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Response to Intervention Why Now How The quality of a school as a learning community can be measured


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Title: Response to Intervention Why Now How The quality of a school as a learning community can be measured

Response to InterventionWhy Now?How?The
quality of a school as a learning community can
be measured by how effectively it addresses the
needs of struggling students. (Wright, 2006)
  • Julie Zeilstra, M.A.
  • Educational Diagnostician (Conroe ISD)
  • Adjunct ProfessorLanguage, Literacy and Special
    Populations (Sam Houston State University)
  • B.A., PsychologyHealth and Development (Stanford
  • M.A., Physical Activity and Educational Services
    (The Ohio State University)
  • Educational Diagnostician Certification (Sam
    Houston State University)

Case Study Suzie
  • Suzie is a first grade student who is struggling
    in reading, writing, and math. Suzie completed
    kindergarten not meeting end of year grade-level
    expectations in many areas. She could identify
    only 6 uppercase letters and 3 lowercase letters
    and could not name any corresponding letter
    sounds. Suzie could only spell her first name
    but often forgot a letter or 2. Suzie entered
    first grade and after administration of the
    Beginning of Year assessments, her teacher met
    with her administrators, stating that this child
    was not at all ready for the first grade
    curriculum and needed to be returned for a second
    year in kindergarten to learn the foundation
    skills. Suzie was sent back to kindergarten for
    her second year. Suzie continued to struggle
    during her second year in kindergarten. Her
    parents asked the school if her daughter could
    receive some one on one or small group help, and
    they were told that the district does not begin
    remedial intervention until first grade. The
    parents were assured that Suzie would receive
    individualized care by her teacher. Suzie ended
    her second year in kindergarten knowing 18
    uppercase and 16 lowercase letters and only 8
    letter sounds. She could identify rhyming words
    but could not identify initial, medial or ending
    sounds in words. She could not count syllables
    in words or rapidly name colors or objects when
    asked. She could read only 4 high frequency
    words. Suzie moved on to first grade and was
    referred for special education after 4 weeks.
    She did not qualify for serviceswith an IQ of
    84, the Diagnostician stated that Suzie was
    achieving at a level commensurate with her IQ.
    Suzie continued to struggle through first grade
    participating in small group remedial reading
    programs, and she was eventually placed in second
    grade with failing grades in reading, writing,
    and math.

KWL Activity
  • Response to Intervention
  • KNOW (K) write down 3 things you already know
    about Response to Intervention.
  • WANT TO KNOW (W) write down 3 things you want to
    know/learn about RTI.
  • You will have 3 minutes.

Why the Need for Change?
  • Substantial data exists suggesting the need for
  • Datastudents in general
  • More than 33 of children struggle to learn to
    read, and the prevalence of significant reading
    disabilities in children is 17-20 (NAEP, 2003).
  • 1 in 3 students in 4th grade reads below the
    basic level of proficiency (US Department of
    Education, 2005).
  • Annually, about 5 of students in grades 9-12
    leave school without graduating and 11 of youth
    ages 16-24 were found to have dropped out of
    school during the most recent national census
    (NCES, 2001).
  • In the last 3 decades, US students on average
    have improved a little in math, science, and
    writing while remaining stable in reading (NCES,
    2003b, 2004a).
  • The percentage of students reading at low levels
    has remained relatively stable over the past 10
    years (NCES, 2003).
  • About 70 of 9-year-olds and 21 of 13-year-olds
    cannot perform basic numerical operations and
    simple problem-solving in math (NCES, 2003a).
  • 22 of 17-year-olds do not achieve basic
    proficiency in writing (NCES, 2003a).
  • Several studies show that children who are poor
    readers at the end of first grade almost never
    acquire average-level reading skills by the end
    of elementary school (Juel, C., 1988 Francis,
    D.J., et al., 1996 Shaywitz, S.E., et al.,
  • 74 of poor readers in the third grade remain
    poor readers through 9th grade (Fletcher Lyon,

  • Datastudents with disabilities
  • People with disabilities are twice as likely not
    to complete high school or college than people
    without disabilities (National Organization on
    Disability, 2004).
  • The employment rate for people with disabilities
    is only 35 compared to 78 for people without
    disabilities (National Organization on
    Disability, 2004).
  • People with disabilities are 3 times more likely
    to live in poverty, 2 times more likely to have
    inadequate transportation, and 2 times more
    likely to go without needed healthcare (National
    Organization on Disability, 2004).
  • Approximately 2 of students receiving special
    education services for reading disabilities will
    complete a 4-year college program (Lyon, 2001).
  • Dataidentification of disabilities
  • Approximately 10 of students in the US receive
    special education services Approximately half of
    these students are identified with a Learning
    Disability (Vaughn Fuchs, 2003).
  • From 1975-2000, the number of students identified
    with LD has tripled (US Department of Education,
  • Prevalence rates for LD vary widely throughout
    the states, ranging from 3 in Kentucky to about
    10 in Rhode Island (Reschly et al., 2003).
  • The majority of students who have been identified
    with LD have reading problems (Swanson, Harris
    Graham, 2003).
  • Some estimates suggest that approximately 90 of
    students with learning disabilities lack phonemic
    awareness (Stanovich, 1986).
  • Students from diverse populations are
    disproportionately over-represented in many
    categories of disability (US Department of
    Education, 2005).

  • Datatraditional remediation efforts
  • Intervention resources are traditionally limited
    in schools.
  • Intervention is often provided too late to
    benefit struggling students.
  • Intervention has traditionally focused on
    remediation once a child is already significantly
    behind his peers.
  • Intervention is not provided until the student
    experiences chronic and profound failure (Wright,
  • Intervention is traditionally one-size-fits-all
    and not individualized to student need and
    learning style.
  • Monitoring of effectiveness has traditionally
    occurred at the end of the interventionan
    ineffective intervention may continue for weeks
    and weeks with no to little positive impact on
    the childs performance.
  • Intervention efforts have failed to address
    emotional/behavioral deficits.
  • Remedial (process of correcting a deficiency)
    programs have not been successful once a student
    is labeled remedial, he or she tends to remain
    remedial (Allington Walmsley, 1995).
  • Placement in a special education class resulted
    in lower achievement for students with mental
    retardation and students whose IQ are between 75
    and 90 (Kavale Forness, 1999).
  • Remedial efforts have traditionally focused on
    the child as the problemthat there is something
    wrong with the student (disability).
  • Approximately 60 of students are identified too
    late to derive full benefit from special
    education services (OSERS, 2001).

What are the Changes?
  • Regular Education Initiative (REI)
  • Federal policy focused on having as many students
    as possible remain in general education.
  • Goal was to reduce the numbers of students in
    special education.
  • Students with disabilities dont need separate,
    specialized teaching in a special education
  • Research showed that REI did not reduce the
    number of students in special education (NCES,
  • Inclusive Education
  • Schools focused on how and where special
    education services were being provided.
  • Were we truly following the IDEA principle of
    Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)?
  • Goal was to provide special education services
    and supports in general education settings.
  • Most general education teachers were supportive
    of inclusion but were not confident in their
    training to meet the needs of students with
    disabilities (Villa Thousand, 1996).
  • Many general education teachers felt they needed
    additional training to make inclusion work
    (Murphy, 1996).
  • No Child Left Behind Act2001 (NCLB)
  • Goal was to improve learning outcomes for all
  • Requirements for programs to be funded under NCLB
    is evidence of effectiveness.
  • Requires states to monitor progress during
    program implementation (RTI).
  • Focus on providing early intervention to at-risk
    students to improve academic readiness (Reading
    First, Early Reading First, Even Start).

What are the ChangesCont.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education
    Improvement Act2004 (IDEIA 2004)
  • Many significant revisions to the federal law
    that governs special education.
  • Focus was to improve outcomes for students with
  • Also has specific wording requiring
    evidence-based practices.
  • Revised the eligibility criteria for
    identification of learning disabilities.
  • Allows Local Education Agencies to use a model
    that assesses a childs response to scientific,
    research-based instruction to identify the
    presence of a learning disability (RTI Model).
  • No longer requires states to use a Discrepancy
    Model to identify the presence of a learning
  • Response to Intervention (RTI)
  • Recent initiative to reduce the number of
    students identified with learning disabilities.
  • General Educationtargeting at-risk students
    early and providing preventive and proactive
  • Within the next 2 to 3 years, education will
    change rather dramatically because of the
    implementation of Response to Intervention
    (Bender Shores, 2007).
  • Teachers will be required to apply
    research-proven educational interventions,
    monitor student progress daily or weekly, and
    plan additional/more intense interventions for
    students who are not progressing adequately.
  • In short, this is not merely another initiative
    this move to RTI promises to reform education in
    very significant ways, as educators in every
    classroom instruct and monitor progress on an
    individual basis for many of their students.
    (Bender Shores, 2007).
  • RTI is crucial given the data proving that we are
    leaving many children behind.
  • RTI requires schools and teachers to adopt a
    mission and belief that ALL students CAN and WILL
    learnit is our jobs to layer on interventions to
    make sure that ALL students learn.

Activity Why do Students Under-Achieve?
  • Think about the reasons children struggle in
  • What are some factors that contribute to
  • Think about teacher characteristics, student
    characteristics, and sociological factors (home
    environment) that can contribute to a childs
    difficulties in school?
  • Write down as many factors as you can think
    ofyou will have 2 minutes.
  • Low student motivation
  • Lack of pre-school or day-care opportunities
  • Lack of language-rich early experiences
  • Lack of pre-readiness skills
  • Excessive absences
  • Frequent moves
  • Lack of parental support/involvement
  • Crisis in the home
  • 2nd language learner
  • Attention difficulties/behavioral difficulties
  • Poor teacher-student relationship
  • Low teacher expectations
  • Low teacher motivation
  • Lack of evidence-based instruction
  • Poor classroom management/behavior management

Learning DisabilityDiscrepancy Model
  • Learning Disability disorder in 1 or more of
    the basic psychological processes involved in
    understanding or in using language, spoken or
    written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect
    ability. (IDEIA 2004, Section 602A).
  • The traditional model for identification of a
    learning disability was the Discrepancy
    Modelrequires presence of a severe difference
    between ones overall IQ and ones achievement
    (16 points has often been used as the criteria
    for severe discrepancy).
  • Typically, children with LD (under this model)
    have average to above average IQ with
    lower-than-expected academic achievement
    (unexplained under-achievement).
  • Children who have average IQ should be average in
    their academic achievement in every area.
  • If a child has average IQ but is under-achieving
    (16 or more points for example), that is a
    learning disability.
  • Many studies have shown that the discrepancy
    model does not reliably identify those students
    with learning disabilities (Fletcher, Morris,
    Lyon, 2003 Glutting, McDermott, Watkins, Kush,
    Konold, 1997 Stanovich, 2000 Spear-Swerling,
    Sternberg, 1996).

Criticisms of Discrepancy Model
  • LD vs. LA (Low Achievers)does discrepancy model
    differentiate between these?
  • Are we identifying the disorder is a basic
    psychological process.?
  • Research shows that as many poor readers have no
    discrepancy between their IQ and achievement as
    have a discrepancy.
  • IQ scores are not the best indicators of ability.
  • Limited indicator of ability before age 10
    (Salvia Ysseldyke, 2004).
  • Modestly predictive of ability after age 10
    (Sattler, 2001).
  • Very poor predictor of reading skill (Graham
    Harris, 1997 Stanovich, 1993).
  • FSIQs account for only about 35 to 50 of ones
    total achievement variance (Glutting, Youngstrom,
    Ward, Ward Hale, 1997).
  • Students who have no discrepancy but are severely
    under-achieving do not qualify for services.
  • IQ (92)-Ach (75)17 (LD)
  • IQ (84)-Ach (70)14 (not LD)
  • Wait to fail modeloften requires chronic school
    failure before qualifying for services.
  • Provides no useful information about why the
    student is struggling and how to help him.
  • Lack of uniformitydifferent states use different
  • given the number of composites and subtest
    scores obtained in a typical evaluation (upward
    of 40 or more), it would be surprising if at
    least one significant discrepancy was not found.
    (Fuchs, 2003).
  • Based on single test scores at one point in

RTI Use in Identification of LD
  • Local Education Agencies may use a model that
    assesses a childs response to scientific,
    research-based instruction to identify the
    presence of a learning disability.
  • An underachieving student will be given
    evidence-based intervention in the area of
  • Progress will be monitored at least weekly.
  • Rate of learning will be compared to grade level
  • The premise here is that Low Achievers (LA)
    should respond to evidence-based intervention
    (because research has proven increased student
  • The students with true learning disabilities (LD)
    will not respond at an adequate rate to these
    evidence-based interventions (because they truly
    have learning disabilities).
  • Dual-Discrepancy Model (Fuchs, 2003)
  • Documented underachievement (discrepancy in
    performance) compared to peers.
  • Documented discrepancy in rate of learning
    despite research-based interventions.

Dual-Discrepancy Model (Fuchs, 2003)
RTI in General Education
  • Although RTI has been proposed as an alternative
    method in the identification of learning
    disabilities for eligibility for special
    education services, RTIs true value lies in
    general education.
  • Simply put, Response to Intervention is, A
    process of implementing high-quality,
    scientifically validated instructional practices
    based on learner needs, monitoring student
    progress, and adjusting instruction based on the
    students response. (Bender Shores, 2007).
  • RTI is a model of prevention, not a model of
    remediation, and not a wait to fail model of
    interventionat risk children are targeted early
    and are provided with specific interventions to
    address their weaknesses.
  • RTI reforms must, Move the system toward early
    identification and swift intervention, using
    scientifically-based instruction and teaching
    methods. (Commission Report, 2002).
  • RTI principles
  • Every child is assessed several times per year in
    critical academic and/or behavioral
    domainsuniversal screening.
  • At-risk children are identified early in their
    schooling (kindergarten/first grade).
  • Interventions are individually designed and
    provided to close the gap with grade-level peers.
  • Additional interventions are layered on if
    student is not making adequate rate of progress.
  • Student progress is assessed weekly, bi-weekly,
    or daily and the data is used to guide
    instruction and decision-making.
  • Implementation of RTI in general education
    classrooms, Will result in enhanced instruction
    for all students..and will offer a renewed
    emphasis on best practice instruction for all
    students. (Bender Shores, 2007).

RTI and Three Tiered Model of Intervention
  • RTI requires the use of a tiered model of
    interventionmost researchers support a
    three-tiered model but some LEAs use a
    four-tiered model.

Tier III (Tertiary) serves approximately 5 of
students intense, individual interventions
typically based on assessment (dyslexia
assessment psycho-educational evaluation)
Tier II (Secondary) serves approximately 15 of
students targeted, small-group interventions
at-risk students who have not responded
adequately to Tier I interventions
Tier I (Primary) should be effective for 80 to
85 of children core academic and behavioral
curriculum large group and small group
interventions for all students evidence-based
teaching methods and materials (general education
Tier I
  • Tier I consists of the core curriculum (academic
    behavioral) that is provided to all students.
  • Evidence-based instructional materials.
  • Evidence-based teaching methods and strategies.
  • Frequent progress monitoring of student
    achievement that will guide instruction,
    intervention, and decision-making.
  • Tier I interventions should be effective for
    approximately 80 to 85 of children.
  • Tier I interventions are proactive and preventive
    with implementation of evidence-based curricula,
    classroom management techniques, and teaching
    strategiesmethods that are proven to increase
    student achievement.

Tier II
  • Tier II interventions are implemented for
    students who are not responding at an appropriate
    rate with implementation of Tier I interventions.
  • Typically serves approximately 15 of students.
  • Tier II interventions are targeted interventions
    for at-risk students.
  • Typically provided in small groups (3 to 5
    students) inside or outside the classroom.
  • More frequent, more intense, and more targeted
  • Can be provided by general education teacher or
    other professionals in school.
  • Typically involves some outside assistance from
    other teachers and/or experts in subjects areas
    or behavior (Bender Shores, 2007).
  • Student progress is monitored frequently and data
    is utilized to guide instructional decisions.

2 Models of Tier II Interventions
  • Many researchers define 2 models of Tier II
    interventions (Fuchs, Mock, Morgan, Young,
    2003 Bender Shores, 2007).
  • Standard Protocolstand alone interventions.
  • Standard group intervention programs.
  • Typically address frequent referral concerns.
  • Same intervention for all students.
  • Typically outside the classroom (but can be done
    in the classroom).
  • One size fits all approach (all students who are
    at-risk is reading get the same intervention).
  • Efficient method of providing interventions for
    large numbers of struggling students.
  • Problem-Solving Model.
  • Intervention is developed based on individual
    student need and profile (not one size fits all).
  • Interventions must be evidence-based.
  • Intervention is developed using problem-solving
    process such as DPIE (Bender Shores, 2007)
  • Ddefine the problem
  • Pplan the intervention
  • Iimplement the intervention
  • Eevaluate the students progress
  • Model typically preferred by educators.
  • Requires a lot more time, staff participation,
    etc.not efficient for targeting interventions
    for large numbers of struggling students.

RTI Team/Intervention Assistance Team Guides
Transition Through Tier II
  • Typically, students who are not responding
    adequately in Tier I (at-risk) are referred to
    the campus RTI Team/Intervention Assistance Team.
  • The greatest strength of any RTI Team is the
    diversity of experience, skills, and knowledge
    that its combined membership can draw upon to
    identify the best intervention plan for a
    student. (Wright, 2006).
  • RTI Teams should consist of professionals who are
    experts in various areas of student need
    general education teachers, special education
    teachers, reading specialists, Diagnosticians,
    Counselors, Speech Pathologists, School
    Psychologists, behavior specialists, math
    specialists, parents, etc.
  • RTI Team responsibilities
  • Identifying and defining the students presenting
    problem(s) and strengths.
  • Identifying and defining the hypothesized cause
    of the problem(s).
  • Selecting intervention(s) matched to student need
    and profile Individualizing standard, existing
    interventions to student need and profile.
  • Designing the intervention plan what
    intervention who will implement the
    intervention frequency, duration, and setting of
    the intervention academic or behavioral goal
    method and frequency of progress monitoring
    method of sharing information with parents.
  • Periodically meeting to review student progress
    (data) and make recommendations based on data
    (discontinue intervention revise intervention
    change intervention add on another
  • Provide ongoing support and collaboration to
    classroom teacher.

Tier III
  • A small number of students who have not responded
    adequately despite Tier I and Tier II
    interventions may be referred to Tier III.
  • This is typically when a student is referred for
    individualized assessment for special education.
  • May also be more intense, more frequent, more
    targeted intervention.
  • Tier III interventions typically target
    approximately 5 of students.
  • Tier III interventions
  • Typically assessment-based.
  • Intensive supports.
  • More frequent (daily).
  • Individualized supports.
  • Typically one on one intervention but some
    districts allow groups of one to three.

Key 1 Quality and Fidelity of Tier I
  • Remember, Tier I is the general education core
    curriculum provided to all students.
  • If Tier I is implemented with Quality and
    Fidelity, it should be effective for 85 to 90
    of students.
  • Tier I includes the following
  • Academic Curriculum
  • Evidence-based curriculum adopted by
    school/districtmust be scientifically validated
    curriculum for each subject area (Quality).
  • Implementation of curriculum in a scientifically
    validated manneris the teacher implementing the
    curriculum in a manner consistent with the
    recommendations of the publishers of that
    curriculum (Fidelity)?
  • Classroom Management/Behavior Management
  • Evidence-based classroom management and behavior
    management methods proven to increase student
    engagement and pro-social behaviorPositive
    Behavior Supports (Quality).
  • Consistent and correct implementation and use of
    these methods (Fidelity).
  • Instructional Strategies/Methods
  • Evidence-based instructional strategies proven to
    increase student engagement and
    achievementDifferentiated Instruction, Active
    Student Responding, Multiple Intelligences, etc
  • Consistent and correct implementation and use of
    these methods (Fidelity).
  • Instructional Strategies/Methods for Each
  • Evidence-based teaching strategies and methods
    specific to each subject area that are proven to
    increase student achievement--activating prior
    knowledge, repeated reading, paired reading,
    reading actively, QAR, fluency practice daily,
    self-graphing of fluency (Quality).
  • Consistent and correct implementation and use of
    these methods (Fidelity).
  • We must ensure the quality and fidelity of Tier I!

Why Monitor Quality and Fidelity?
  • The relationship between content knowledge and
    student learning and achievement is mediated by
    teaching effectiveness. (Foorman, Carlson
    Santi, 2007).
  • Implementation of evidence-based instruction is a
    function of the attributes of the intervention
    itself (Quality) and the high quality
    implementation by the teacher (Fidelity).
  • Studies show that teachers instructional
    strategies moderate student achievement.
  • If a specific intervention is implemented
    incorrectly or not at all, the student does not
    have a true opportunity to respond to
    intervention. (Wright, 2007).
  • Taylor, Pearson, Peterson Rodriquez (2003)
    examined instructional practices and reading
  • Higher level questioning, modeling, coaching, and
    active student responding correlated with
    increased student achievement.
  • Foorman, Seals, et al. (2003) studied teacher
  • Active student responding, student engagement,
    and less wasted time increased student
  • Time spent on spelling instruction did not
    predict spelling achievement b/c the instruction
    was workbook activity driven.
  • We cannot assume that all teachers have the
    knowledge, ability, and motivation to
    consistently and correctly implement the
    curriculum with evidence-based strategies.
  • We must take the necessary steps to make sure
    that every teacher is given the training,
    guidance, support, and feedback needed to
    implement Tier I with quality and fidelity.

Plan To Ensure Quality and FidelityTier I
  • Professional Development
  • Studies show that teacher knowledge gained
    through professional development relates
    positively to student achievement (Foorman
    Moats, 2004 McCutchen et al., 2002).
  • Studies also show that ongoing professional
    development can reduce the number of at-risk
    students in classrooms (OConnor, 2000).
  • Vaughn, Linan-Thompson, Elbaum et al. (2004)
    studied results of Tier I professional
    development for kindergarten teachers and
    delivery of Tier I reading instruction.
  • Higher scores across 5 assessed reading skills
    than students in control group (no professional
  • Mentors
  • Studies show that pairing master teachers with
    inexperienced teachers to provide ongoing support
    in the implementation of curricula increases
    teacher effectiveness (Foorman Moats, 2004).
  • Walk Throughs and Performance Feedback
  • Studies show that full implementation of
    interventions occur when (Greenwood, Kamps,
    Jerry, Linebarger, 2007)
  • Teachers have strong support from administrators.
  • Teachers and administrators communicate early and
    frequently during implementation (at least 10
  • The data is overwhelming regarding the positive
    impact of corrective feedback on performance.
  • The data is overwhelming regarding the impact of
    positive reinforcement and schedules of
  • Beginning of yearpredictable and frequent
  • As the year progressesfade to unpredictable and
    intermittent walk-throughs.

Plan To Ensure Quality and FidelityTier I Cont.
  • Fidelity Checklists/Intervention Checklist
    (Wright, 2007)
  • Quick appraisal of key features of instruction
    (differentiation, active student engagement,
    positive behavior supports, etc).
  • Can be completed during walk-through and used
    with teacher to provide performance feedback.
  • Can be completed by teacher (self-appraisal)much
    research indicates the positive impact of
    self-monitoring on performance (Wright, 2007).
  • Can be used to monitor teacher performance over
  • Data can be used in end of year appraisal.
  • Teacher Appraisal
  • Heavy focus on quality and fidelity of Tier I
  • Focus on performance over time and response to
    performance feedback given throughout the year.
  • Walk-through observations and checklist data
    included in end of year appraisal.
  • Lesson Plans
  • Evidence-based requirements for every lesson
    differentiation, active student responding,
    positive behavior supports.
  • School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports
  • Commitment to implementation of evidence-based
    behavior management strategies proven to increase
    student engagement, promote pro-social behaviors,
    and increase student achievement.

Plan to Ensure Quality and Fidelity of Tier
  • Develop a Tier I Intervention Bank--evidence-based
    materials, strategies, and interventions
    (Wright, 2007)
  • Classroom Management/Behavior Management Methods
    (Positive Behavior Supports).
  • Instructional Strategies/MethodsGeneral (Active
    Student Responding, Differentiated Instruction,
    Collaborative Learning).
  • Instructional Strategies/MethodsReading.
  • Instructional Strategies/MethodsWriting.
  • Instructional Strategies/MethodsMath.
  • Develop and require a Tier I Intervention Plan
    for lower 20 of students
  • Definition of academic/behavioral
    deficit(s)problem area(s).
  • Definition of academic/behavioral
  • Results of required screenersmotivation check,
    interest inventory, learning style inventory.
  • Definition of academic/behavioral goal(s) and
  • Description of evidence-based intervention(s),
    based on student profile, that will be
    implemented (what, who, how often, where, and how
    data will be collected).
  • Home intervention plan (required conference with
  • Administrator Support
  • The backing of educational leaders at the
    district and building level is absolutely central
    to the success of RTI. (Wright, 2007).
  • Wright (2007) lists critical minimum
  • Allocation of resources to purchase intervention
    and progress monitoring resources.
  • Staff time to allow regular intervention team
  • Staff development to train staff about RTI.

Key 2 Quality and Fidelity of Tier II
  • Remember, Tier II Interventions are more intense,
    and more targeted small group interventions for
    students who have not responded adequately
    despite Tier I interventions.
  • The number of students needing Tier II
    interventions should be small if Tier I
    interventions are implemented with quality and
    fidelity (less than 15 of students).
  • Students spend the majority of their school day
    in Tier I (general education curriculum) so if
    Tier I is not implemented with quality and
    fidelity, gains made in Tier II are not likely to
    be maintained or generalized.
  • Develop a strong, multi-disciplinary RTI Team
    (Wright, 2006)
  • May require a re-definition of roles of many
  • Must consist of campus experts in the area of
    concern for each child.
  • RTI Team meeting between Tier I and Tier II
  • Kovaleski (2003) defined the role of the RTI
  • Identifying and analyzing the nature of the
    students presenting problem(s).
  • Selecting interventions matched to the students
    profile of need.
  • Collecting and analyzing ongoing
    progress-monitoring data to judge whether the
    intervention plan is effective.
  • Revise intervention plan based on data.

Key 2 Quality and Fidelity of Tier II
  • Develop a strong Tier II Intervention Plan
  • Definition of student need(s), strengths, and
    baseline levels of performance.
  • Definition of expected level(s) of
    performancegrade level peers.
  • Hypothesized cause(s) of student weakness(s).
  • Data from required screeners motivation check,
    interest inventory, learning style inventory.
  • Definition of academic/behavioral goal and
  • Tier II Intervention (who, what, when, where,
    ratio, and method/frequency of progress
    monitoring) based on student need and profile.
  • If stand-alone program is used, team will outline
    methods to individualize to student profile.
  • Tier I Interventions to assist with acquisition,
    maintenance and generalization of targeted
  • Parent notification and involvement.
  • Timeline for review of plan.
  • Assignment of go to expert to provide ongoing
    collaboration and support to classroom teacher.
  • Develop Evidence-Based Tier II Interventions and
    Intervention Bank.
  • Evidence-based Tier II interventions for
    behavior/pro-social skills.
  • Evidence-based Tier II interventions for each
    academic subject area.
  • Diverse interventions that target various causes
    of under-achievement or behavior difficulties.
  • Continue the Fidelity strategies of Tier I
    (walk-throughs, checklists, etc.)

Early Data on RTI
  • Data from early reading RTI programs in Iowa
    showed that fewer students were ultimately placed
    in special education programs after
    implementation of RTI (Tilly, 2003).
  • 41 reduction in kindergarten
  • 34 reduction in first grade
  • 25 reduction in second grade
  • 19 reduction in third grade
  • Extensive scientific research shows how early
    intervention for students identified at risk in
    reading has impressive results (Snow, et al.,
  • RTI procedures are particularly helpful in
    identifying students with learning difficulties
    in the early primary grades (OConnor, 2003).
  • Many students who's learning difficulties were
    identified in first grade were able to be
    successful in third grade after intervention
    (OConnor, 2003).
  • By using RTI with pre-k students, teachers were
    able to prevent some special education placements
    altogether (Tilly, 2003).
  • RTI procedures helped third grade students
    improve their reading skills significantly
    (Torgeson, 2003).
  • RTI program in New York (Vellutino et al., 2006)
    targeting early reading intervention
  • Of the students (at-risk) who received
    kindergarten only or kindergarten and first grade
    intervention, 84 performed in the average range
    on reading measures by the end of third grade.

Early RTI Data Cont.
  • RTI program for at-risk students in mathfirst
    grade (Fuchs et al., 2005)
  • Tier II interventions tutoring and computer
    practice (40 minutes3 times/wk) in groups of 2
    or 3.
  • Tutoring concrete-representational-abstract
  • Results
  • Improved performance on computation, concepts,
    applications, and completion of word problems.
  • Growth of the at-risk students was, on some
    measures, equal to or greater than than students
    who were not at-risk.
  • This early intervention reduced the prevalence of
    math disability by an average of 35.
  • RTI program for 3rd grade at-risk students in
    math (Fuchs et al., 2006)
  • Tier I whole class implementation of Hot Math
    curriculum (Fuchs et al., 2002).
  • Tier II Hot Math tutoring (30 minutes3
    times/wk) in groups of 2 to 4.
  • Results
  • Vast improvement on all measures for the majority
    of students.
  • Substantial impact on reducing the number of
    children at risk for math disability in third
  • RTI program for reading in first grade (McMaster
    et al., 2003)
  • Tier II Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)
    or PALSfluency.
  • Non-responders were put into more intensive PALS
    tutoring with an adult.
  • Results significant improvements in phonological
    awareness, decoding, word rec., and fluency.

More Early Data
  • OConnor (2000) studied 3 tier model from
    1997-1999 in 3 high-poverty schools.
  • Tier I professional development alone reduced
    the percentage of at-risk kindergarteners from
    40 to 30.
  • Tier II small group intervention reduced at-risk
    kindergarteners to 18.
  • Greenwood, Maheady, Delquadri (2002) studied
    RTI in a low SES elementary school.
  • Interventionclass-wide peer tutoring program for
    reading, spelling, and math.
  • 90 min/day4 days/week.
  • Significant improvement in student engagement.
  • Reduction in behavior problems.
  • Significant academic improvements compared to
    control groups.
  • Higher levels of achievement, lower drop out
    rates, and lower use of special education
    services in middle school and high school
    (compared to control groups).
  • Vaughn, Linan-Thompson, Kouzekanani (2003) gave
    the same reading intervention to students in 3
    group sizes (1 to 1, 1 to 3, and 1 to 10).
  • Students in 1 to 1 and 1 to 3 groups made
    considerable more gains than in the 1 to 10
  • No significant differences were found between the
    1 to 1 and 1 to 3 groups.
  • Elbaum, Vaugh, Hughes, Moody (2000) studied
    many interventions and found that 1 to 1
    intervention yielded no different outcomes than
    small group intervention.

RTI Data--Behavior
  • RTI for behavior for 2nd grade students
    (Fairbanks, 2007)
  • Baseline school-wide Positive Behavior Supports
    (school-wide expectations, positive
    reinforcement-tickets, predictable consequences
    for rule infractions).
  • Tier I intervention Check-In and Check-Out group
    intervention (Hawken Horner, 2003)review of
    school rules, individual goals, opportunity to
    earn points, praise and corrective feedback
  • Fidelity once a week the counselor would visit
    each classroom and assess accuracy (fidelity
    checklist used).
  • Tier II intervention Functional Behavior
    Assessment done to identify problem behavior,
    antecedents and consequences influencing the
    behavior/ A function based individualized
    behavior support plan was implemented.
  • Fidelity Fidelity checklist to ensure that
    behavior plan was being implemented.
  • Results (10 students in study)
  • 4 students responded to Tier I and did not need
    further intervention.
  • 4 students moved on to Tier II and 2 students
    stayed in Tier I as controls.
  • Problem behavior was significantly reduced for
    all 4 students in Tier II.
  • RTI for dangerous behavior in a Head Start
    setting (Barnett, 2006)
  • Tier IPositive Behavior Supports implemented by
    classroom teacherpositively stated rules that
    were posted, taught, practiced, and reviewed
    daily consequence hierarchy positive
    reinforcement, high interest activities to
    increase student engagement.
  • FidelityStandardized behavioral code (ICC) to
    assess teachers implementation.
  • Tier IIembedded skills practice for additional
    opportunities to practice problem solving skills,
    individualized, systematic teacher praise for
    appropriate behavior.
  • Tier IIIsafety plan for student, social story
    use with student, verbal script to be used at
    school and at home for student.
  • ResultsDangerous or aggressive behaviors
    decreased to 0 for the student and her peers

  • Traditionally, schools have lowered the
    expectations or modified the curriculum to
    accommodate struggling learners.
  • The student was viewed as the problem and we must
    work around that.
  • Eventually, when the student gets far enough
    behind, he may qualify for special education.
  • Some Intervention Assistance Teams lost sight of
    their primary goal to collaborate and develop
    interventions to help children and to keep
    children out of special education.
  • Many IAT meetings were transformed into referral
    meetings for special education testing.
  • RTI views a childs weaknesses as a result of
    student-environment interactions.
  • To change the outcome, we must change our
  • What are we doing or not doing? What must we do
    or change to help this student?
  • The child is not viewed as the problem.
  • Solutions are made through problem solving,
    individualized interventions, layering on
    interventions, and monitoring students progress
    frequently to guide our instruction.
  • RTI is not another initiative that will
    eventually fade away in a few years.
  • The data regarding student outcomes indicates the
    urgent need for change.
  • Too many children are falling through the cracks.
  • Special education placements are not benefiting
    many childrenthey are falling further and
    further behind.
  • Frequent progress monitoring and implementation
    of specific educational interventions based on
    that monitoringthe essence of RTIhas been
    proven to be among the best instructional
    practices available. (Bender Shores, 2007).

Case Study Revisited
  • Think about how things may have been different
    for Suzie if her school was utilizing a RTI
  • A universal screener (early in her first
    kindergarten year) showed that Suzie was in the
    lower 10 of the class in key early literacy
    skills. A Tier I plan was developed by her
    teacher which identified deficits in phonemic
    awareness and receptive/expressive language
    skills and strengths in visual-spatial skills
    (problem-solving with pictures, shapes, and
    manipulatives). An interest inventory revealed
    that Suzie loves puzzles, leggos, and animals.
    Suzies teacher began daily small group, in-class
    instruction and practice in multi-sensory,
    evidence-based, phonemic awareness activities.
    Suzie was also paired with a parent volunteer who
    read to Suzie every day for 20 minutes from books
    about animals. The parent volunteer was trained
    on strategies to activate Suzies prior knowledge
    prior to reading the passage. After reading the
    passage, the volunteer guided Suzie through the
    SQ3R strategy to build her language skills and
    reading comprehension. Suzies teacher used
    active student responding techniques (response
    cards and choral responding) to allow Suzie to
    get at least 20 to 25 opportunities to respond
    during instruction in every lesson. The teacher
    met with Suzies parents and they agreed to a
    home program that included 15 minutes of
    monitored practice on (a free online
    early reading program) every night. The school
    speech patholgist came to the parent conferenc
    and gave the parents a list of easy strategies to
    encourage language development in the home.
    Suzies progress was monitored weekly using a
    criterion referenced phonemic awareness probe and
    a story retelling probe. After 8 weeks of
    intervention, a middle of year screener showed
    that Suzie was no longer at-risk in her phonemic
    awareness skills and she was able to retell a
    story read to her with 80 accuracy. Suzie was
    behind her peers in letter identification and
    sound identification so Suzie was placed in a
    daily, 30-minute, multi-sensory phonics program
    called Saxon Phonics. By the end of
    kindergarten, Suzie was no longer at-risk in any
    area. A summer home-program was developed for
    the parents to implement.
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