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RTI Toolkit: A Practical Guide for SchoolsAn Introduction to Response-toInterventionJim Wright, PresenterJim Wright364 Long RoadTully, NY 13159Email: [email protected]: www.interventioncentral.org

Response to InterventionResponse to InterventionResponse to Intervention:A Guide for SchoolsDownload PowerPoints and Handouts from thisworkshop at:Jim ntral.orgwww.interventioncentral.orgResponse to InterventionResponse to InterventionWorkshop Agenda Discussion: Read the quote below:Understanding the RTI Model“The quality of a school as a learningcommunity can be measured by howeffectively it addresses the needs ofstruggling students.”Function and Structure of the RTI (Problem-Solving) TeamImportance of Data Collection and Progress-MonitoringSelection, Implementation, and Documentation of Research-BasedInterventions--Wright (2005)Do you agree or disagree with this statement?Why?Creating Your Own District or Building RTI ‘Action Plan’www.interventioncentral.org3Response to InterventionSource: Wright, J. (2005, Summer). Five interventions that work. NAESP Leadership Compass, 2(4) pp.1,6.www.interventioncentral.org4Response to InterventionEssential Elements of RTI (Fairbanks, Sugai, Guardino, & Lathrop, 2007)RTI is a Model in Development1. A “continuum of evidence-based services available toall students" that range from universal to highlyindividualized & intensive2. “Decision points to determine if students areperforming significantly below the level of their peersin academic and social behavior domains"3. “Ongoing monitoring of student progress"4. “Employment of more intensive or differentinterventions when students do not improve inresponse" to lesser interventions5. “Evaluation for special education services if studentsdo not respond to intervention instruction"“Several proposals for operationalizing responseto intervention have been made The field canexpect more efforts like these and, for a time atleast, different models to be tested Therefore, itis premature to advocate any single model.”(Barnett, Daly, Jones, & Lentz, 2004 )Source: Barnett, D. W., Daly, E. J., Jones, K. M., & Lentz, F.E. (2004). Response to intervention: Empirically based specialservice decisions from single-case designs of increasing and decreasing intensity. Journal of Special Education, 38, 66-79.www.interventioncentral.org25Source: Fairbanks, S., Sugai, G., Guardino, S., & Lathrop, M. (2007). Response to intervention: Examining classroom behaviorsupport in second grade. Exceptional Children, 73, p. 289.www.interventioncentral.org261

Response to InterventionResponse to InterventionWhat is ‘Response to Intervention’ (RTI)?What are advantages of RTI?'Response to Intervention' is an emerging approach to thediagnosis of Learning Disabilities that holds considerablepromise. In the RTI model: A student with academic delays is given one or moreresearch-validated interventions. The student's academic progress is monitored frequentlyto see if those interventions are sufficient to help thestudent to catch up with his or her peers. If the student fails to show significantly improved academicskills despite several well-designed and implementedinterventions, this failure to 'respond to intervention' can beviewed as evidence of an underlying Learning Disability. One advantage of RTI in the diagnosis of educationaldisabilities is that it allows schools to intervene early tomeet the needs of struggling learners. Another advantage is that RTI maps those specificinstructional strategies found to benefit a particularstudent. This information can be very helpful to bothteachers and ncentral.org7Response to InterventionResponse to InterventionWhat previous approach to diagnosingLearning Disabilities does RTI replace?Learning Disabilities: Test Discrepancy ModelPrior to RTI, many states used a ‘Test-Score Discrepancy Model’ toidentify Learning Disabilities. A student with significantacademic delays would beadministered an battery oftests, including anintelligence test andacademic achievement test(s). If the student was found tohave a substantial gap between a higher IQ score and lowerachievement scores, a formula was used to determine if that gapwas statistically significant and ‘severe’. If the student had a ‘severe discrepancy’ [gap] between IQ andachievement, he or she would be diagnosed with a LearningDisability.“Traditionally, disability is viewed as adeficit that resides within theindividual, the severity of which mightbe influenced, but not created, bycontextual variables.” (Vaughn & ntioncentral.orgResponse to InterventionResponse to InterventionLimitations to the ‘test-scorediscrepancy model’ (Gresham, 2001):Why is RTI now being adopted by schools? Requires chronic school failure BEFORE remedial/special educationsupports can be given. Fails to consider that outside factors such as poor or inconsistentinstruction may contribute to a child's learning delay. A ‘severe discrepancy’ between test scores provides no usefulinformation about WHY the student is doing poorly academically. Different states (and even school districts within the same state) oftenused different formulas to diagnose LD, resulting in a lack of uniformityin identifying children for special education support.www.interventioncentral.org81110Congress passed the revised Individuals With DisabilitiesEducation Improvement Act (IDEIA) in 2004. This Federal legislation provides the guidelines thatschools must follow when identifying children for specialeducation services. Based on the changes in IDEIA 2004, the US Departmentof Education (USDE) updated its regulations to stateeducation departments. The new USDE regulations:– Explicitly ALLOW states to use RTI to identify LD– FORBID states from forcing schools to use a ‘discrepancymodel’ to identify LDwww.interventioncentral.org1232

Response to InterventionResponse to InterventionIDEIA 2004-05 Federal (US Dept of Education)Regulations: What do they say about LD diagnosis?IDEIA 2004-05 Federal (US Dept of Education)Regulations: What do they say about LD diagnosis? (Cont.)In 2004, Congress reauthorized the Individuals With DisabilitiesEducation Improvement Act (IDEIA 2004), including landmark languagein that law to encourage schools to break free of their reliance on thediscredited IQ-Achievement Discrepancy method for identifying LearningDisabilities.The federal regulations also require that schools “ensure thatunderachievement in a child suspected of having a specificlearning disability is not due to lack of appropriate instruction” (34C.F.R. 300 & 301, 2006; p. 46787) by:– demonstrating that “the child was provided appropriate instruction inregular education settings, delivered by qualified personnel” and;The U.S. Department of Education then developed regulations based onIDEIA 2004 to guide state practices. These regulations (34 C.F.R. 300 &301, 2006) direct that states cannot “require the use of a severediscrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determiningwhether a child has a specific learning disability” [Discrepancy Model]– collecting “data-based documentation of repeated assessments ofachievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal assessment ofstudent progress during instruction.”Furthermore, states “must permit the use of a process based on thechild’s response to scientific, research-based intervention” (34 C.F.R.300 & 301, 2006; p. 46786). [RTI entral.org13Response to InterventionResponse to InterventionAt the Federal Level: A ‘Hands-Off Approach to RTIImplementation“There are many RTI models and the regulations are written toaccommodate the many different models that are currently inuse. The Department does not mandate or endorse anyparticular model. Rather, the regulations provide States withthe flexibility to adopt criteria that best meet local needs.Language that is more specific or prescriptive would not beappropriate. For example, while we recognize that rate oflearning is often a key variable in assessing a child’s responseto intervention, it would not be appropriate for the regulationsto set a standard for responsiveness or improvement in therate of learning.” p. 46653Source: U.S. Department of Education. (2006). Assistance to States for the education of children with disabilities andpreschool grants for children with disabilities; final rule. 71 Fed. Reg. (August 14, 2006) 34 CFR Parts 300 and 301.www.interventioncentral.org14What does RTI look like when applied to anindividual student?A widely accepted method for determining whether astudent has a Learning Disability under RTI is the ‘dualdiscrepancy model’ (Fuchs, 2003).– Discrepancy 1: The student is found to be performingacademically at a level significantly below that of his or hertypical peers (discrepancy in initial skills or performance).– Discrepancy 2: Despite the implementation of one or more welldesigned, well-implemented interventions tailored specifically forthe student, he or she fails to ‘close the gap’ with classmates(discrepancy in rate of learning relative to peers).www.interventioncentral.org15Response to Intervention16Response to InterventionThe steps of RTI for an individual case Avg Classroom AcademicPerformance Level1.2.Discrepancy 1: Skill GapDiscrepancy 2:(CurrentGap in Rate ofPerformance Level)Learning (‘SlopeTargetof Improvement’)Student3.4.‘Dual-Discrepancy’: RTI Modelof Learning Disability (Fuchs 2003)www.interventioncentral.org5.17Under RTI, if a student is found to be performing wellbelow peers, the school will:Estimate the academic skill gap between the student andtypically-performing peersDetermine the likely reason(s) for the student’sdepressed academic performanceSelect a scientifically-based intervention likely to improvethe student's academic functioningMonitor academic progress frequently to evaluate theimpact of the interventionIf the student fails to respond to several well-implementedinterventions, consider a referral to Special Educationwww.interventioncentral.org1843

Response to InterventionRTI ‘Pyramid ofInterventions’Tier IIITier IITier IResponse to InterventionTier III: Intensive interventions.Students who are ‘nonresponders’ to Tiers I & II may beeligible for special educationservices, intensive interventions.Tier II: Individualizedinterventions. Subset ofstudents receive interventionstargeting specific needs. An RTITeam may assist with the plan.Tier I interventions are universal—available to all students.Teachers often deliver these interventions in the classroom (e.g.,providing additional drill and practice in reading fluency for studentswith limited decoding skills).Tier I interventions are those strategies that instructors are likely to putinto place at the first sign that a student is struggling.Tier I: Universal interventions.Available to all students in aclassroom or school. Can consistof whole-group or individualstrategies or supports.www.interventioncentral.orgTier I InterventionsTier I interventions attempt to answer the question: Are routineclassroom strategies for instructional delivery and classroommanagement sufficient to help the student to achieve nse to Intervention20Response to InterventionTier II InterventionsTier II InterventionsThere are two different vehicles that schools can use to deliver Tier II interventions:Standard-Protocol (Standalone Intervention). Group intervention programs based onscientifically valid instructional practices (‘standard protocol’) are created to addressfrequent student referral concerns. These services are provided outside of the classroom. Amiddle school, for example, may set up a structured math-tutoring program staffed by adultvolunteer tutors to provide assistance to students with limited math skills. Students referredfor a Tier II math intervention would be placed in this tutoring program. An advantage of thestandard-protocol approach is that it is efficient and consistent: large numbers of studentscan be put into these group interventions to receive a highly standardized intervention.However, standard group intervention protocols often cannot be individualized easily toaccommodate a specific student’s unique needs.Tier II interventions are individualized, tailored to the unique needs ofstruggling learners.They are reserved for students with significant skill gaps who havefailed to respond successfully to Tier I strategies.Tier II interventions attempt to answer the question: Can anindividualized intervention plan carried out in a general-educationsetting bring the student up to the academic level of his or her peers?Problem-solving (Classroom-Based Intervention). Individualized research-basedinterventions match the profile of a particular student’s strengths and limitations. Theclassroom teacher often has a large role in carrying out these interventions. A plus of theproblem-solving approach is that the intervention can be customized to the student’s needs.However, developing intervention plans for individual students can be rventioncentral.org21Response to Intervention22Response to InterventionLevels of Intervention: Tier I, II, & IIITier III InterventionsTier I: Universal100%Tier III interventions are the most intensive academic supportsavailable in a school and are generally reserved for students withchronic and severe academic delays or behavioral problems.Tier II: Individualized 20%Tier III: Intensive5-10%In many schools, Tier III interventions are available only throughspecial education.Tier III supports try to answer the question, What ongoing supportsdoes this student require and in what settings to achieve the greatestsuccess tioncentral.org54

Response to InterventionResponse to InterventionThe Purpose of RTI: What Students Should ItServe?Secondary Students: Unique Challenges Early Identification.As students begin toshow need foracademic support, theRTI model proactivelysupports them withearly interventions toclose the skill orperformance gap withpeers.Chronically At-Risk.Students whoseschool performance ismarginal acrossschool years but whodo not qualify forspecial educationservices are identifiedby the RTI Team andprovided with ongoingintervention support.Struggling learners in middle and high school may: Have significant deficits in basic academic skills Lack higher-level problem-solving strategies andconcepts Present with issues of school motivation Show social/emotional concerns that interferewith academics Have difficulty with attendance*Students at the secondary level are also movingtoward being ‘self-managing’ learners Special Education.Students who fail torespond toscientifically validgeneral-educationinterventionsimplemented withintegrity are classifiedas ‘non-responders’and found eligible forspecial ntioncentral.org26Response to Intervention‘RTI In a Perfect World: Challenging Goals Teachers are able and willing to individualize instructionin their classrooms to help struggling learners.The school has adequate programs and other supportsfor students with basic-skill deficits.The school can provide individualized problem-solvingconsultation for any struggling student.The progress of any student with an intervention plan ismonitored frequently to determine if the plan is effective.Students are motivated to take part in interventionplans.www.interventioncentral.org2765

RTI: School Readiness Resources7

Response-to-Intervention School Readiness SurveyIntroduction. The RTI School Readiness Survey is an informal measure designed to help schoolsto identify which elements of RTI that they are already skilled in and which elements that theyshould continue to develop.Directions. This survey is divided into the following sections:1.2.3.4.5.RTI: Understand the ModelRTI: Use Teams to Problem-SolveRTI: Select the Right InterventionRTI: Monitor Student ProgressRTI: Graph Data for Visual AnalysisComplete the items in each section. After you have finished the entire survey, identify any sectionsin which your school needs to improve its performance.Next, go to RTI WIRE, the online directory of free Response-to-Intervention resources, at:http://www.jimwrightonline.com/php/rti/rti wire.phpRTI WIRE is organized into categories matched to those on this survey, so that you canconveniently look up the information that your school needs to successfully put the RTI model intoplace.8

01. RTI: Understandthe ModelLack skillsor basicknowledgeof thismodel1Just startingto learn thismodel(BeginningPhase)2Developingan awarenessof this model(IntermediatePhase)3Fullyknowledgeablein this model(AdvancedPhase)Staff members of successful RTI schools understand the RTImodel and believe that this approach will benefit teachers aswell as struggling learners.At my school: the principal strongly supports Response-to-Intervention as amodel for identifying educational disabilities. the staff has received an overview of the RTI model,understands its general features, and knows how RTI differsfrom the traditional 'test discrepancy' approach the majority of the staff (80 percent or more) appears ready togive the RTI model a try, believing that it may benefit teachersas well as students. all programs or resources that are intended to improvestudents' academics or behaviors are inventoried andorganized into three levels, or Tiers.(Tier I contains programs available to all students, such asclasswide tutoring. Tier II addresses the needs of studentswho show emerging deficits and includes individualizedintervention plans designed by the school's Intervention Team.Tier III is the most intensive level of assistance available in aschool and includes special education services as well as suchsupports as Wrap-Around Teams for psychiatrically involvedstudents.)02. RTI: Use Teams toProblem-SolveLack skillsor basicknowledgeof thispractice1Just startingto learn thispractice(BeginningPhase)2Developingskill with thispractice(IntermediatePhase)3Fullycompetent inthis practice(AdvancedPhase)Successful RTI schools support teachers in the RTI processby encouraging them to refer struggling students to anIntervention Team. This Team is multi-disciplinary and followsa structured problem-solving model.My school's Intervention Team is multi-disciplinary, and has members who carry a highdegree of credibility with other staff in the building. follows a formal problem-solving model duringmeetings.9

creates an atmosphere in which the referring teacher feelswelcomed and supported. collects background information / baseline data on the studentto be used at the initial Intervention Team meeting. has inventoried school-wide resources that it can use in Teaminterventions. selects academic & behavioral interventions that are'scientifically based' sets clear, objective, measurable goals for student progress selects methods of assessment (e.g., Curriculum-BasedMeasurement, DIBELS) to track student progress at leastweekly during the intervention. documents the quality of the referring teacher's efforts inimplementing the intervention ('intervention integrity'). holds 'follow-up' meetings with the referring teacher to reviewstudent progress and judge whether the intervention waseffective.03. RTI: Select the RightInterventionLack skillsor basicknowledgeof thispractice1Just startingto learn thispractice(BeginningPhase)2Developingskill with thispractice(IntermediatePhase)3Fullycompetent inthis practice(AdvancedPhase)Successful RTI schools select interventions that match thestudent's underlying deficits or concerns, are scientificallybased, and are feasible given the resources available.My school