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Implementing the Problem-Solving/Response to Intervention


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Title: Implementing the Problem-Solving/Response to Intervention

Implementing the Problem-Solving/Response to
  • Minooka
  • School District 201
  • Response to Intervention

If we can really understand the problem, the
answer will come out of it, because the answer is
not separate from the problem. -Krishnamurti
Contextual Issues Affecting The Problem-Solving
Process in General and Special Education
  • IDEA Re-Authorization
  • Focus on academic outcomes
  • General education as baseline metric
  • Labeling as a last resort
  • Increasing general education options
  • Pooling building-based resources
  • Flexible funding patterns
  • RtI Introduced as option for LD eligibility
  • ESEA Legislation-No Child Left Behind
  • National Emphasis on Reading
  • Evidence-based Interventions

  • Defining RTI
  • Where did it come from and why do we need it?
  • Support for RTI in federal law
  • Core principles
  • Special education eligibility considerations
  • Policy issues
  • Professional development issues

Why Focus on Reading?
  • 85 of all curriculum is delivered through the
    written word.
  • Reading and math scores are directly linked.
  • New standards and assessments for graduation.

How Big is the Problem?
  • According to the most recent NAEP assessments,
    only 31 percent of 4th graders are proficient in
  • Low-income students did half as well. In fact,
    over half of poor fourth graders failed to show
    even a basic level of knowledge in reading,
    science, or history.

  • We KNOW what to do!
  • We CAN make a difference!
  • The RESEARCH gives us the technical knowledge and
    tools to teach each child to read!

What is RTI?
  • RTI is the practice of (1) providing
    high-quality instruction/intervention matched to
    student needs and (2) using learning rate over
    time and level of performance to (3) make
    important educational decisions to guide
  • National Association of State Directors of
    Special Education, 2005

Response to Intervention What are the big ideas?
  • High quality instruction/intervention
    Instruction or intervention matched to student
    need that has been demonstrated empirically and
    by practice to demonstrate high learning rates
    for most students
  • Learning rate and level of performance Learning
    rate refers to students growth in academic or
    behavioral skills over time in comparison to
    prior levels and peer growth rates. Level of
    performance refers to a students relative
    standing (growth) on some critical dimension of
    academic or behavioral skills compared to
    expected/predicted growth.
  • Important educational decisions Student
    intervention outcomes drive decision making at
    every tier. Decisions about intensity and
    duration of interventions are based upon data
    across multiple tiers of intervention.

What RTI Is and Is Not
  • Is
  • RTI is an overall integrated system of service
  • Is Not
  • RTI is not just an eligibility systema way of
    reducing the numbers of students placed into
    special education.

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 learning

Why RTI?
  • Provides appropriate learning experiences for all
  • Uses school-wide progress monitoring to assess
    entire class progress and individual student
  • Promotes early identification of students at risk
    for academic failure
  • Involves multiple performance measures rather
    than measurement at a single point in time
  • Under RTI, students receive interventions based
    on reliable and valid data earlier than the wait
    to fail scenario

Why RTI? continued
  • RTI identifies specific skill deficits, whereas
    teacher referrals are more frequently general
    statements of need
  • Scientifically-based interventions are used more
    frequently and earlier
  • Over identification based on race/ethnicity is
    reduced in programs for students with learning
    disabilities and mental retardation
  • African-American children are twice as likely as
    white children to be labeled mentally retarded
    and more likely to be label EBD

Why RTI? continued
  • Greater numbers of at-risk students achieve
  • Principals and superintendents want to know if
    students are achieving benchmarks, regardless of
    placement in general education, gifted, or
    special education
  • SLD category has grown 300 since 1976-80 there
    because they havent learned how to read 40
    there because they havent been taught to read.

Problem Solving
  • A process that uses the skills of professionals
    from different disciplines to develop and
    evaluate intervention plans that improve
    significantly the school performance of students

Problem Solving Process
Research on Problem-Solving/RtI
  • Focused on accuracy of referral methods and
    response to proven interventions
  • RtI methods (local comparisons and multiple
    measurement) were superior to teacher referral
    for problem accuracy.
  • Teachers over-referred male students
  • Greater proportion of African American students
    responded successfully to intervention relative
    to similarly at-risk Caucasian students. Reduced
    disproportional placements.
  • Early intervention was powerful
  • Significant reduction in LD placements
  • (VanDerHeyden, Witt, and Naquin)

Research and PSM/RtI
  • Problem identification is more accurate using the
    PSM (Gap Analysis) compared to simply teacher
  • The number of students requiring services has not
    diminished--the WAY the services are provided has
  • Universal screening and progress monitoring
    practices ensure that students do not slip
    through the cracks
  • In most cases, the percent of students receiving
    LD services has diminished.

What Have We Learned From Other States?
  • Changes in assessment and intervention practices
    can occur--generally it takes a number of years
    to effect the change completely.
  • Teacher and parent satisfaction is greater with
    the PSM/RtI model (Illinois Flexible Service
    Delivery Model)
  • Student performance is enhanced under the PSM/RtI
  • Student/parent rights do not change under this

Status of Reauthorization
  • Title Individuals with Disabilities Education
    Improvement Act
  • Passed House in 2003, Senate in 2004
  • Signed by President Bush in December.
  • IN EFFECT July 1, 2005
  • Regulations in Fall

Individuals with Disabilities Education
Improvement Act
  • (B) Additional authority._In determining whether
    a child has a specific learning disability, a
    local educational agency may use a process that
    determines if the child responds to scientific,
    research-based intervention.
  • Process refers to Problem Solving Process
  • Responds refers to Response to Intervention

In making a determination of eligibility under
paragraph (4)(A), a child shall not be
determined to be a child with a disability if
the determinant factor for such determination
is (A) lack of appropriate instruction in
reading, including in the essential components
of reading instruction (as defined in section
1208(3) of the ESEA of 1965) (B) lack of
instruction in math or (C) limited English
Proposed Regs
  • For a child suspected of having a specific
    learning disability,
  • the group must consider, as part of the
    evaluation described in
  • 300.304 through 300.306, data that demonstrates
  • (1) Prior to, or as a part of the referral
    process, the child was
  • provided appropriate high-quality, research-based
    instruction in
  • regular education settings, consistent with
    section 1111(b)(8)(D) and
  • (E) of the ESEA, including that the instruction
    was delivered by
  • qualified personnel and
  • (2) Data-based documentation of repeated
    assessments of achievement
  • at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal
    assessment of student
  • progress during instruction, was provided to the
    child's parents.

Proposed Regs
  • (c) If the child has not made adequate progress
    after an appropriate
  • period of time, during which the conditions in
    paragraphs (b)(1) and
  • (2) of this section have been implemented, a
    referral for an
  • evaluation to determine if the child needs
    special education and
  • related services must be made.

  • We KNOW what to do!
  • We CAN make a difference!
  • The RESEARCH gives us the technical knowledge and
    tools to teach each child to read!

Response to Intervention Core Principles
  • Use all available resources to teach all students
  • Use scientific, research-based interventions
  • Monitor classroom performance
  • Conduct universal screening/benchmarking
  • Use multi-tier model of service delivery
  • Make data based decisions using a problem
    solving/standard protocol approach
  • Monitor progress frequently
  • Implementation fidelity

System-wide Commitment
Three Tiers of Instruction
Comprehension Vocabulary Fluency Phonics Phonemic
Intensive Intervention Strategic Instruction Core
Diagnostics Monitoring
Five Essential Components
Use all available resources to teach all students
  • RTI practices are built on the belief that all
    students can learn and everyone supports all
  • RTI focuses on student intervention need and not
    What is wrong with the student?
  • Systems Change Integrated approach
  • No one building/district will look the same

  • Poor/lack of instruction must be ruled out
  • Curricular access blocked by any of the following
    must be addressed
  • Attendance
  • Health
  • Mobility
  • Sufficient exposure to and focus on the
    curriculum must occur
  • Frequent, repeated assessment must be conducted


Use all available resources to teach all
students, cont.
  • Basic Education
  • LAP-Title
  • Reading First (NCLB, 2001)
  • School Improvement Plan
  • Student Learning Plans
  • Special Education (IDEA 2004)
  • Other resources available to the building or

Use scientific, research-based interventions
  • Curriculum and instruction approaches must have a
    high probability of success for the majority of
  • Offer as soon as it is clear the student is
    lagging behind
  • Increase intensity of instruction and practice
  • Opportunity for explicit and systematic
    instruction/practice and cumulative review
  • Provide skillful instruction with good error
    correction, immediate feedback
  • Guided by and in response to progress monitoring
  • Must provide a supportive atmosphere for learning

Monitor classroom performance
  • General education teacher play a vital role in
    designing and delivering high quality instruction
  • General education teachers also monitor student
    progress through CBMs
  • Student performance in relationship to state
    standards (GLEs)

Universal Screening
  • School staff conduct universal screening in all
    academic areas and behavior to all students three
    times/year to identify students at risk
  • Benchmarks document whether a child is on track
    compared to peer group and/or state standards
  • The students data at benchmark testing periods
    can be utilized to validate the effectiveness of
    intervention. Is the gap closing?

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Response to InterventionHow Well Are We Doing?
  • A systematic and data-based method for
    determining the degree to which a student has
    responded to intervention.
  • Determined solely through analyzing data
  • Services should intensify for a student as the
    student response to intervention is below
  • When the intensity of services exceed
    significantly those available through general
    education, then a student should be considered
    for special education funding.

Response to InterventionHow Well Are We Doing?
  • What do we do when a student has been placed in
    special education but the students rate of
    progress has not changed significantly?
  • This has significant implications for special
    education re-evaluations under the RtI model.

RtIThe Conceptual Model
  • Integrate with Core Instructional Programs and
    Activities in the District
  • Reading First, Early Intervention, Positive
    Behavior Support
  • 3 Tiered Model of Service Delivery and
  • Universal--What all students get
  • Supplemental--additional focus and intensity
  • Intensive--modifying instructional strategies
  • Problem-Solving
  • Can occur at any level
  • Increases in intensity across levels

Features of a Multi-Tiered Model
  • Each tier represents increasingly intense level
    of services associated with increasing levels of
    learner needs
  • All students, including those with disabilities
    are found in Tiers I, II, and III
  • The nature of the academic or behavioral
    intervention changes at each tier, becoming more
    rigorous as the student moves through the tiers
  • Students move up and down the tiers depending on

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Three-Tier Model of School Supports
5 of your students should be here
15 of your students should be here
80 of your students should be here
Use multi-tier model of service delivery Tier I
  • Tier I ALL Students
  • All students receive high quality scientific
    research based instruction in the core curriculum
    in all areas
  • Core curriculum provides the foundation for
    instruction upon which all strategic and
    intensive interventions are formulated
  • Serves 80-90 of the student body
  • Some Tier 1 interventions may be applied to at
    risk students followed by progress monitoring

Use multi-tier model of service delivery Tier II
  • Tier II Some Students
  • Strategic interventions supplements instruction
    to students who are not achieving standards
    through the core curriculum alone
  • Consists of 5-10 of the student body
  • Occurs in small groups of 3-6 students
  • Short-term in duration 9-12 week blocks
  • Recommended 3-4 sessions per week at 30-60
    minutes per session
  • Students progress is monitored more frequently at
    Tier II, usually every 2 weeks

Use multi-tier model of service delivery Tier
II, cont.
  • Tier II Some Students
  • Students may receive more than one block of Tier
    II interventions if progressing but who have not
    yet reached the goal
  • Students who reach goal would be reintegrated
    into Tier I
  • Students who do not progress in Tier II may
    require more intensive interventions

Use multi-tier model of service delivery Tier III
  • Tier III Few Students
  • Intensive interventions are designed to
    accelerate a students rate of learning by
    increasing the frequency and duration of
    individualized interventions based on targeted
    assessment data.
  • Students at Tier III are those performing
    significantly below standards and have not
    adequately responded to Tier I or Tier II
  • Consists of less than 5 of student body
  • Occurs in groups of no more than 3 ideally
  • May occur longer than 9-12 weeks
  • Students progress is monitored on at least a
    weekly basis

Use multi-tier model of service delivery Tier
III, cont.
  • Tier III Few Students
  • Consists of less than 5 of student body
  • Occurs in groups of no more than 3 ideally
  • May occur longer than 9-12 weeks
  • Student progress is monitored on at least a
    weekly basis
  • Students who are successful at Tier III
    reintegrate to Tier I with Tier II support
  • If not successful at Tier III, consider referral
    for special education and/or other long-term
    planning 504 plan, additional Tier III cycle

Intensive (Tier III) Reading Intervention
  • Specifically designed reading instruction that
    extends beyond the time allocated for Tier I and
    Tier II
  • High school students may require double dosing
    in a two period block, using a research-validated
    specially designed program to accelerate their
    learning to read

Data-Based Decision Making
  • The purpose of using data based decision making
    is to find the best instructional approach for a
    student with an academic or behavioral problem
  • Decisions are made by teams consisting of
    professionals knowledgeable about the student,
    and the parent
  • Decisions are made through the problem solving
    process or standard protocol

Designing Instruction to Meet Student Needs
Standardized Assessments
Benchmarking or Screening

Instructional Problem Solving
Requires taking multiple sources of evidence and
selecting appropriate instructional interventions
based on identified student needs
Progress Monitoring
Performance or Criterion Assessments
A Problem Solving Process
Domains of Influence
I.nstruction How we teach
C.urriculum What is being taught
E.nvironment Context where learning is to occur
L.earner Characteristics that directly relate to the area of concern
Review Work Samples Cumulative Folders Health Records Interview Teachers Parents Student Significant Others
Observe Student-teacher Student-peer Test Curriculum based Norm referenced Criterion referenced Rating Scales
Evaluation Planning
Relevant KNOWN Relevant UNKNOWN
Instruction (R.I.O.T.)
Curriculum (R.I.O.T.)
Environment (R.I.O.T.)
Learner (R.I.O.T.)
Standard Treatment Protocol
  • Process where student decisions are made using an
    established response to regular occurring
    circumstances e.g., Read Well
  • Implementation involves a trial of fixed duration
    e.g., 9-12 weeks
  • Emerging research is showing success implementing
    this approach at Tier I and Tier II in the area
    of reading

Universal Interventions
  • Core instructional programs
  • Reading curriculum
  • Student progression requirements
  • Core behavioral programs
  • School-based discipline policies
  • Core home/community programs
  • Attendance program
  • Wellness curricula

Supplemental Interventions
  • Increased time and focus in academic instruction
  • Classroom-based behavioral interventions
  • Building-based interventions for issues such as
    attendance, grief management
  • Activate existing peer support programs, mediation

Intensive Interventions
  • Specialized academic interventions
  • Intensive acceleration classrooms
  • 180 minutes of instruction
  • Social skills training, anger control training,
    parent education groups
  • Behavior intervention plans
  • Alternative education programs

Example of Tier Level Interventions
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
Yearly or greater
Monthly or greater
What is Necessary for RtI to Work for Students
and Districts?
  • Early intervention Use DRA, EduTest, Aimsweb and
    similar assessments for this purpose
  • Access to and Use of Data Student data is the
    most accurate means of referring students for
    assistance and making judgments about
    intervention effectiveness
  • Accurate Tier 1 Decisions Special education
    cannot cure large-scale pedagogical problems
    one student at a time

What is Necessary for RtI to Work for Students
and Districts?
  • Evidence-Based and Available Tier 2 Interventions
    Good example is K-5 Academic Support Plan
  • Identifying SUCCESSFUL Tier 3 interventions PRIOR
    to making an eligibility determination
  • Staff Professional Development
  • Technology Support for Data Management and Access
    to Evidence-Based Tier 2 and 3 Interventions

Progress Monitoring
  • Documents student growth over time to determine
    whether the student is progressing as expected in
  • CBMs are primarily used as a method for progress
    monitoring because they are brief, easy to
    administer and score, and are good predictors of
    student ability
  • Progress monitoring data provide a picture of the
    students performance and rate of growth to
    inform instructional and curricular changes so
    that every student reaches proficiency on
    targeted skills

Lack of Responsiveness to Interventions
  • Defined as rate of improvement, or progress slope
    that is not sufficient for the student to become
    proficient with state standards without more
  • Decisions to advance students from one tier to
    another is based upon analysis of the progress
    monitoring data to determine if the student is
    responsive e.g. 4-6 data points below the
    aimline after interventions have been altered may
    show a student is non-responsive

Silver Bullets?
  • All interventions require a commitment of time,
    resources, professional development, and systemic
  • None of the programs listed will be effective
    without an enthusiastic, well-trained teacher
    able to deliver them with expertise
  • All programs will require a shift in the system
    to accommodate student needs

Targeted Assessment
  • Targeted assessment means shifting to evaluations
    that are designed around the specific targeted
    concerns of the student.
  • In other words, we select assessments that
    measure the area of concern rather than
    administering an assessment and then trying to
    determine what it means.
  • Usually conducted when student enters Tier III,
    but may be conducted earlier

  • Fidelity refers to the degree to which RTI
    components are implemented as designed, intended,
    and planned.
  • Fidelity is achieved through sufficient time
    allocation, adequate intervention intensity,
    qualified and trained staff, and sufficient
    materials and resources.
  • Fidelity is vital in universal screening,
    instructional delivery and progress monitoring.

Intervention Plan
  • Documents analysis of student data and outlines
    interventions and evaluation of progress
  • Also documents implementation of interventions
    with fidelity

RTI and Child Find
  • Anyone, including parents and teachers, can make
    a referral at any time in a RTI system.
  • A student cannot be required to go all the way
    through Tier III before being evaluated if
    evidence exists to suspect a disability.

When should a student be suspected of having a
disability due to a lack of responsiveness?
  • Students who are performing significantly less
    than their peers and have been provided two or
    more Tier III interventions that did not
    significantly decrease the gap in achievement
    should be suspected as having SLD and evaluated
    absent other evidence.

Parent Involvement in RTI
  • In a RTI system parents must be provided progress
    monitoring data. 34 CFR Sec. 300.309(b)(2).
  • Parents must also be informed of
  • State policies regarding the amount and nature of
    student performance data that is collected and
    the general education services that are provided
  • The strategies for increasing the students rate
    of learning and
  • Their right to request an evaluation.
  • 34 CFR Sec. 300.311(a)(7).

Is consent required before conducting screenings
or CBMs?
  • Teachers or specialists do not need to obtain
    consent to evaluate when administering universal
    screening, CBMs, or targeted assessments to a
    student in order to determine appropriate
    instructional strategies for curriculum
  • 20 USC Sec. 1414(a)(1)(E).

Using RTI data to identify SLD
  • District procedures set out criteria for using
    RTI data to establish SLD.
  • District criteria must incorporate new federal
    regulations on SLD.
  • 34 CFR Sections 300.309 through 300.311

Adopt an established approach for using RTI data
to identify SLD
  • Districts are strongly encouraged to use
    established approaches for using RTI data to
    identify SLD.
  • Criteria determines if a student is not making
    sufficient progress to meet age or State-approved
    grade-level standards in one or more of the SLD
    areas. 34 CFR Sec. 300.309(a)(2)(i).

Special Education Eligibility
  • To be eligible for special education, the
    evaluation group for students with SLD must find
    an adverse educational impact and the need for
    specially designed instruction (SDI).
  • The evaluation report for eligible students
    should include recommendations about the SDI and
    any related services, program modifications,
    accommodations and other supports the student
    needs with enough specificity to develop an IEP.
  • In a RTI system, the SDI provided should
    supplement the scientific-based interventions and
    high quality instruction the student was already
    receiving in general education.

Same players new roles I
  • The New Psychologist Role
  • Data Manager
  • Data Analyzer
  • Data Synthesizer
  • Detective Extraordinaire
  • Progress Monitoring?
  • The New Sped Teacher Role
  • Data Provider
  • Targeted Assessment
  • Progress Monitoring
  • Intervention opportunities

Same players new roles II
  • The New Parent Role
  • Data Provider
  • Interventionist
  • Progress Monitoring
  • The New General Ed.Teacher Role
  • Tier 1 Tier 2 interventions
  • Progress Monitoring
  • Data provider for Learning Env.
  • Be ready for intervention

Same players new roles III
  • The New Principal Role
  • As goes the principals attitude, so goes the
  • Providing for the assessment of intervention
  • The New Attitude
  • We are not looking at the child as broken
  • Focus is on Why isnt the general education
    curriculum working for this child?

Six critical components to Implementing an RTI
  • The first critical component is the development
    and initiation of universal screening
    administered to ALL students three times per
    year. Purpose?
  • Identify the problem areas in measurable terms.
    Assessment results should be objective and
    specific, rather than anecdotal or opinion based.
  • Establish baseline data. Using CBM allows you to
    identify the performance of each student on a
    specific skill measure. Comparing the individual
    student to the universal screening data allows
    you to identify the needs of the student.

Six Components cont.
  • Develop and write an accountability plan once you
    have identified the measurable problem and the
    team has identified the intervention to be used.
    The plan MUST address a description of the
    specific intervention, the duration, schedule,
    and setting of the implementation of the
    intervention, and who is responsible. The
    accountability plan also must address the
    measurable outcomes, the rubric for intervention
    adjustment, and the description of the skill
    measurement and data keeping responsibilities.
    Schedule for PM is required.

Six Components, cont.
  • It is critical that a schedule for and a design
    of a PM system be established and maintained
    throughout the system. Develop the PM system
    prior to the intervention. This must be done on
    regular intervals.
  • Once you have implemented the five critical
    components above, you are now ready to implement
    the comparison of your baseline date to your

Four Top Intervention Team Responsibilities
  • Define the ProblemDetermine IF a problem
    existsForm a hypothesis based on the definition
    of the problemDetermine why the problem occurs
  • Develop a planSpecificityClearly defined goals
  • Implement the planWhoWhatWhereWhen
  • Evaluateon-going assessment of data is needed to
    determine effectiveness of the planReview goals
    and objectives plot student data Answer the
    following questions

Questions to Evaluate
  • Did the team identify all of the objectives and
    assign meaningful goals?
  • Did the student meet/exceed the goals and
  • Was the student successful?

Five Stages of the Intervention Team Process
  • Stage I Request for Assistance
  • Stage II Consultation
  • Stage III Problem Identification and Analysis
  • Stage IV Develop and Implement the Intervention
  • Stage V Evaluate the Intervention

A Model for Implementation
  • Screening (Responsibility general education with
  • Modification of general education program,
    minimum of 6-8 documented weeks (Responsibility
    general education)
  • Monitoring responsiveness to general education
    (Responsibility general education with support)
  • Referral to school support team, diagnostic
    intervention minimum 9 weeks (Responsibility
    general education with support)

Model, cont.
  • Monitoring response to diagnostic treatment
    (Responsibility general education with support)
  • More intensive diagnostic intervention, minimum
    9-12 weeks
  • Monitoring response to diagnostic treatment
    (Responsibility general education with support)
  • (Step 1 for special education consideration of

Do We REALLY Want To Do This?
  • It Depends
  • If we are interested in as many students AS
    POSSIBLE achieving benchmarks AND AYP--its the
    best thing we have
  • If we are looking to solve pedagogical management
    problems for diverse populations, then probably

How Long Will It Take to Implement this
  • 1-3 years
  • Take it one step (e.g., skill) at a time.
  • Start with young students (Kindergarten)
  • Consider Tier 1 issues
  • Create Tier 2 options with existing staff and
  • Develop a 3 year plan for staff
  • Ease their job with social support and technology
  • Use networks-avoid reinventing the wheel.

Implications for Team Members
  • Identification of evidence-based interventions
    for high rate student concerns
  • Identification of Tier 1 interventions
  • Identification of Tier 2 interventions
  • Identification of Tier 3 interventions
  • Methods to assess response to intervention
  • We must relate student outcomes to service