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RtI in Secondary Schools


RtI in Secondary Schools Effective Practices and Pitfalls Donald D. Deshler & Leslie C. Novosel – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: RtI in Secondary Schools

RtI in Secondary Schools
  • Effective Practices and Pitfalls
  • Donald D. Deshler Leslie C. Novosel

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Session Objectives
  • To explain the work of the Center for Research on
  • To identify and describe the needs of secondary
    struggling learners
  • To provide an overview of the essential
    components of RtI at the secondary level
  • To identify and discuss events that enhance and
    impede progress of a school-wide secondary
    literacy reform initiative

KU Center for Research on Learning - CRL
Division of Adult Studies
Kansas Coaching Project
Advanced Learning Technologies
E-Learning Lab
Institute for Research on Adolescent Learning
Professional Learning Institue
Professional Learning Institute Seeks new ways
to deliver quality learning opportunities,
conceptualize models of PD, and provide support
to teachers and other school personnel. The
ultimate goal is improved student achievement
through effective teaching practices.
Institute for Research on Adolescent
Learning Develop and research instructional
practices, strategies, and programs that
significantly enhance the achievement of
adolescents who struggle with learning.
What We Know
  • Models Interventions for Secondary Learners
  • ARE Supported by Valid Research
  • Increasing Access to Content Area Instruction
    (Biancarosa Snow, 2004)
  • Strategic Instruction Model (Lenz, Deshler,
    Kissam, 2003)
  • Secondary Behavior Support (Sprick, 2006)

  • Framework for Guiding the Development of
  • Schoolwide Literacy Services in Secondary Schools
  • Ensure mastery of critical core curriculum
    content to develop the background knowledge
    required for comprehension, independent learning,
    and cumulative literacy development.
  • Integrate key learning strategies into and across
    core curriculum courses
  • Develop support structures to more explicitly and
    intensively teach those strategies that are
    required/ integrated across core curriculum
    courses for those students who need more direct
    instruction than can be provided by teachers in
    core curriculum courses.
  • Identify and support the development of intensive
    literacy course options and services (i.e., for
    students with literacy skills below a fourthgrade
    level) that are integrated into overall
    schoolwide literacy development efforts.
  • Prepare professionals that support literacy
    goals, such as those provided through speech and
    language specialists, to provide clinical support
    services consistent with schoolwide literacy

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Profile of Adolescent Reader
  • Results of descriptive study conducted with 346
    adolescent readers in which 83 of the students
    attended urban schools (Hock, Brasseur, Deshler,
    Catts, Marquis, 2005)
  • Struggling adolescent readers
  • Overall reading skill at or below 40th
  • Need word level, vocab, fluency, comprehension
  • Highly proficient readers
  • Acquired word-level skills
  • Comprehension skills (just above average)
  • Need high-level comprehension skill instruction

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RtI Conceptualized
Elementary RtI Secondary RtI
One Multiple
Basic Skills Content
Seamless Disjointed
Small Large
Children Adolescents
Flexible Consequences
Funding Limited

IDEA Principles RtI
  • IDEA mandates that students with disabilities be
  • educated with children without disabilities to
  • the maximum extent appropriate... and that
  • students with disabilities be removed to
  • separate classes or schools only when the
  • nature or severity of their disabilities is
    such that
  • they cannot receive an appropriate education in
  • a general education classroom with
  • supplementary aids and services

Essential Components
Mission Statement Clear, focused Commitment
Leadership Team Key Players United Front
Multitiered System of Support Clearly Defined Evidence-based, Fluid
Universal Screening/Progress Monitoring Measures Decision-making
Logisitics Service Providers Scheduling
Mission Statement Clear, focused Commitment
  • If a Student Has a Severe Basic Skill Discrepancy
    (e.g., Reading),Special Education Programs Will
    Be Focussed on Intensive, Teacher-Directed
    Reading Instruction as Early and Powerfully as
  • If a student has basic skill levels, Special
    Education will Support Teachers and Students in
    Content Classes Through SIM and Effective
    Behavior Support

Mission Statement
  • The mission or vision statement clarifies the
    intent of the program, its philosophy, and the
    core responsibilities of the special education
    teacher, the paraprofessional, and the students.
  • Without a central philosophy or purpose, special
    education programs, especially Resource Rooms,
    lack definition and may become tutoring programs,
    or anything else others deem it to be.
  • Be proactive in defining and protecting the
    purpose and integrity of your
  • program.

Leadership Team Key Players United Front
  • Representative Membership of Limited size
  • Action Plan
  • Process for Raising Concerns
  • Commitment to Perservere
  • Acknowledgement of Time to Allow for Change

Action Plan
Universal Screening/Progress Monitoring Measures Decision-making
Universal Screening Conducted as the first
stage within a screening process Identify or
predict students who may be at-risk for poor
learning outcomes. Typically brief conducted
with all students at a grade level Followed by
additional testing or short-term progress
monitoring to corroborate students risk
status Progress Monitoring Used to Assess
students academic performance Quantify a
student rate of improvement or responsiveness to
instruction Evaluate the effectiveness of
instruction Can be implemented with individual
students or an entire class
Universal Screening/Progress Monitoring Measures Decision-making
  • Must address all the important aspects of
    literacy, including writing
  • Develop a broad approach to progress monitoring
  • Pay close attention to
  • the scope and function of decision-making teams
  • fluid movement across levels
  • Resources
  • http//www.rtinetwork.org
  • http//www.studentprogress.org

Logisitics Service Providers Scheduling
  • Response to Scheduling
  • At the secondary level is the complexity of the
    organization and the nightmare of scheduling,
    especially in high schools.
  • The definition of tiers is an issue
  • Who, what, how, and for how long?
  • How intensive should the third tier be before it
    can be considered "specialized" and, therefore,
    more appropriately a special education service?
  • Difficult (although not impossible) for secondary
    schools to promote flexible movement across tiers
    within a semester course schedule.
  • Issue of credits students must be sure to take
    the courses they need to earn a diploma.

Voices From MS Principals
  • Most vital behaviors key to your success as a
    leader with your RTI initiative?
  • Flexible, Keep an Open Mind
  • Believe/Value/Confidence in System, Passionate,
    Fully Invested
  • Hold All Responsible for Collecting/Monitoring
  • Observe, Model, Provide Feedback, and Support
  • Clear Communication

Voices From MS Principals
  • 2 core competencies essential to creating
    successful RTI implementation in MS?
  • Passionate that all kids can learn, even
    low-performing 10, real children behind the
  • Moral obligation, tenacity and not giving up
  • Humor, keep perspective, be a learner by putting
    in the time and effort
  • Set high expectations, be involved supportive
    at every step
  • Calm and confident, consistent
  • Not punitive, listen to staff
  • Collaborator, flexibility by monitoring and
    adjusting as needed
  • Good relationship with staff, caring team player

Voices From MS Principals
  • 2 most important things you have done to get
    buy-in (or deal with resistance) from staff?
  • Active involvement, let teachers be managers
  • Didn't sugar coat ugly data, came to conclusion
    together after recognizing the
  • need, ecourage questions, sharing info all of
    the time
  • Ability to deliver "hard messages" such as "get
    on the train or get off"
  • Fireside chats with staff, modeling
  • Explicit District expectations, improvement plans
  • Not punitive, proactive
  • Address concerns privately, coaching, dialogue,
  • Honesty, open door policy, no tolerance for

Voices From MS Principals
  • What is the probability that RTI can succeed in
    MS w/o extraordinarily strong leadership?
  • Slim
  • 100 no, would be a scheduling nightmare
  • 50/50, good teachers could do it but wold be
    operating in a vacuum without leadership
  • You have to have leadership, but credit should go
    to staff
  • It won't happen
  • It can't, leadership is crucial
  • It cannot
  • It can't, leadership is crucial
  • it can't

What Will it Take?
  • It would be foolhardy to assume, however, that
    because there is a focus on RTI
  • at the elementary level, there is no need to
    attend to it in middle, junior,
  • and high schools (Ehren, www.rtinetwork.org).
  • Explain how the rationale of RTI relates to
    secondary education
  • Be prepared to dispel myths that would thwart RTI
  • Be encouraged by the opportunities RTI presents
    in secondary settings
  • Be cognizant of, but undaunted by, the challenges
    of implementing RTI in secondary schools
  • Ask key questions with an ear tuned to positive
  • RtI Action Network

To Move the Needle...
  • Integrated, school-wide approach
  • Entire school community takes ownership of the
    problem (all my students vs my students)
  • Belief that change can happen (It is what it
  • Empowered to raise achievement (Job embedded PD,
    instructional coaching)

Closing Remarks
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