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Re-Imagining RTI: Creating a Multi-Tiered Support System for At-Risk Secondary Students MOLLY FERRYMAN, TITLE I COORDINATOR THE ACADEMY FOR URBAN SCHOLARS, COLUMBUS, OHIO
The Essentials of Response to Intervention (RTI)
What is Response to Intervention (RTI)? Response to Intervention (RTI) integrates assessment and intervention within a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and reduce behavioral problems. It emphasizes the importance of high-quality, research-based instruction in the classroom to foster student achievement and limit learning difficulties through use of proven teaching methods. It is preventative and provides immediate support to students who are at risk for poor learning outcomes
Essential Components of RTI
Components of RTI: Screening § Purpose: Identify students who are at risk of poor learning outcomes § Focus: All students § Tools: Brief assessments that are valid, reliable, and demonstrate diagnostic accuracy for predicting learning or behavioral problems. § Timeframe: Administered more than one time per year (e. g. , fall, winter, and spring)
Components of RTI: Progress Monitoring § Purpose: Monitor student’s response to primary, secondary or tertiary instruction in order to estimate rates of improvement, identify students who are not demonstrating adequate progress, and compare the efficacy of different forms of instruction. § Focus: Students identified through screening as at risk for poor learning outcomes. § Tools: Brief assessments that are valid and reliable for monitoring student growth. § Timeframe: Students are assessed at regular intervals (e. g. , weekly, biweekly, or monthly)
Essential Components of RTI: Data. Based Decision Making § Data analyses occurs at all levels of RTI implementation (e. g. , state, district, school, grade level) as well as all levels of prevention (e. g. , primary, secondary, tertiary) § Establish routines and procedures for making decisions § Use explicit decision rules to assess student progress (e. g. , state and district benchmarks, level and/or rate) § Data are used to compare and contrast the adequacy of the core curriculum and the effectiveness of different instructional and behavioral strategies.
Essential Components of RTI: Multi-Level Prevention System
The Three Levels of Intervention
The Three Levels of Intervention Primary Secondary Tertiary (Intensive) Focus: Students identified through screening as at risk for poor learning outcomes. Focus: Students who have not responded to primary and secondary level prevention. Instruction: District curriculum and instructional practices that are evidencebased; aligned with state or district standards; incorporate differentiated instruction. Setting: Title I Classroom, Push-in and/or pull out Instruction: Targeted, supplemental instruction delivered to small groups. Instruction: Intensive intervention adapted to address individual needs through the systematic use of assessment data, validated interventions, and research-based instruction or behavior support strategies. Assessments: Screening, continuous progress monitoring, and outcome measures Assessments: Progress monitoring, diagnostic Focus: All students Setting: General education Setting: Special education
Checking Your School’s RTI Heartbeat: How much do you know about your school’s RTI program? Complete the table for your school’s RTI program and review with someone from another school or district.
Developing and Implementing Effective RTI
Implementation of RTI in the Secondary School Secondary schools should expect that RTI will take several years to fully implement (Burns & Riley. Tillman, 2009), that this initiative will include a sizable number of components, and that it will impact instruction and behavior management across the entire building. Because of its complexity and large scope, RTI requires careful planning.
Reviewing Your Progress towards Implementation of RTI Look over Jim Wright’s checklist “Middle and High Schools: Top Tasks for Implementing RTI” (Exhibit 1 -A) and assess the progress towards the implementation of RTI in your school or district. Discuss your progress with colleagues in a small group. What is the overall progress in the implementation of RTI in our schools?
Key Steps to Ensuring Successful Implementation of RTI Allocate Resources Get Everyone on Board Create an RTI Team Choose your Data Sources Determine which students are atrisk Implement Interventions Progress Monitoring Consistent Evaluation Focus on Leadership
Focus on Leadership The most critical element in the RTI framework is setting a clear vision and gaining the full commitment of the school leadership, from the district office to the principal’s office, as well as teacher leaders, instructional specialists, and those who influence teacher practice throughout the school (Maier et al. , 2016; O’Conner & Freeman, 2012).
Build Capacity and Allocate Resources Answer core questions: • Does the school have the resources in place to successfully implement RTI now and in the future? • What changes are needed to allocate resources more strategically? • Do the teachers and support staff (e. g. paraprofessionals and coaches) have the skills to use new curricular tools to assess student performance, adjust instruction for students, and make decisions about overall student growth? How will staff members develop their capacity in these areas?
Get Everyone on Board When buy-in is low, the new program is less likely to be implemented for the long term (Damschroder et al. , 2009: Fixsen, Naoom, Blase, Freidman, & Wallace, 2005).
Addressing Teacher Resistance to RTI Teachers may be resistant to implementing RTI in their classrooms for several reasons including: • May be concerned that they will lose control of classroom behaviors if they attempt new intervention strategies (Gerber, 2003; Kamil et al. , 2008) • Reluctant to provide RTI intervention support to apparently unmotivated students (Walker, 2004). • General education teachers are less likely to support individualized student interventions and more likely favor group-based instructional and behavioral management strategies. Additionally, teachers vary in their ability to instruct and manage behaviors effectively (Gerber, 2003; Kamil et al. , 2008)
Addressing Teacher Resistance to RTI Review Engaging the Reluctant Teacher and select the top 3 reasons that MOST apply to your school. Number those selected items in order of importance. Then for each of the explanations you select, generate ideas to overcome teacher reluctance. Share with a colleague or in small groups. What are the top three reasons that teachers are reluctant to use RTI in our schools? How can we overcome teacher reluctance?
Create an RTI Team RTI Implementation can be easier, faster, and more effective when a team guides all RTIrelated efforts (Fixsen, Blase, Timbers & Wolf, 2001; Shepherd, 2006). RTI team should broadly reflect all of the staff roles (Pierce & Arden, 2017) and should include the principal and other administrators with decision-making authority, as well as: § Major curriculum staff---math, language arts, science, social studies teachers; § Staff with intervention expertise, such as school psychologists, speech and language therapists, and coaches. § General education and special education teachers who work with students across all grade levels; and § Support staff (e. g. paraprofessionals)
Create an RTI Team members are responsible for: • Spelling out school’s vision for RTI as a specific and measurable goal for improved student learning. • Ensuring that there is a school-wide system for storing and analyzing student data; • Developing ways for teachers to review the data in a timely fashion; and • Developing a communication plan to spell out how parents, school staff, district staff, and others will share successes, challenges and potential solutions related to RTI.
What does an RTI Team Meeting Look Like? Review the following documents: • Exhibit 3 -B: RTI Introductory Script • Exhibit 3 -C: RTI Problem-Solving Team Roles and Responsibilities • Exhibit 3 -D RTI Team: Initial Meeting Companion Guide • Exhibit 3 -D Form 1: Common Methods for Monitoring Student Progress Toward Behavioral and Academic Goals • Exhibit 3 -E: RTI Team: Initial Meeting Minutes Form: Secondary Grades
What does an RTI Meeting Look Like? Review the following documents in RTI: Data-Based Decision Making: Case Study Unit • RTI: Data-Based Decision Making Overview • RTI: Data-Based Decision Making Determining Performance Level • RTI: Data-Based Decision Making Determining Rate of Growth • RTI: Data-Based Decision Making Using the Dual-Discrepancy Approach
What Does an RTI Meeting Look Like? Review the following case study: Hannah Complete the following: • Review the Case Study Set Introduction and each of the STAR sheets on the possible activities listed above. • Using the seven weeks of progress monitoring data outlined in the case, calculate Hannah’s slope. • Determine whether Hannah is responding adequately to Tier I instruction. Elaborate. • Based on your evaluation, what tier of instruction would you recommend for Hannah?
What Does an RTI Meeting Look Like? Mock RTI Meeting Roles: • Facilitator • Recorder • Time-Keeper • Case Manager • Coordinator
What Does an RTI Meeting Look Like? For Hannah’s case: 1. Assess Teacher’s Concerns 2. Inventory Hannah’s strengths and weaknesses 3. Review Baseline or Background Data 4. Select Target Teacher Concerns 5. Set Academic and/or Behavioral Outcome Goals and Methods for Progress Monitoring 6. Design an Intervention Plan 7. Plan How to Share Meeting Information with the Student’s Parent(s) 8. Review Intervention & Monitoring Plans
Determine which students are at risk through universal screening Using a valid, reliable screening tool is first step in determining which students are at risk of poor learning outcomes. Universal screening should be used two to three times a year to “catch” students who may not have been at risk in a previous screening and monitor the risk status of students previously identified as at-risk. Additionally, regular data collection allows staff to critically gauge the effectiveness of their instruction and interventions. Can administer a secondary assessment---a progress monitoring, diagnostic, or other more targeted informal assessment—to identify students’ specific areas of need and to verify the universal screening results.
Implement Interventions The core of Tier I (Gen Ed classroom) instruction is high-quality instruction differentiated to meet the needs of each student. When students are not performing on grade level, instruction must be designed to meet the students where they are and propel them toward grade-level expectations. Tier 2 instruction uses research-based interventions to target specific skill gaps and/or a standard protocol intervention (packaged program such as Read Naturally) For students who do not make adequate progress with Tier 2 interventions they will need more individualized and intense intervention to address their skill gap on Tier 3.
Research-Based Interventions for RTI http: //www. rti 4 success. org/sites/default/files/interventions_in_rti_model_qanda. pd f http: //www. interventioncentral. org/response-to-intervention http: //www. intensiveintervention. org https: //www. specialeducationguide. com/pre-k-12/response-tointervention/effective-rti-strategies-for-teachers/
Progress Monitoring Used to assess student progress or performance in those areas in which they were identified by universal screening as being at-risk for failure (e. g. , reading, mathematics, social behavior). Method by which teachers or other school personnel determine if students are benefitting appropriately from the typical instructional program, identify students who are not making adequate progress and help guide the construction of effective intervention programs for students who are not profiting from typical instruction (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2006).
Progress Monitoring According to the National Center on Student Progress Monitoring, progress monitoring has the following benefits when it is implemented correctly: 1. Students learn more quickly because they are receiving more appropriate instruction; 2. Teachers make more informed instructional decisions; 3. Documentation of student progress is available for accountability purposes. 4. Communication improves between families and professionals about student progress; 5. Teachers have higher expectations for their students; and 6. There is a decrease in special education referrals.
Progress Monitoring To be effective progress monitoring must be: • Available in alternate forms, comparable in difficulty and conceptualization, and representative of the performance desired at the end of the year (Fuchs, Compton, Fuchs et al. , 2008). • Short and Easily administered by a classroom teacher, special education teacher, or school psychologist (Fuchs & Stecker, 2003).
Continuous Coaching for Teachers Coaching has been shown to lead to improved teacher outcomes. Consists of: • Observations of teachers and other staff as they attempt to implement RTI practices • Modeling of effective RTI practices, and • Performance feedback about RTI practices (Kretlow & Bartholomew, 2010; Neuman & Cunningham, 2009; Pierce & Buysse, 2015).
Continuous Coaching for Teachers Coaching also: • Enables staff to build on content learned from training to apply the newly acquired knowledge and skills to their classrooms (Joyce & Showers, 2002). • Equips teachers with skills to apply new practices over time until the new practices become a regular part of their teaching routine. • Guide teachers toward making more nuanced adjustments to how they use these practices to better meet specific learning needs.
Evaluate for Consistent Implementation science research suggests that educational innovations, such as the RTI framework, are most effective if used as designed (Balu et al, 2015). Fidelity of RTI allows educators to better understand if all essential components of RTI are being used and the degree to which those components were effective or ineffective. Higher levels of fidelity are linked to improved student outcomes (Durlak & Du. Pre, 2008).
RTI and At-Risk Secondary Populations
The Reality of RTI in the At-Risk Secondary Classroom Only approximately 75% of students who enter 9 th grade graduate from high school (Chapman, Laird, & Kewal. Ramami, 2010) and low academic skills contribute to a student dropping out of high school. It is reasonable to assume that at least 25% of students who enter 9 th grade have some form of academic deficit. If 25% of students have academic difficulties, then a high school with approximately 1, 600 students would likely have approximately 400 students who need additional support. School personnel cannot derive individual interventions for that many students.
The Reality of RTI in the At-Risk Secondary Classroom Distribution of Tiers at The Academy For Urban Scholars 0% 27% 32% 41% Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
The Reality of RTI in the At-Risk Secondary Classroom Grade MAP Reading - Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 -4% K 1 st 2 nd 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 th 8 th 9 th 10 th 11 th 12 th 1% 6% Fall 2016 Reading 11% Spring 2017 Reading 16% 21% 26%
The Reality of RTI in the At-Risk Secondary Classroom Grade MAP Math - Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 -4% K 1 st 2 nd 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 th 8 th 9 th 10 th 11 th 12 th 1% 6% Fall 2016 Reading 11% 16% Spring 2017 Reading 21% 26%
The Reality of RTI in the At-Risk Secondary Classroom: Attendance Rate
Difficulties Implementing the RTI Model in Secondary Schools RTI framework designed to be preventative and provide early intervention. Secondary at-risk students have significant achievement gaps and have years of academic progress to make up. RTI framework specifically designed for elementary schools and because of high school’s unique culture, structure, and organization implementation is often difficult.
The Challenges of Implementing RTI in Secondary Schools There are several common challenges in secondary schools: • Staff Capacity – High school teachers view themselves as teachers of content and not equipped to teach struggling students, students with disabilities and/or ELLs. • Scheduling – High school scheduling is very rigid and does not allow for flexibility required for movement across tiers. Students’ day is fragmented because they move from one class to another. • Resources – Most resources are designed for Elementary RTI. Pre-packaged materials may be “babyish” and not appropriate for secondary school students. • Fidelity – Lack of tools available for use at high school level to assess fidelity. Also domain-specific knowledge required of assessor is significant.
The Challenges of Implementing RTI in Secondary Schools Additional Challenges: • Crediting interventions on transcripts • Paucity of research on the efficacy of core, supplemental, and intensive instruction with struggling learners in grades 9 -12 exists. • Few measures appropriate for screening or progress monitoring purposes have been validated for use with high school students. • Low attendance rates impact ability to effectively use progress monitoring and implement the RTI time frame for Tiers 2 (6 weeks) and 3 (9 -12 weeks). • Lack of adequate time for teacher collaboration and planning.
Overcoming the Challenges of Implementing RTI in Secondary Schools Significant challenges of implementing RTI in Secondary Schools, especially with at-risk students, do not mean that we should totally abandon the RTI framework. We can make RTI at the secondary level work by: 1. Fixing the Core Curriculum – ensure that teachers are teaching strategies and not just content and that they are using best practices. 2. Catching students before they fail – build academic interventions into struggling students’ schedules from day one of high school. 3. Forgetting the triangle – RTI model should be flexible and made to meet the needs of all students in the school. 4. Providing Professional development for teachers – give them the skills and strategies they need to provide interventions in their classrooms. 5. Finding additional time in the daily schedule for collaboration.
Molly A. Ferryman [email protected] com The Academy for Urban Scholars 1808 E. Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43203 (614) 545 -9890