center for Reading Research website for other intervention ideas.
I suggest using a 504 plan if there is a concern that the intervention will not happen or if the student tends to move a lot. However, talk to your district personnel. My guess is that they'll recommend against it because it provides an extra layer of protection.
It is quite easy to identify the kid as "eligible" for 504 if they are receiving a targeted intervention (Tier 2 and 3), but not needed if they are receiving the intervention unless you worry that it could end for some reason other than it no longer being needed.
It would be ideal to have them participate in team meeting, but if that is not possible, then all must at least get the data so that they know who is having trouble accessing the curriculum because of poor reading skills. We then identify a list of interventions from which they can choose to support the Tier 2 interventions. These are usually quick, easy tasks like preteaching vocabulary.
Of course, some RTI models use content area teachers or courses to deliver Tier 2 interventions, which is a different conversation.
Beyond providing core instruction, teachers also have a responsibility to communicate with intervention providers regarding what students are expected to know, understand and be able to do as a result of core instruction and what is getting in the way of achieving these goals for students. This information will allow intervention teachers to design instruction which aligns and is integrated with core instructional goals.
Thirdly, teachers are responsible for collecting formative assessment data which allows them and others (e.g., leadership team) to evaluate the impact of instruction on student outcomes.
- Prioritization of key access skills is a must. That means that we utilize historical data from the middle and elementary schools to determine who is most at risk prior to their entering the high school setting. We use typical screening tools in reading, writing, and math K-8.
- High school content area teachers require scope and sequences to determine critical junctures in the skill progressions.
- Common formative assessment must be structured (we like Stiggins' work to guide this process) to yield data that is usable across settings
- Technology is the RtI process's best friend to organize data for problem analysis and progress monitoring
- Teachers must not be shackled to only using common assessments or district benchmarks - they need encouragement to do daily checks for understanding and adjustments in their instruction.
I think John Hattie said it best in his excellent book Visible Learning:
“The major message is simple—what teachers do matters… the greatest source of variance in our system relates to teachers… When professionals see learning occurring or not occurring, they intervene in calculated and meaningful ways to alter the direction of learning to attain various shared, specific, and challenging goals (Hattie, 2009 p.22).”
Assessment should enable teachers to "intervene in calculated and meaningful ways" at regular intervals... this is RtI!!!!
However, the data associated with an early warning system are important to consider. Also, data collected in the spring are almost always used to initially plan for students' fall schedules.
This time can be used for Tier 2 intervention, Tier 3 intervention, as well as for enrichment opportunities for students who are not in need of intervention. Another approach is to build intervention services into credit-generating elective courses.
For instance, in Florida, there are more than 10 elective courses which could be used for intervention purposes such as Critical Thinking; Personal, School, and Career Development; Reading for College Success.
I recommend REWARDS for decoding, Six Minute Solution for fluency and Read On for vocabulary, and Questioning the Author for comprehension. Check out the Florida Center for Reading Research website for reading.
Math is more difficult, but in some ways easier. Many students who struggle with math lack basic fact fluency. Math Facts in a Flash is a great intervention for that, but are others that you can do that do not cost anything. Go to Intervention Central website for math ideas.
- Districts can award credit based on competencies
- Districts can award credit based on blended learning opportunities (e.g. online courses)
We prioritize graduation requirements for our efforts during the academic day. We have created some unique schedules - where students alternate dates and times to get all of it in. We have also identified students who are at-risk due to their credit and attendance patterns. With these students, we provide more intensive guidance from the counselor and plan for more opportunities to access credit eligible options.
For the past two years, we have held a summer semester for original credit. These courses are taught by our most skilled and engaging teachers and we prioritize those credits that are required for graduation. This has shifted the paradigm a bit to get kids looking at "getting ahead" as opposed to using summer as a remediation process.
Our Federal Programs Director also implemented a really novel approach this summer where she focused on students who were learning English. She then provided intensive professional development for our teachers who were seeking ESL endorsements. These courses were taught, literally, next door to one another at our summer semester location. This afforded the teachers an authentic opportunity to try high yielding practices with kids. It also afforded our students the opportunity to earn credit and work closely with teachers.
At any time in the process an eligibilty evaluation can occur, but may only consist of examining data within Tier 2 or Tier 3 and deciding that those data are enough to make or rule out a diagnosis. Schools cannot say that we cannot evaluate a kid for LD until a Tier 3 intervention happens etc., but they can look at the data and say that those data are sufficient to rule out a disability at this point.
See Reciprocal Teaching: A Reading Comprehension Package on the Intervention Central website for more information.
- Establish social/behavioral expectations and procedures - utilizing student leaders
- Plan for and explicitly teach the expectations and procedures (all teachers, all students, no excuses)
- Plan for reinforcement and evaluation of the effectiveness of core instruction (1 and 2)
- Systematic correction of behavioral errors - including reteaching and pre-teaching for those who require a bit more
Commitment is established, the infrastructure is build (including a communication mechanism for the school - e.g. building leadership team), and interventions are selected and implemented based on the school and student data.
I have found that many of the buy-in issues regarding the implementation of multi-tiered student supports come from a belief that students “should already” possess the skills and desire to fully engage in the learning process and achieve academically. It is our job as leaders in our schools to help others understand that it is in everyone’s best interest that we action plan around whether or not students “are” or “are not engaged” and whether or not the students “do” or “do not have specific skills” and move past whether or not the students “should” have the skills already.
Equally important, we must help educators to understand how the things they have the most control over (i.e., instruction, curriculum, and environment) impact student engagement and academic outcomes. This information will help to empower educators to make changes to meet the needs of students and achieve better outcomes. Without this information and support to make the changes, high school educators are likely to blame students (e.g., “students are unmotivated”) or their families (e.g., “parents don’t value education”) for less than desirable outcomes rather than seek solutions.
High school teachers need three things, in my experience:
- A compelling WHY - we use the model presented by Simon Sinek in his TED talk to start this dialogue:
- Opportunities to learn effective practices and receive feedback on their use of the practices - accountability
- Success - both qualitative and quantitative evidence of their effect on student learning Until they have these 3 pieces, I have encountered strong resistance. After they have these 3 pieces, I have found that it is my job to step aside and organize the environment for their innovation and evidence-based approaches - because they are bound and determined to reach all students. Beliefs can change...
2) See time as variable. Ensure that the master schedule is developed with a thorough understanding of students needs in mind. Instead of hoping that the schedule meets the needs of students, strive to design a master schedule that devotes more time and personnel support where the students need the time and support most.
3) Provide time for collaborative problem solving to occur on a regular basis. The most powerful resource that a school has is the collective capacity of the educators within it.
Stiggins has very good information about assessment that you can find by googling stiggins assessment for learning. Finally, go to the IES website for practice guides for a bunch of good info.
Other important indicators to consider involve the amount of academic time available for students. So, variables like bell to bell instruction, time scheduled for specific courses, and effective use of transitions.
Psychological and social engagement indicators are best assessed through student survey and student focus groups. There is a brand new report which highlights various student engagement measurement tools called "Measuring student engagement in upper elementary through high school: a description of 21 instruments" put out by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. It is an excellent resource and I encourage your team to review it.
Step 1 - establish your universal screening system. Be it Early Warning Signs, a measure, or a combination of the two.
Step 2 - get your teachers meeting to discuss data If all you accomplish in year 1 is step 1 and 2, then you've had a great year.
Step 3 - plan for your Tier 2 interventions that and a system to target the interventions to student needs.
Step 4 - get your Tier 2 system in place.
Step 5 - train your staff in the problem solving process and plan for Tier 3-level problem analysis (often with a problem-solving team). Year 3
Step 6 - start your Tier 3 system. Year 4
Step 7 - thoroughly assess your RtI system. Ed Shapiro wrote a great article about how to do that, which was published in Assessment for Effective Intervention (I think Clements is the lead author and Ed is second author). Also, the implementation checklists mentioned in earlier posts are helpful.
Step 8 - tweak your model to accommodate for the needs of your unique system.
We follow the steps or phases recommended by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) blueprint document.
This process includes garnering consensus (which we have made a minor tweak in the vocabulary to call COMMITMENT), building infrastructure and delivering implementation. The first step is to establish a compelling why and build a building leadership team. We established guidelines and routinely provide schools with training as to how efficient building leadership teams perform.
However, I suggest individualized interventions for Tier 3. Often times we develop those with a problem-solving team, but PSTs are often not as effective at the secondary level. Thus, some schools have resorted to a very intense intervention program for Tier 3 (e.g., Corrective Reading).
Yes! RTI should be an appropriate framework for all students. Students with IEPs in the area in which the model is running (e.g. an IEP in reading with an RTI model for reading) are likely pulled out of the RTI process because they get their service from special education. I think that should change too, but I'm willing to accept it for now. However, students whose disability is not reading (again for example), but who are ELL also participate in the RTI framework.
They receive which ever intervention the data suggest is most appropriate (e.g., decoding), but we always add a vocabulary component to it. Sharon Vaughn has a great book about how to do that, and she wrote the following article: Response to Intervention in Reading for English Language Learners
That concludes our RTI Talk for today. Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful questions and thanks to our experts, Drs. Matthew Burns, Hollie Pettersson and Rebecca Sarlo, for their time today.
Please also take a few moments at the completion of this event to give us your feedback by taking our survey!
- Is It on Your Radar Screen? by Barbara J. Ehren, Ed.D.
- Create Your Implementation Blueprint: Introduction, by Susan L. Hall, Ed.D.
- Screening for Reading Problems in Grades 4 Through 12, by Evelyn S. Johnson, Ed.D., and Juli L. Pool, Ph.D.
- Integrating Academic and Behavior Supports Within an RtI Framework, by Hank Bohanon, Ph.D., Steve Goodman, Ph.D., and Kent McIntosh, Ph.D.