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Implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI): A Comprehensive, School-Wide Approach)


Janet L. Graden, PhD University of Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational Services August 3, 2007 Learning Goals: Understand RtI ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI): A Comprehensive, School-Wide Approach)

Implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI)
A Comprehensive, School-Wide Approach)
  • Janet L. Graden, PhD
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational
  • August 3, 2007

Learning Goals
  • Understand RtI practices within a comprehensive,
    multi-tiered model
  • Understand key steps for planning and
    implementation (Blueprint planning tools)
  • Understand rationale and benefits of
    school-wide/district-wide approach maximizes
    student achievement

Key Idea
  • Best practices in a comprehensive approach to RtI
    (Response to Instruction and Intervention) align
    with what is known about effective school

Alignment with Effective Educational Practices
Schools that Close Achievement Gaps
  • Clear focus on student achievement and
    communication of these expectations
  • Staff embraces responsibility for achievement of
    each and all
  • Assessment of effectiveness is on student results
    (not intentions) examine all practices,
    policies, procedures with regard to impact on
    student learning
  • System of intervention systematic response
    based on data not wait to fail
  • Use of data for decisions
  • Effectiveness of programs
  • Identifying early and intervening early
  • Progress monitoring to determine effectiveness
  • Working together collaboratively and flexibly

Key Practices within RtI
  • Scientifically-based, research-based instruction
    and interventions, within a multi-tiered approach
  • Core instruction
  • Supplemental intervention
  • Targeted, intensive intervention
  • Data-based decision making for instruction and
    intervention within and across tiers
  • Universal screening
  • Progress monitoring

Ohio Integrated Systems Model for Academics and
Academic Systems
Behavioral Systems
Decisions about tiers of support are data-based
Adapted from OSEP Effective School-Wide
Response to Intervention Definition(NASDSE, 2005)
  • Response to Intervention (RtI) is the practice
    of providing high-quality instruction and
    interventions matched to student needs,
    monitoring progress frequently to make decisions
    about changes in instruction or goals and
    applying child response data to important
    educational decisions.

Breaking Down the Components of RtI in the
  • Response to
  • Data-based decision making
  • Universal screening to identify and support early
    to prevent failure
  • Intervention
  • Core instruction, differentiated instruction, and
  • Scientifically-based, research-based instruction
    and intervention
  • Standards-based
  • Data on how responds to intervention of
    increasing intensity yields data on in need of
    specialized instruction

What This Means for Schools
  • The School Administrator, April, 2007
  • RtI is a general education responsibility and
    activity along with special education, Title, ELL
  • Requires major changes in district-wide
    configuration of instruction in basic skills
    (reading, math) for all students

NEA Definition
  • RtI process is the practice of providing high
    quality instruction and intervention matched to
    student skill needs, monitoring student progress
    frequently to make changes in instructional
    goals, and applying child response data to
    important educational decisions.
  • NEA (2006) Role of General Education Teachers in
    the RtI Process

NEA (2006)
  • RtI focuses on early identification of learning
    and behavior needs and the provision of
    appropriate evidence-based interventions in order
    to address skill gaps early to keep them from
    becoming larger issues.
  • RtI is a school-wide process approach, the
    foundation of which is quality core instruction
    in the GE classroom.

What RtI Is and Is Not
  • Is
  • RtI is an overall integrated system of
    instruction, intervention, supports, and services
  • Is Not
  • RtI is not just an eligibility systema way of
    reducing the numbers of students placed into
    special education or a different way of sorting
    (still responsible for AYP!)

What RtI Is and Is Not
  • Is
  • RtI is effective for students who are at risk for
    school failure as well as students in other
    disability categories
  • Is Not
  • RtI is not limited to students with specific
    learning disabilities

What RtI Is and Is Not
  • Is
  • RtI is an excellent opportunity to more
    effectively align IDEA and NCLB principles and
  • Is Not
  • RtI is not just an special education approach

Changes in Practices Before Referral and
  • Previous Practices
  • Wait for referral (often wait to fail)
  • Pre-referral
  • Intervention responsibility on teacher
  • Anecdotal progress reports
  • Wait to fail had to be deficit to be eligible
  • RtI Practices
  • Teams review universal screening data and
    automatically intervene with 20-30
  • Interventions are automatic, designed by team and
    delivered flexibly by building personnel
  • Progress monitoring data reviewed by team to make

Change in Practices During Evaluation
  • Previous Practices
  • Most information collected after referral
  • Testing had most influence on eligibility
  • Little focus on other criteria than tests
  • Proving deficits, waiting to fail
  • RtI Practices
  • Most information already gathered when
    comprehensive evaluation begins
  • RtI data have most influence on eligibility
  • All criteria are fully analyzed
  • Diagnostic and other assessment used as needed to
    fill in missing information needed for
    intervention planning

Changes in Practices After Evaluation and for
the IEP
  • Previous Practices
  • Frequently, more evaluation was needed to
    establish goals and services
  • If not eligible, frustration of educators,
    parents, and lack of student support and progress
  • No clear link between assessment and IEP, as
    required by IDEA
  • RtI Practices
  • IEP team has extensive information on student
    response to instruction by time eligibility is
  • Clear, on-going link between assessment and IEP
    same data methods used to progress monitor on IEP

We did then what we knew how to do, when we knew
better, we did better.
  • - Maya Angelou

Research Support for Comprehensive Framework for
RtI Implementation
  • When tiered approach to instruction and
    intervention systematically used
  • Improved student outcomes (elementary and
  • Only about 3-8 of students continued to need
    more intensive intervention after Tier 2
  • Gains on performance on state tests
  • Proportional representation in disability
  • Parent, teacher preference for approach

Research Support for Early Identification of
Reading Problems
  • 80 of children identified as SLD have reading
  • Use of discrepancy approach for SLD
    identification results in wait to fail not
    identified until 3rd grade or later
  • If not reading on grade level by 3rd grade, odds
    of ever reading on grade level are 1 in 17
  • In 4th grade, need 2 hours of instructional time
    to make same gains as make in 30 minutes of
    instructional time in Kindergarten
  • Downward spiral predictions from 3rd grade
  • Torgesen, 2004

Demonstrated Benefits of Comprehensive
  • Improved student outcomes school-wide and
    individual students
  • Focus on early intervention (versus waiting to
    fail) maximizing instruction and intervention,
    catch and intervene early
  • Data-driven decisions
  • Services and supports are needs-based a
    coherent, flexible system of support (based on
    response data)

Demonstrated Benefits of Comprehensive
  • Parent-friendly focus is on helping students to
    improve outcomes, on supports needed, data
    communicated relates directly in instruction and
  • Important point focus shifts from eligibility
    to providing effective instruction/intervention
    eligibility decisions derive naturally from
    systematic efforts at instruction and progress

Benefits from Principal Perspective(Zirkel, 2007)
  • With tiered model, there is a coordinated
    continuum of supports, integrating general and
    special education
  • Schools can accomplish needs from
  • NCLB meeting AYP, closing gaps
  • IDEA access to gen. ed., closing gaps,
  • RtI leads to reform in gen. ed. that benefits all
  • Spread beyond SLD eligibility for benefits for
    more students

Support in NCLB for a Comprehensive Approach to
  • Focus is on student progress accountability for
    Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for all students,
    including subgroups
  • Use of scientifically-based instruction and
    intervention, delivered by highly qualified
    teachers, aligned with state standards
  • Mandated intervention (think Tier 2)
  • How do you spell AYP? RtI
  • Assess and intervene early
  • Match intervention to needs
  • Improve performance and progress of all students

Support in IDEA 2004 for Comprehensive Approach
to RtI
  • Big idea Children with Disabilities (CWD) are
    general education students first accountability
    for improved results in general education content
    standards and assessments
  • School-wide, preventive focus (Early Intervening)

Support in IDEA 2004 for Comprehensive Approach
to RtI
  • Mandated remedial and individual interventions
    for children not responding to scientifically-base
    d instruction
  • Specific RtI language and requirements (within
    SLD but also imbedded throughout regulations)

Support in IDEA 04 (continued) Determination of
Appropriate Instruction
  • Determination of Eligibility (300.306) all CWD,
    not just SLD
  • (b) A child must not be determined to be a CWD
    under this part (1) if the determinant factor for
    that determination is (i) lack of appropriate
    instruction in reading, including the essential
    components of reading instruction (as defined in
    section 1208(3) of the ESEA) (ii) lack of
    appropriate instruction in math or (iii) Limited
    English Proficiency)

SLD Determination (300.309)
  • (1) The child does not achieve adequately for the
    childs age or to meet State-approved grade-level
    standards in one or more of the following areas,
    when provided with learning experiences and
    instruction appropriate for the childs age or
    State-approved grade-level standards (lists 8

SLD Determination (300.309 cont.)
  • (2)(i) The child does not make sufficient
    progress to meet age or State-approved
    grade-level standards in one or more of the areas
    identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section
    when using a process based on the childs
    response to scientific, research-based
    intervention or

SLD Determination (300.309)
  • (ii) The child exhibits a pattern of strengths
    and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or
    both, relative to age, State-approved grade-level
    standards, or intellectual development, that is
    determined by the group to be relevant to the
    identification of a SLD, using appropriate
    assessments, consistent with 300.304 and 300.305

SLD Determination (300.309)
  • Note 1 2 that follow refer to all SLD
    determination, not imbedded under RtI
  • (1) Data that demonstrate that prior to, or as
    part of, the referral process, the child was
    provided appropriate instruction in regular
    education settings, delivered by qualified
    personnel and

SLD Determination (300.309)
  • (2) Data-based documentation of repeated
    assessments of achievement at reasonable
    intervals, reflecting formal assessment of
    student progress during instruction, which was
    provided to the childs parents.

What RtI Practices Look Like
  • Tiered instruction and intervention
  • Data-based decision making

Ohio Integrated Systems Model for Academics and
Academic Systems
Behavioral Systems
Decisions about tiers of support are data-based
Adapted from OSEP Effective School-Wide
Key Features of an Effective Integrated Model
Academic Behavior Supports Across 3-tiers
Administrative Leadership
Collaborative Strategic Planning (CPS)
Culturally Responsive Practices
Scientifically-Based Research
Data-Based Decision Making
Tiers of Support
Practices Within and Across Tiers
  • Use of data for all decisions
  • Reliance on scientifically-based instruction and
  • Use of progress monitoring data to judge reaction
    to instruction and intervention a
    scientifically-based, self-correcting
    decision-making model how do we know if we are
    effective, if students are learning?
  • Use of collaborative problem solving at all tiers
    (e.g., district- and school-wide, grade-level or
    teaching teams, individually with parents)

Teams within Tiers Think of View
  • District-level Team
  • Building-level Team
  • Grade-level (or instructional) Team
  • Individual student Team
  • Birds eye view Town
  • Neighborhood
  • Street
  • House

Tier 1 Core instruction - All Students
  • Effective, scientifically-based core instruction,
    linked to state standards
  • Differentiated instruction and adaptation as
    needed to meet the needs of all students
  • Universal screening data
  • To identify student progress in core instruction
    and effectiveness of core

Universal Screening
  • DIBELS Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy
  • Dynamic able to measure growth and response to
  • Indicator representative of skill (e.g.,
    temperature, toothpick in cake)
  • Early Literacy Skills (phonological awareness,
    alphabetic principle, fluency with connected
  • Web-based tools (materials, data for decision

Universal Screening
  • Curriculum Based Measurement
  • Dynamic indicators of basic skills
  • Reading fluency and early literacy
  • Mathematics numeric principles and computation
  • Written Expression
  • Spelling
  • Web-based tool - AIMSWEB

Tier 1 Decision Making
  • Using data to examine effectiveness of overall
  • 80 of students reaching benchmark
  • No achievement gaps for subgroups
  • If no to either, strengthen core instruction
    (grow the green!)
  • Use of school-wide team (Building-level Team) for
    planning and decision making, including parent

Building-Level Team Decision Making
  • Examination of core instruction
  • Examination of effectiveness (student data
    state test data and screening hows that
    working for you?)
  • Matching instructional practices to student needs
  • Differentiation and help as needed
  • Flexible grouping
  • Flexible use of resources (including teaching
  • Effective, efficient use of instructional time

TIER 1 Benchmark/Schoolwide Benchmark/Core
Reading Programs Rigby Literacy (Harcourt
Rigby Education, 2000) Trophies (Harcourt School
Publishers, 2003) The Nations Choice (Houghton
Mifflin, 2003) Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Reading
(2003) Open Court (SRA/McGraw-Hill,
2002) Reading Mastery Plus (SRA/ McGraw-Hill,
2002) Scott Foresman Reading (2004) Success For
All (1998-2003) Wright Group Literacy
(2002) Reviewed by Oregon Reading
First Comprehensive Addressed all 5 areas and
included at least grades K-3
TIER 1 School-Wide Discipline
Programs Positive Behavior Support Prosocial
Discipline Programs School-wide Discipline
Committee Attendance Programs
Example of Tier Instruction and Intervention
Tier I
Tier 2
Tier 3
Curricular Focus
5 areas
Less than 5
2 or less
Core Supplemental Intensive
Core Supplemental
Frequency of Progress Monitoring
3 X/Yr.
Tier 1 Example A
  • 82 of Caucasian Students are achieving AYP in
  • 20 of African American Students are achieving
    AYP in reading
  • Need to strengthen core?
  • Individual student within this building
  • African American student is referred for LD for
    a reading problem
  • Question Is this student in an effective
    instructional environment?
  • What action is needed?

Tier 1 Example B
  • 85 of students in a 4th grade are achieving AYP
  • Student of concern has been in the school for 4
    years and is 2 years below benchmark has been
    absent an average of 55 days a year
  • Question Has this student been exposed to
    effective instruction? and had sufficient time
    and opportunity
  • What action is needed?

First Grade Data Example
Tier 2 Supplemental, Some Students
  • Supplemental, research-based intervention,
    delivered in a timely, automatic fashion to
    students who need it, approximately 5-10 (not
    referral based)
  • Use of universal screening data (e.g., DIBELS,
    CBM) for early identification of who is in need
    of more intensive intervention
  • Usually involves small group intervention,
    flexible grouping

Tier 2 Supplemental, Some Students
  • Use of regularly scheduled (at least weekly)
    systematic progress monitoring to evaluate
    student progress and determine if more intensive
    intervention is needed
  • Use of instructional teams (e.g., grade level
    teams, with data manager support) to make
    decisions on interventions, delivery of
    interventions, grouping, student progress

Tier 2 Decision Making
  • Apply decision rules (progress, closing gap
    toward meeting benchmark) to students receiving
  • Move to more intensive intervention (Tier 3) as
    needed by data

Class-wide Data Example
Characteristics of Tier 2 Interventions
  • Available in general education settings
    increased dose of instruction for students who
    fail to make progress with core instruction on
    state benchmarks
  • Opportunity to increase exposure (academic
    engaged time) to core curriculum and content
  • Opportunity to narrow focus of the instruction to
    meet skill needs
  • Interventions are research-based

Characteristics of Tier 2 Interventions (cont.)
  • Typically delivered in small groups (with
    flexible grouping) by classroom teachers, with
    support as needed from resource specialists
    (e.g., Title, reading teachers)
  • Sufficient time for interventions to have an
    effect (10-30 weeks), with
  • Frequent (at least weekly) progress monitoring to
    assure are examining effectiveness and student
    response, with opportunity to intensify as
    indicated by data

TIER 2 Supplemental Reading Programs Early
(Soar to) Success (Houghton Mifflin) Read Well
(Sopris West) Reading Mastery (SRA) Early
Reading Intervention (Scott Foresman) Great
Leaps (Diamuid, Inc.) REWARDS (Sopris
West) Ladders to Literacy (Brookes) Read
Naturally Peer Assisted Learning Strategies
Tier 2 Group Results
Tier 3 Intensive Intervention, Few Students
  • Intensive, individualized interventions (using
    problem-solving methods and research-based
    practices) for students who need it,
    approximately 1-5
  • Use of systematic progress monitoring data, at
    least weekly

Tier 3 Intensive Intervention, Few Students
  • Additional research-based intervention, in small
    group or individualized, for students with
    insufficient progress to Tier 2 interventions
  • Use of small problem-solving team, including
    parents, teacher, support teacher, others as
  • Use when need for support, demonstrated by data,
    is chronic and intensive

Tier 3 Data-based Decision Making
  • Weekly progress monitoring data, reviewed
    regularly by team, using decision rules
  • Consideration of
  • Level
  • Slope (rate of progress) closing gap
  • Intensity of instruction/intervention needed to
    close gap/change trajectory

Tier 3 Intensive Intervention, Few Students
  • Tier 3 is not special education
  • Response to Tier 3 determines if suspect
    disability (consistent with Questions and
    Answers from Office of Special Education Programs
    clarification that do not suspect disability
    until track response to instruction and

TIER 3 INTENSIVE Reading Programs Corrective
Reading (SRA) Language! (Sopris West) Wilson
Reading System Reading Mastery Earobics
(phonics/phonemic awareness Cognitive
Concepts) Great Leaps/ Read Naturally
(Fluency) REWARDS (Fluency, Comp. and Vocab. in
Plus Program) Soar to Success (comp.)
(No Transcript)
Moving to Suspecting Eligibility and Eligibility
  • Time clock starts when suspect disability
  • Comprehensive evaluation means examining all data
    and collecting what additional data are needed
    (if any) to answer questions
  • In need of specialized instruction?
  • Eligible as a child with a disability?
  • If yes to both (do 1 first), move to IEP

Putting a Comprehensive, Tiered Model into
Practice Requires
  • Effective school practices
  • Flexible, needs-based system of supports across
    tiers (based on data not past practice,
    presumed rules, history)
  • Collaborative planning at district and building
    level with key stakeholders for wide ownership
    and adoption

Putting Model in Place Requires
  • Tiers of effective, research-based instruction
    and intervention
  • Data systems for decision making (e.g., DIBELS,
  • Participation by parents across tiers
  • High quality staff development for skills
  • (Blueprint planning tools cover all of these)

Typical Issues within Implementation
  • Changing views, long-held practices and beliefs
  • Need for professional development and skill
  • Need for on-site support and coaching for deep
    and lasting implementation

Typical Issues within Implementation (cont.)
  • Need to examine instructional practices
  • Need for good data systems (using technology)
  • Need to look at use of resources (people,
    programs, time) differently, flexibly, based on
    student needs
  • Developing understanding among all constituencies
    (including parents)

Resources for District and Building Planning
  • Implementation tools and models (e.g., Ohio
  • Blueprints (NASDSE and CASE, at
    the district and building level for activities,
    resources, and wisdom from the field for
  • Consensus building
  • Infrastructure development
  • Implementation planning

Key Blueprint Action Steps Consensus Building
  • Coordinate with district initiatives
  • Provide information to staff re why, what,
    resources, etc.
  • Develop consensus to move forward
  • Plan to support change in practices
  • Goals
  • Communication
  • Staff development

Key Blueprint Action Steps Developing
  • Build capacity of building leadership team (e.g.,
    data manager, content specialists)
  • Develop plan through examining practices and data
  • Examine core, supports
  • Identify universal screener
  • Collect data and examine effectiveness of core,
    supports, etc.
  • Determine needs

Key Blueprint Action Steps Implementation
  • Provide needed professional development
  • Plan for coaching and support to sustain
  • Plan for logistics of delivering effective core,
    supports and interventions
  • Monitor implementation use data for decisions
  • Develop communication plan
  • Celebrate successes

Typical Implementation Activities by Year
  • Year 1 Planning, reviewing data and
    instructional practices and use of resources,
    setting up structure, communicating about
    benefits, building skills through professional
    development (PD)
  • Year 2 Implementation begins (school-wide or
    within grade/s), use of universal screening data,
    targeted interventions, continued planning and PD
  • Year 3 Data-based decision making, evaluating
    outcomes, making adjustments, continued planning

Research on Effective Implementation (Fixsen,
  • Takes 3-5 years of planning, practice, on-going
    problem solving during implementation
  • Information and training alone does not lead to
    change in practices
  • Need practice, coaching

Key Groups Critical to Successful Implementation
  • District-Level Leaders
  • Building Leaders
  • Facilitator coaches, data managers
  • Teachers
  • Student Support Personnel
  • Parents
  • Students

Closing Points
  • Remember
  • it is about continuous improvement of student
    outcomes, not another way to sort students
  • school change takes time, commitment, support,
  • the efforts are worth it!

Resources and References Reports
  • Presidents Commission on Excellence in Special
    Education (July, 2002)
  • LD National Summit Panel (2002)
  • National Center on Learning Disabilities

Resources and References Reports
  • National Academy of Sciences/National Research
    Council Panel Report (2002)
  • RtI Policy Implementation Paper (2005) for State
    Departments and other resources (myths,
    implementation tools, Blueprints)

Resources Research-Based Instruction and
  • Research-Based Instruction
  • US DOE What Works Website
  • Reading
  • http//
  • www.texasreading/org/utcria
  • Targeted Interventions

Resources for Tiered Model
  • Overall Model Examples
  • Ohio Integrated Systems Model
  • Cincinnati Public Schools
  • Assessment
  • CBM
  • DIBELS http//
  • Positive Behavior Support

References for RtI
  • Burns, Appleton, Stehower (2005). Meta-analytic
    review of RtI. Journal of Psychoeducational
    Assessment, 23, 381-394.
  • Burns Senesac (2005). Comparison of a dual
    discrepancy criteria to assess response to
    intervention. Journal of School Psychology, 43,
  • Burns, VanderHeyden, Jimerson (in press)
    Handbook for RtI
  • Denton, Vaughn, Fletcher (2003). Bringing
    research-based practice in reading intervention
    to scale. Learning Disabilities Research and
    Practice, 18, 201-211.

References for RtI
  • McMaster, Fuchs, Fuchs, Compton. (2005).
    Responding to no-responders. Exceptional
    Children, 71,445-463.
  • School Psychology Review (2006) Special Issue on
    Implementation of Tiered Models
  • Speece, Case, Molloy. (2003). Response to
    general education instruction as a first gate to
    learning disabilities identification. Learning
    Disabilities Research Practice, 18, 147-156.
  • Torgesen (2004). Preventing early reading failure
  • Zirkel (2007). The pluses and perils of RtI. The
    School Administrator, April, 2007 (