Thursday, October 30, 2008

What Is RTI? What does it mean for me?

According to the Delaware Department of Education, RTI is:

Effective Educational Practices for All
• “RTI is the practice of providing high-quality instruction and intervention matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about change in instruction or goals and applying child response data to important educational decisions. RTI should be applied to decisions in general, remedial and special education, creating a well-integrated system of instruction/intervention guided by child outcome data.” (NASDSE, 2005)

High quality instruction: Using district recommended curriculum, teaching grade-level GLE, adapting to student needs, differentiating instruction, mobile-flexible groupings of students.

Intervention matched to student need: Student is assessed and instruction is matched.

Monitoring progress: Students are given assessments using a tool such as DIBELS or GATES

Applying child response data to important educational decisions: Teams meet to make decisions regarding interventions, strategies, and classroom groupings.


When looking at providing services to students we must think about the following:

  • We can effectively teach all children in the least restrictive environment (usually the regular education classroom)
  • Early intervention is key to success.
  • Use research-based, scientifically validated core instruction with fidelity. You should be teaching your district curriculum on a daily basis.
  • Use assessment data for multiple purposes (screening, progress monitoring, and diagnosing, grouping)
  • Use a problem solving method to make decisions within a multi-tiered model of service delivery
  • Use research-based, scientifically validated interventions matched to student need with continuous progress monitoring
  • Use data to make all decisions
  • Use data to analyze groupings of students, regroup students, determine strengths, and areas needed for growth.
  • Use data to help guide teaching for whole group learning.


What does RTI mean for me?

  • All students in elementary will be sceened in reading three times a year.
  • At risk students will be screened within the first two weeks in elementary (initial screening) and these students will be progress monitored throughout the year. (For additional information on screenings, please see TIERS tabs)
  • After each screening, if 20% or more of students in a classroom are not meeting the benchmark, a school based team will review the data and provide additional support and assistance to the classroom teacher.
  • Administration needs to make informed decisions when placing students in classrooms. Previous assessment data needs to factored into placement decisions.


What is Delaware’s Interpretation of Response to Intervention (RTI)?

  1. Tier I implementation of a differentiated curriculum with different instructional methods. You should be differentiating your instruction for ALL the students in your classroom with both whole group and small group instruction.
  2. Tiers II has increasingly intense scientific, research-based interventions. Classroom Teacher’s small group, reading specialists, paraprofessional support, inclusion teacher, special education teacher.
  3. Tier III has increasingly intense scientific, research-based interventions. Classroom Teacher’s small group, reading specialists, paraprofessional support, inclusion teacher, special education teacher.
  4. Instructional intensity addressed through duration, frequency and time of interventions, group size, and matched instructor expertise to student need. As TIERS increase time and level of intervention increases.

What is the role is the IST team?

Who will (may) be present at the IST team meetings? Each school is responsible for determining their own school team.
1. Building Administrator
2. Classroom Teacher
3. Building Counselor
4. Building/District Psychologist
5. Parent/Guardian (optional)
6. Nurse
7. Family Interventionist
8. Outside Agencies
9. Special Education Teachers
10. Reading Specialist/Reading Coach

This team is responsible for:
1. Analyzing data
2. Making recommendations for student success
3. Determining interventions for student success and assigning WHO will provide those
interventions. (6 week plan – see Sample Documentation Pages tab)
4. Documenting student progress during the RTI progression of TIERS
5. Accountability
6. Assigning a case manager to assist the teacher in monitoring/providing interventions

Before you attend an IST meeting, please bring the following:
  • Data notebooks
  • A portfolio of student work
  • General description of child’s work habits
  • Copies of report cards, progress reports, progress monitoring data, assessments, previous year’s data, DSTP data (if available), retentions, summer school, behavior logs
  • Logs of parent contacts, contact log, parent notes, conference logs
  • Interventions already tried in the classroom (What worked? What didn’t work?)
  • Ideas of interventions yet to be tried.

TIER I: Regular Classroom Instruction

TIER I: Regular Classroom Instruction

According to Capital School District recommendation teachers must complete at least 90 minutes of whole group/small group reading instruction and at least 30-45 minutes of writing instruction daily. All students in your classroom must receive this TIER I instruction daily. It is recommended that this instruction remain uninterrupted.

Students may also be referred to the IST team for behavior problems that are affecting their progress in the classroom.

Students on TIER I will complete the following assessments through the year to monitor progress:

K: DIBELS: Sept. Jan. May
Kindergarten Assessment: Jan. May
1: DIBELS: Sept. Jan. May
Harcourt Holistic: 1.4, 1.5
Gates: Sept, May
Harcourt Holistic: 2:1, Theme 3, 2:2 Theme 1
Gates: Sept, May
Harcourt Holistic: 3.1 Theme 3, 3:2 Theme 1&3
Gates: Sept, May
4: DIBELS: Sept. May
Harcourt Holistic: 4.1 Theme 3, 4.2 Theme 1
Gates: Sept, May


Students not at benchmark on any screening…

– Begin progress monitoring

If students are at or below 25% percentile or cut score of designated assessment
  • Move immediately to Tier II

If they are between 25% percentile or cut score of designated assessment and benchmark

  • School-based team reviews program and progress
    (Needs-based, differentiation, fidelity, pacing, appropriateness of groupings)
  • At least six weeks of Tier I interventions

  • Progress monitored every two weeks

TIER II ... What does it look like?

TIER II: Students not responding to Tier I efforts – group and individual interventions, Specialized Research-based Interventions

If no progress, or insufficient progress, after six weeks of Tier II interventions, then Instructional Support Team (IST) reviews:

Additional assessments?

Previous interventions.

Changes in instruction or behavioral interventions?

Determine whether child needs Tier III interventions?

The child’s progress is also being evaluated during the Tier II interventions after each progress monitoring to determine if the student is on target to meet the goal. If not, the intervention will be adjusted at that point instead of continuing with a program that is not working.

If no progress, or insufficient progress, after 12 total weeks of Tier II interventions, child
moves to Tier III interventions.

TIER II in the classroom…

  • State regulations state that you meet at least 90 minutes per week with no less than two sessions, but Capital School District recommends that you meet daily with your TIER II intervention groups.

  • Weekly progress monitoring

  • Small group needs-based interventions

  • At least six weeks of Tier II interventions

TIER III ...What does it look like?

Tier III: Students not responding to Tier I or II interventions – Sustained Intensive Individual Interventions

Possible Special Education Identification for non-responders of Tier III interventions after a period of time (approximately 24 school weeks of interventions)
  • At least 150 minutes a week with no less than four sessions but CSD recommends daily.
  1. Reading support teacher 30 min/day 150 min/week.
  2. Inclusion classroom meeting with regular education teacher and/or inclusion (Special Education) teacher group 30 min day 150 min/week.

  3. Intervention period: 30 min/day 150 min/week small group
  • Weekly progress monitoring continues (will be conducted by Reading Support Teacher)
  • Smaller group sizes than Tier II

  • At least six weeks of Tier III interventions


If after six weeks of Tier III interventions (for a total of 18 weeks of intervention)… Child has made little progress, then IST refers the child for special education evaluation.

If progress is made at TIER III, but the child is not on trajectory to meet end-of-year benchmarks, then IST reviews:

• Additional assessments?
• Previous interventions

If after 6 additional weeks of Tier 3 interventions (for a total of 24 weeks)…
If progress is made, but child is not on trajectory to meet end-of-year benchmarks, then IST refers the child for special education evaluation:

• Changes in instruction or behavioral interventions?
• Refer for special education evaluation?

Interventions/Accomodations What's the difference? Samples

What’s the difference between an intervention and an accommodation?

Delaware Department of Education’s (DOE) definition of an intervention is:
  • An intervention is focused on specific, targeted performance deficits identified through scientifically researched based screenings and/or diagnostic assessment.
  • Interventions are provided in addition to the core curriculum with the intent of improving the at risk student’s proficiency in meeting grade level expectations.

  • Interventions may be selected through a standard treatment protocol approach or a problem solving approach.
  • Interventions require either the teaching of a researched based strategy or a skill that is focused on increasing the at risk student’s proficiency in the targeted area, either academically or behaviorally.
  • Success of the intervention is determined by collecting data on it’s effectiveness in improving student performance through progress monitoring.

Accommodations are frequently referenced with regard to students with disabilities.

Accommodations are practices and procedures in the areas of presentation, response, setting and timing/scheduling that provide equitable access to the general (core) curriculum during instruction and assessments for students with disabilities.

Accommodations are intended to reduce or even eliminate the effects of a student’s disability. Accommodations do not reduce learning expectations.

Accommodations typically refer to testing situations. Students who have IEPs typically have testing accommodations and daily classroom accommodations. Please see a list of sample accommodations below. (Please note: THESE ARE NOT INTERVENTIONS)

Testing Accommodations
· Read aloud words, phrases, sentences in questions, or answer choices
· Allow oral responses
· Use a scribe
· Vary the testing format
· Allow use of technology
· Give extra time for completion
· Divide into more than one administration
· Shorten length of a long test
· Limit answer choices
· Allow test to be given in a smaller group
· Change time of day or test
· Change testing location
· Provide monitored test breaks
· Follow district/state guidelines for testing allowances
Interventions Used in Capital School Distict:

DIBELS Strategic Students: (Usually TIER II students -- Students who IST Teams have met and determinded goals and interventions -- see Sample Documentation Sheet)

DIBELS Intensive Students: (These students will begin the IST process as TIER II Students --See Tab for information about TIER II. If progress is not made, IST team reconvenes and decisions are made whether to move the student to TIER III.)

General Supports to Consider: Supports may be considered a subset of accommodations. Usually technological in nature (ie. High tech support such as, communications devices, computers, IPods, and various software programs, or low tech supports such as adaptive equipment), they allow the student to either access the core curriculum and/or effectively and efficiently communicate their knowledge and learning.

Reading Supports
· Use books on tape
· Provide books/study sheets with key phrases/words highlighted
· Allow use of tape recorders
· Use visuals to add meaning
· Allow students to highlight key points
· Provide bulleted information
· Use audible reading software
· Practice skills using electronic devices
· Provide graphic organizers
· Use direct teacher and strategy instruction
· Use small group instruction
· Use paired reading and echo reading
· Use magnifying bars
· Use word frames
· Present new vocabulary visually
· Describe visual examples
· Use study aids/manipulatives
· Exempt from reading aloud before peers
· Use live reader (e.g., peer)

Writing/Written Expression Supports
· Use a keyboard
· Utilize content outline with major points in bold
· Allow student to tape record lesson
· Provide hard copy of class notes
· Allow oral response
· Use a scribe
· Provide additional time to complete assignments
· Do not penalize for handwriting or spelling errors
· Tape record student thoughts prior to writing
· Use a personal dictionary and thesaurus
· Use graphic organizer to plan composition
· Provide different kinds and colors of paper
· Allow extra time for written and/or oral responses
· Tape essay responses
· Use visual instructional aids
· Allow use of a computer
· Use activity sheets that require minimal writing.

Classroom Environment Supports
· Reduce unnecessary visual stimuli/clutter
· Seat student in low traffic area
· Eliminate distracters from desk
· Stand near students when instructions are given
· Post daily routine in writing in a visible location
· Allow the student frequent breaks if needed
· Include opportunities for physical activity
· Use a study carrel
· Keep extra supply of pencils, pens, and paper
· Have a pre-arranged cue for the student to leave room
· Use a checklist to check off completed tasks
· Allow student to sit on a T-stool/balance ball or stand while working
· Use earplugs/headphones to minimize noise
· Allow student to transition ahead of the class.

Instructional Supports
· Use peer-individual tutoring
· Use pairs or small group work
· Provide copy of class notes
· Provide enlarged copies of handouts
· Allow recording of oral instruction
· Incorporate technology into lesson
· Use overhead and other visuals in oral presentations
· Provide copy of projected materials
· Tech specific study skills
· Allow variety of student responses
· Accept computer processed or typed assignments
· Face students for lip reading
· Provide written and verbal directions with visuals when possible
· Highlight key points within written text/material
· Encourage student to repeat directions orally

Materials Supports
· Assignment notebooks/calendars
· Models or examples of end product
· Written copy of teacher/text/content notes
· Visual aids (e.g., flash cards, fact charts)
· Manipulatives
· Colors overlays
· Content vocabulary study cards with graphics
· Major points highlighted, italicized, or bolded
· Highlighters/highlighter tape
· Tape recorded articles/books
· Human reader (tutor, teacher, peer)
· Study partner to clarify directions
· Graphic organizers

Behavior Supports
· Set clearly defined standards
· Remind students of rules periodically
· Use private signals for reminders
· Assign preferential seating
· Employ teacher proximity
· Make direct eye contact
· Include positive reinforcement and incentives
· Take frequent breaks
· Monitor closely during transitions
· Use calming down or relaxation techniques
· Assign a safe place for ‘cooling down’ or ‘regrouping’ when a student becomes frustrated
· Hold confidential conference and/or discussion on behavior
· Use signals for transitions in advance
· Develop a behavior contract
· Provide a Behavior Improvement Plan

Time Management Supports
· Incorporate breaks between work periods
· Allow extra time for completion of tasks
· Cross off completed tasks from a list on desk
· Provide additional time for homework completion
· Allow extra time for written responses
· Reduce amount of work load from original assignment
· Provide a special location for turning in work
· Use multiple reminders to inform students of upcoming transitions or changes in activity
· Provide a timer for students to use to manage tasks
· Use time management tools (e.g., daily planner, assignment sheet, calendar)
· Extended time for projects, assignment, or assessments
· Change schedule or order of activities to reduce fatigue

Homework Supports
· Display examples/models.
· Provide written and verbal directions
· Break assignments into smaller segments or tasks
· Reduce assignment
· Assign special projects or give alternative assignment
· Extend time for completion of tasks
· Allow oral responses
· Allow audiotaped response
· Allow extra credit
· Assign a study buddy who can copy assignments
· Check that all homework/assignments are written correctly in planner, calendar or homework book
· Sequence the steps in a task by numbering
· Give reminders about due dates for long-term assignments
· Give directions in small steps

Sample Documentation Sheets

Looking for feedback on any of these sheets!! Please comment!! CSD is currently piloting these for their IST meetings. Let me know what you think of them. They follow the RTI process exactly, and have a space for everything necessary. I'm looking for any and all feedback.