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For example, we progress monitor the students once a week. If the student stays above their target line, as well as meets the next benchmark, a minimum of 5 times Response from Dawn Miller, Ph. I'd like to make sure my response is contextualized properly. To me, RTI is a set of practices within a school improvement framework that is designed to meet each learners needs. That said, a student doesn't "exit RTI services," but rather may have their support change in response to their performance in a particular area.

That change may represent a change in who serves them, the amount of time or frequency in support, the area of focus, or the materials being used to meet the need. In my district, the data decision rules are similar to what you shared — we look at the last consecutive data points. The rules, however, are applied in a problem-solving routine. If the data points are consistently above the aimline and in an area that indicates low risk, then the questions on the table include: How has the student been performing during intervention time?

Discuss within intervention progress monitoring data. How has the student been performing during core reading time? Discuss differentiation during core. Are the data indicating that a change is warranted? If performance is consistently above, consider reducing or discontinuing current intervention and having the student supported during differentiated workshop. If performance is consistently below, consider the intervention match with needs, time, frequency, or need to customize within the intervention and differentiate core. How can I best utilize this time?

What would a 5 day schedule look like? SRSD includes teaching within six instructional stages for strategy acquisition Develop prior knowledge, Discuss it, Memorize it, Model it, Guided Practice, and Independent Practice and four self-regulation procedures Goal setting, Self-instructions, Self-monitoring, and Self-reinforcement. What happens next? How does the story end? How do the characters feel? It is important to note that SRSD is designed to be recursive rather than linear.

When teaching strategies and self-regulation to struggling learners, for example, repeated guided practice may be required. Once students have learned to self-regulate the writing process, instruction can be expanded to include different writing tasks e. Is there research to support placing students in core math programs.. Would it be better to place these students in the grade level math course with some kind of additional support along with intervention time? We are in our second year of utilizing CMP with grade level students and Transmath with struggling students at the 40th percentile and below.

Our local data did not show the Transmath students were able to meet proficiency. Is there research to suggest we have a system problem? Response from David Allsopp, Professor of Special Education, University of South Florida : These are excellent questions and ones that many schools are wrestling with as they try to implement multi-tiered mathematics instruction. In response to your first question, Is there research to support placing students in core math programs that meet their proficiency level but do not focus on grade level standards?

The same is true for the practice of bypassing Tier 1 instruction that uses the identified core mathematics curriculum that appropriately addresses grade level benchmarks and relegating students who are underperforming to a Tier 2 only context where they receive instruction using an alternative mathematics curriculum that does not address the same grade level mathematics benchmarks only. I am aware that these practices seem to be occurring with greater frequency.

I am concerned that mathematics RTI is being implemented inappropriately in too many instances. Very few mathematics curricula or programs even have enough of an evidence base to project their potential for effectiveness for students generally, much less for struggling learners who have many differentiated mathematical learning needs. Your second question, Would it be better to place these students in the grade level math course with some kind of additional support along with intervention time?

The short answer is yes. Unfortunately, the gains made do not seem to catch these students up to their peers who are meeting progress benchmarks. This is where I personally believe that the problem-solving aspect to RTI needs to be much better articulated. To your last question, Is there research to suggest we have a system problem? I truly believe that this is an area where the research base is somewhat limited and very few folks have ever been exposed to what is really known, what is really not known, and how to effectively use what is known to do the best we can for students who struggle to learn mathematics.

To this end, I would certainly suggest that your school critically evaluate the current processes and practices that you have in place, consider whether or not they are resulting in the vast majority of students making grade level progress, and revise what is being done based on what you are learning. Response by Joy Zabala, Ed. D , Director of Technical Assistance, CAST: There is a great deal of information and many, many, resources for learning about how technology, when combined with effective pedagogy and problem-solving, can be used effectively for students with a wide range of learning weaknesses.

One important thing to keep in mind is that technology itself is rarely an adequate solution. Only when the technology is carefully matched to the specific strengths and weaknesses of the student, and to the goals of learning, can good choices be made. In general there are two broad approaches for using technology successfully. The first approach focuses on how to use technology to help individual students - what is usually called assistive technology. For that approach to be successful requires careful attention to what the individual's strengths and weaknesses are, what tasks they are needing to do, etc.

Usually it is best to engage a specialist in assistive technology that can do a careful analysis that addresses specific functional needs Reading? One source of help can be found at the QIAT website where there is a link to a wonderfully informative and interactive learning community whose members discuss virtually every way that technology might be used to support learners. There is a tab for "mailing list" that provides a link to join the list and communicate with people all around the nation about the use of technology to support the full range of human function that may be of concern.

The second approach focuses on the problem differently. That approach - called universal design for learning — focuses instead on using technology as a tool to reduce unacceptable barriers to learning in the curriculum or learning environment. The central idea — complementary to assistive technology — is to ensure that schools have better curriculum and tools so that all students, including those with learning disabilities, have fewer impediments to learning, and more chances for success. You can find more about that approach at www.

Together these two approaches provide important ways for students with a wide range of abilities and disabilities to get the education they need. We have been doing intervention at an increasing level each year since Each year, we refine and extend. However, we have never developed an RTI Model that states clearly the entry and exit criteria, duration, etc.

We know what we do and how we do Is there a sample or template for an RTI model that we could use to get started? Response from Bob Heimbaugh : The environment you have described in your question is typical in many schools. Gearing up for RtI takes a lot of work. Once the RtI framework is started in a school, it is hard to get all the components required for full implementation in place.

In the case of your school, a little tweaking will go a long way. While a template for an RtI model will be helpful, the critical decisions you are looking for are specific to your school, your assessments, your interventions, your students and your teachers. There are two critical questions that you need to answer: For your norm referenced and valid screening, progress monitoring, and diagnostic assessments, have cut scores been established by the test authors?

When considering intensity and duration, review current progress monitoring data at your school to determine how and when current decisions about students are being made. From that data, see if you can establish general decision patterns for screening data and for progress monitoring data for Tiers 2 and 3 that your school is currently demonstrating. From that data, formalize the process as a school to be used at your collaborative team meetings. Should interventions in Tier 2 and Tier 3 follow the alignment of the core curriculum?

Response from Karen Wixson, Ph. However, this also assumes that the core curriculum covers the areas needed by the students receiving Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. It is conceivable that there might be a need for differences between Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions and the core curriculum.

For example, a core curriculum that is narrowly focused on foundational skills might not address all of the areas in which struggling students may need work if they are to make good progress, which would call for Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions that go beyond the core curriculum. In general, however, a good rule of thumb is that Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions should not involve terminology, content, skills, strategies, tasks, materials, etc.

This is likely both to promote learning and to help avoid confusion. What does it take to get a strategy or intervention program labeled as research based? What methodology is used to determine whether interventions are research based? Response from Joe Torgesen, Ph. The most common way is to ask whether the basic instructional content, sequences, and methods in a program are consistent with research in the area. For example, research indicates that intervention programs for early reading instruction achieve better results if they guide instruction that is explicit and systematic.

These qualities of instruction should apply to all the major skills that are required to become a good reader, such as word analysis and decoding strategies, fluency building, vocabulary acquisition, and comprehension strategies. It is also helpful, of course, if the program supports engaging instructional practices and contains or refers to interesting reading materials and activities.

Program providers often claim that their programs are research based by showing examples from their programs that are consistent with these general principles. This is one strategy that was used by the Florida Center for Reading Research in producing evaluations of many different reading programs for use by schools in Florida see section on FCRR reports. The second and potentially more rigorous way to establish whether a program is research based is to study empirical research that has examined reading outcomes with children who are taught by teachers using the program as a guide for their instruction.

It is quite a challenging and expensive endeavor to evaluate the efficacy of programs using appropriate experimental designs, valid measures, and realistic instructional conditions. S Department of Education. Although the reports issued by this agency do not address the extent to which the instructional content and methods in a given program embody research based principles, they do an excellent job of evaluating the extent to which the program has been shown to be effective in scientifically valid research.

Their website also contains extensive discussion of the methods used to determine whether a program actually has acceptable support from research. Response from Sharon Vaughn, Ph. When implementing RTI, is there a recommended ratio of students to teachers at different tiers of intervention? Tier 1 intervention is typical instruction to which all students in the class are exposed often called universal or core instruction and is the least intensive. Tier 2 is for children who do not respond successfully to Tier 1 intervention and is more intensive than Tier 1 intervention.

Tier 3 is the most intense level of intervention and is for the small number of children who do not respond successfully to intervention at Tiers 1 and 2. Some features of intervention that can be altered to increase intervention intensity include duration of the intervention, frequency of the intervention, frequency of progress monitoring during intervention, scope of skills addressed during intervention, format of intervention e.

Importantly, with intervention implementation, the devil is in the details as they say and the degree to which a lower student to teacher ratio actually or functionally increases intervention intensity depends upon the degree to which the lower student to teacher ratio permits more individualized and higher quality instruction than would be possible in working with a small group of students.

Hence, implementers should consider that it is possible to reduce student to teacher ratio and not increase intensity, just as it is possible to increase the duration of intervention and not really increase the intensity of intervention. If intensity is defined as the power or force with which a process operates as estimated by the results that are obtained, then intensity of intervention is evaluated by its capacity to improve learning.

More intense interventions are those interventions that have greater capacity to improve learning. Implementers should plan for monitoring intervention intensity via use of intervention protocols, frequent student progress monitoring, and direct intervention integrity checks. I understand RTI is based on instruction, but how and where does the actual curriculum fit in? Would you agree that no matter how intensely you teach a subject, if the curriculum is not appropriate, the student will never master the necessary skills?

Response from Carolyn Denton, Ph. It's important that instruction is directed at teaching appropriate objectives content, strategies, and skills. Teachers can address their states' established objectives for each subject area and grade level, although students performing below grade level in reading need instruction designed to address their needs.

If they have "holes in their foundational learning" unmastered skills or ineffective strategies that are holding back their progress , teachers should use assessments to find out what the students need to learn — and teach it, moving them forward as quickly as possible. It's also critical that teachers are provided with high-quality published programs, and I'll focus my remarks on that meaning of "curriculum. And, since much has been written about the adoption of research-based core reading programs at Tier 1, I'll discuss Tier 2 and 3 intervention programs.

There is a large amount of converging research evidence that students who struggle to learn to read benefit from a curriculum program that a is organized in a systematic way, with easier skills taught before harder ones, necessary subskills building in a logical sequence as a simple example, teaching the sounds of b and r before introducing the br- blend and asking students to sound out the word "brand," and confusing elements separated e.

Effective reading intervention programs don't all look alike. Some are scripted and highly prescriptive, and some are not. Some use decodable text and some don't. Teachers should not have to put all this together on their own! They should be provided with a program that has these characteristics.

They will probably need to adapt instruction to meet individual students' needs, but it's not a teacher's job to develop the curriculum from scratch. Although just about every program on the market these days says that it is "research based," it is important for educators to actually look beyond the advertisements when adopting an intervention program and ask to see the studies that show evidence of effectiveness for students with reading difficulties.

Ask for more than "testimonials" that say, "We used this program and our kids did great. There are also websites that can help educators make their way beyond sales pitches to find curricula that really are supported by research evidence, such as the one maintained by the Florida Center on Reading Research among others. This quote from Lyon says it well, "If you find a program isn't doing well, that is to be expected if teachers aren't implementing the program with fidelity.

One can also have a great teacher and a great program but if the building level leadership is poor and the teachers are not provided enough time to teach and to collaborate with one another, then kids will not learn. It is complex, but so is life. The point is, when all elements are in place, students learn - even those from the direst circumstances.

The current RTI literature focuses primarily on reading. How does RTI work with mathematics instruction? Rather, it is a science of decision making that can be applied to a variety of "problem behaviors. Under that model, Deno described the potential for student academic performance data collected at baseline and at routine intervals to inform problem definition, solution development, and solution evaluation. Hence, some writers have described RTI as the application of the scientific method whereby hypotheses are developed about what is causing deficient academic performance and the hypothesis is tested via an intervention trial.

If the intervention successfully changed the skill, then the hypothesis was confirmed; If not, the hypothesis was disconfirmed and a new hypothesis was developed. RTI has become a vehicle for system reform because it provides a database for making relative judgments e. RTI, properly understood and used, is focused on improving student learning. In mathematics, a reform process similar to that that occurred in reading in the 's appears to be underway. Whereas math has been under-researched relative to reading, research findings are available to guide RTI application in mathematics.

Specifically, research is available to guide the selection of adequate screening measures, selection of adequate progress monitoring measures, development of decision criteria, and the development of intervention protocols appropriate for use at all tiers of instruction. We are implementing RTI in our district using the tiered reading model. Does tiered reading mean you must group children by ability and thus switch classes or can this model be implemented successfully within the regular classroom using flexible The key factor is the number of students demonstrating the need for additional intervention, the resulting areas needing support, and the understanding of instructional support needed.

In my district, for example, we have buildings that utilize various resources during a 30 minute reading intervention time where students may switch classes and interventionists based on their area of need. Other buildings, however, have the classroom teachers carry out interventions within their classrooms. In this case, if a teacher identifies one group of students showing the need for additional targeted practice and one group showing the need for direct re-teaching, he or she may feel that this could be arranged in the classroom during intervention time.

If, however, there are multiple groups showing the need for teacher-led instruction, a cross-grade approach would be warranted. What type of scheduling in a middle school setting has proven to work well with the RTI model for Tier 2 and 3 pull out groups. Example: 55 minute classes, 90 minute classes, etc. We run 55 minute classes and just started the model.

I am finding, in Science, that pull out groups are not given enough time. For example, in our building, we have 44 minute periods for all classes whether they are intervention or regular classes.

Who Can Apply to Middle School?

Therefore, it is important to determine if the goal of the intervention is remediation of science concepts taught in class a double-dip approach , in which case I believe 90 additional minutes is too much, or if the goal is to teach perhaps specific vocabulary related to science, which can be done in shorter more consistent intervals within 55 minutes. Either way, I think teachers and interventionists can work around time constraints by using elective times, PE, or other non-academic time.

It's most important to have the buy-in of the parents to help support creative scheduling. However, that support cannot come without educating parents on the whys of the intervention goals for the student and sharing of regular progress monitoring data with the parents. I think you can make intervention time work in just about any setting, but you have to have parent support if it means giving up an elective or exploratory time. At our school, we don't really give parents a choice about giving up elective time, we simply send information home in a letter to parents stating the intervention their student will receive, its duration, and the rationale.

If for some reason they refuse, that is a parent choice and we honor it. So, in essence, we tell the parents "the plan" and very few, when they read the rationale and goals for their student, refuse to participate. We also make it a point not to intervene with kids so much that they can't take an elective; it's more of an incentive plan or program This approach seems to work well with our kids and parents. Lastly, think outside the box; time constraints should not drive intervention—intervention purpose should drive schedule and time!

I can group a couple into one intervention group, but the problem is the others have very different needs. I'm having a hard time because I can't get to reading groups. I feel like And, we will be beginning Math interventions as well. I have about 4 or 5 students in need of math interventions. Feeling overwhelmed.

Need help. Response from Ed Shapiro, Ph. Tier 1 involves core instruction and would be the instruction delivered to all students. It is a methodology for constructing the delivery of educational services to all children. Until that process is clearly defined and understood in this case, I am afraid it would be difficult to advise you how to proceed. Does a Tier 1 curriculum need to be researched-based? Currently we use a balance literacy program including small group guided reading from a leveled library.

We would like to move away from using our basal to other shared reading materials etc. We use Response from Stephanie Al Otaiba, Ph.

Ask the Experts

A strong core should support not only code-focused skills like phonics, phonological awareness, and phonemic awareness in an explicit and systematic instructional routine, but also support language and comprehension including writing. Teachers teach, curricular materials do not — but Tier 1 materials should support teachers in individualizing instruction for all children. The use of scientifically based programs and practices ensures that student difficulties cannot be attributed to in-appropriate or ineffective, poor-quality classroom instruction.

The above statement, in my mind, reinforces for me the reason for using a curriculum that is scientifically based. Please be reminded that what is not clearly stated in the above statement is the importance of fidelity. It is systematic formalized instruction clear learning targets , along with assessment data screening, progress monitoring that informs us regarding our instruction. Can you… …Link interventions to improved outcomes credibility? Looking at these questions moves me into my last point regarding your question. Research-based instructional programs provide for replication.

Is Tier 1 strictly comprised of differentiated instruction of the core or essential curriculum using research based strategies, or does Tier 1 also have an intervention component that is implemented when the student s fails to understand a concept Response from Ann Casey, Ph. All students receive core instruction and they should all have some differentiation within the core instruction.

Differentiated groups will provide opportunities for students to have their needs more fully addressed. So 'no', I don't think one is required to provide interventions in Tier 1. These interventions are still part of the core curriculum because every student receives that instruction.

For example, there are programs available that some schools use as interventions for students needing Tier 2 support. But in other schools, these same programs are delivered to all students in addition to the core program or standards-based curricula. These schools use the programs as sort of an inoculation to prevent reading failure. Since every student uses this program in these schools, it is Tier 1 instruction.

To say it a different way, some schools implement a core curriculum, but then add an additional strategy or program to this core instruction because they have determined their students need it. Are there any recommended strategies for teachers to use with struggling elementary students prior to referring them to the RtI team? I would try to provide extra small group instruction with a homogenous grouping targeting the weaker skills at my teacher table. So for example, I might provide extra instruction with more modeling and more use of pictures in teaching blending and segmenting than I might typically use with my more highly skilled children.

I might create some fluency games to practice sight words, if that is a problem, or I might incorporate more practice reading in decodables that are simpler and at the level of this lower group along with some direct instruction in decoding and spelling patterns e. If some students were weak in vocabulary and in listening comprehension, then I might provide more time reading aloud to them in a small group while other students might be involved with a computer activity. Keep track of how the struggling students improve or not on what you are trying.


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Some great activities for individualizing instruction for struggling readers may be downloaded at The Florida Center for Reading Research. These also include instructional routines to support teachers as they try these activities. Response from David Allsopp, Ph. With this said, a number of factors could contribute to whether or not this is happening at a particular school or in a specific situation.

A Second Shot Teacher's Resource Guide - SADDLEBACK -

Without knowing more about the context e. For the purpose of my response, I assume from the question that both areas are not being addressed instructionally in Tier 2 and that instruction in computations is taking precedence over instruction that emphasizes conceptual understanding and application since this is a common occurrence in how tiered mathematics instruction is often delivered. With this said, below are five possible reasons for why this could be happening where you are. The particular curriculum or program being used at Tier 2 is one potential factor.

While this is not bad per say, the problem occurs when they are used as the sole Tier 2 intervention and students do not get intensive support with developing conceptual understanding and strategies for applying their understandings. A second factor can be the particular measure that is used to evaluate need for Tier 2 services.

If that measure is primarily computation focused e. A third factor can be misunderstandings about what the research base does and does not actually tell us about what to do for tiered mathematics instruction. For example, students who struggle in mathematics typically are not proficient with their basic mathematics facts.

This finding has led researchers to encourage schools to emphasize basic whole number computation proficiency. While important, it is only a slice of the issue for many students who experience difficulties learning mathematics. However, schools have often interpreted what these researchers suggested as an absolute, such that computation is the primary focus of Tier 2 and 3 interventions.

A more conspicuous reading of the research base shows that explicit instruction that incorporates multiple ways of doing mathematics i. Unfortunately, few intensive mathematics interventions incorporate these important mathematical processes in any systematic way. A fourth factor is that many teachers, at the elementary level in particular, are not well trained in the mathematics curriculum and effective mathematics instructional practices for struggling learners. So, interventions are as much designed to assist the teacher to teach the mathematics as they are designed to address the mathematical learning needs of students.

This can limit the level of comprehensiveness that any curriculum or program might have. A fifth factor is time. Reading instruction takes precedence in most schools as it relates to RTI. As much as two hours of instructional time can be devoted to reading instruction that includes Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. This leaves less time for comprehensive mathematics interventions.

Therefore, mathematics interventions that take less time and planning can take priority over those interventions that are more comprehensive in nature but that take more instructional time and planning. Certainly, there are other factors as well. I hope this has helped somewhat in addressing your question. It might be helpful to think about whether or not any of these five factors could be operating in your particular context. If so, then this could provide you a way to constructively advocate for improvement. Is it possible to deliver RTI intervention services for Tier 2 using a total number of minutes per week rather than a set number of days?

For example, can students receive intervention 2 days a week for 45 minutes rather than 3 days a week for In our interventions, we look at overall time per week. However, there is an advantage to spreading interventions over more days, especially with children who have shorter attention spans. The 45 minutes for 2 days might not be as effective as the same amount of time spread over more days.

For some children, for example, it might be most effective to provide the 90 minutes across 4 days in a week. The bottom line is that it depends on the intervention protocol and what the efficacy research says about the intervention. However, if the only way to provide service to a child is by concentrating the intervention on fewer days, then it will surely be better than nothing. Our School Uses Tier 2 Interventions as being pull-out interventions. My question focuses on the instruction and interventions given at this level. Should the intervention strategist be doing the exact same activity each time they meet with kids?

It does make sense to do the exact same thing every time because then you are not focusing on the needs of the student. Am I correct in my thinking, or are there flaws? Response from Bob Heimbaugh : Your question is a good one, and no, your thinking is not wrong. Schools may select one of two different intervention approaches to support Tier 2 students in the RTI process: the problem-solving and the standard protocol. The standard protocol model uses specific, predetermined, instructional techniques that have been demonstrated to improve student achievement in research studies.

So your school has selected to use the standard protocol model. The standard protocol model used in your school was probably selected as a research-based intervention program that has been proven to be effective for the most common weaknesses identified in the school-wide student data at your particular school. Should Tier 2 take place in the classroom or should it be a pull out service? How many minutes a week is Tier 2 mandated? That being said, there is nothing magical about the location and there are situations where it is most efficient to pull groups of students to a separate location to provide supplemental instruction.

Tier 2 instruction, including the number of minutes, is not mandated in Federal Law or Regulations. Nevertheless, some states, such as Florida, have guidance on this issue. In my school district, Tier 2 instruction occurs 4 or 5 days a week for 20 to 40 minutes. Because we found that supplemental instruction was often not delivered due to events in schools assemblies, early dismissals etc. When providing Tier 2 instruction, it is key to make sure that it is delivered as planned and that it happens every day. Is there a clearinghouse of Tier 2 interventions that can be implemented at a school site in the academic area of language arts, phonics, segmentation, multi-syllabic words, blending, reading fluency, and reading comprehension?

This is our first year We have completed universal screening and have created groups. Now, we find ourselves at a loss in finding research based interventions that are not too costly. National Center on RTI , which lists instructional tools and provides the effect sizes reported from research studies. How frequently do you progress monitor at the secondary school level? What secondary level progress monitoring tools are available to facilitate that process?

Response from Evelyn Johnson, Ed. For students receiving Tier 2 interventions, recommendations for progress monitoring typically are weekly or every other week. The goal of progress monitoring is to collect data frequently to determine if interventions are having the desired impact on student outcomes. A great resource for reviewing tools available for progress monitoring at the secondary level is the National RTI Center's Progress Monitoring Tools chart. Most often these students are working on a different reading or math program that provides them with that opportunity. The critical piece is that they are exposed to the standards of the core curricula.

Otherwise, you have created a totally separate program for students. In other words, if students go to a different room for Tier 3 reading or math, they need to be exposed to the standards they should be know and be able to do for their grade level; otherwise you have created a separate program for them. Why is it important to have a student go through each Tier if you know a child needs an intense amount of assistance that can only be provided in Tier 3?

It is hard to address the situation of a particular student without having all the information. Further without knowing the nature of the tiers to which you refer, it is hard to make a recommendation. Tier 1 would typically be instruction in the core curriculum. The bottom line is that students should not have to jump through "hoops" preliminary tiers for the mere sake of going through a process if there are substantial data to show that a comprehensive evaluation is in his best interest.

If a student is currently receiving interventions in Tier 3, do they still receive Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions or is each tier separate? Given that Tier 1 represents the instructional processes delivered as part of the core instruction program, ALL students, including those in either Tier 2 or 3 receive Tier 1 instruction.

Those in need of supplemental instructional services, that is those not responsive alone to Tier 1 instruction, would receive either Tier 2 or Tier 3 instruction, not both. The level of this instruction would depend on their level of instructional need. In some cases, students may have previously had Tier 2 instruction during which the student was not found to have a sufficient response. Those students would then receive more intensive instruction, with more intensive monitoring of their instruction and this is considered Tier 3 instruction.

In some RTI models, students might be identified during the fall benchmark period as in need of Tier 3 level instruction immediately, in which case they would receive intensive levels of instruction and not go through Tier 2 first. In either case, let me reiterate that they would be receiving Tier 1 instruction as well. We are in the beginning stages of implementing RTI in our building.

From our trainings, it has been suggested that Tier 3 students will benefit the most from a second core curriculum rather than attending the universal core and Our district is adamant about having one curriculum for all students. Response from Bob Heimbaugh : Having one curriculum for all students is imperative.

In reference to your question, I believe your trainers are suggesting a second "core" for Tier 3 students because the students are probably not showing any measurable progress. The student is probably being progressed monitored, if not weekly, every other week. The student may be involved in a group at Tier 2, receiving 30 to 60 minutes additional instruction. The student probably is being provided some type of accommodation or modification if on an IEP. The student is probably being provided small group instruction or one-to-one instruction at Tier 3 for another minutes.


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Still, after all of the supports described above, the student is not responding or showing growth. This is the student to which your trainer is referring. After providing all of the supports listed above for a student and there is still no impact on learning based on data, then a much more intensive instructional program is needed. In essence, your trainer is suggesting that if a student has needs that are so great they get no benefit from the core curriculum, then an alternative curriculum is needed. Also, most students at Tier 3 will show progress. Your trainer is most likely referring to a very small percentage of students in your schools.

We were told by our local SE support agency that our Tier 3 groups can have no more than 3 students. We have not found information to support this. Is it true? We look at intensity of the program and frequency as key factors along with size. So is an Thank you for clearing up this question. Response from Lynn Fuchs, Ph. Most validated Tier 2 interventions involve group size of , frequency of 3 days per week, and duration of minutes per session. So, most researchers believe that Tier 3 involves groups of students, 5 days per week, with at least 45 minutes per session.

I am interested in learning more about what the Tier 3 model really is and who it is for. I have read a lot of articles and talked to people at several different schools and I feel like I am getting a variety of answers. Is Tier 3 only for those If a student is on an IEP, is there anything different that should be done according to Tier 3? In the school setting, who should be implementing the Tier 3 model? Should it be a classroom teacher, a resource teacher, a tutor, a special education teacher?

Response from Daryl Mellard, Ph. The particulars on tertiary level services, though, vary with viewpoints. I don't see tertiary level services as only for students in special education with identified disabilities. Students with disabilities might be included in some tertiary level interventions as IEP goals might be appropriate for tertiary level services. Configuration of the RTI framework will help districts make these determinations. Unfortunately, I don't think state education agencies are providing much guidance on these points. Schools and districts need to make decisions about the service providers for tertiary services.

Because I see tertiary level services as being the most intense intervention level and serving the students with the greatest needs, the service provider most likely needs to be very skilled as instructional and formative assessment skills and knowledge of curricular materials are very important. One might think of the instruction as a dynamic assessment situation in which students' responses inform the instructor on how well the instruction is working.

A Second Shot

Strong clinical skills seem important. Placement in Tier 3 would include students who have not been responsive to secondary level interventions or whose needs are so obviously apparent and high that those students would go directly to tertiary services. The parallel is that some patients in a hospital's emergency room are so severe that they immediately go to surgery and intensive care units.

Student Assessment - General Assessment Questions Close All Open All Can you grade a typical student at either Tier 2 or 3 on a reduced number of problems; provide additional time on assessments; allow for oral responses? Response from George Batsche, Ed. If the method of presenting the work e. The goal is to determine the student level of skill—first and foremost. Is it okay to reduce the number of answer choices on classroom multiple choice tests? Response from Martha L. Thurlow, Ph.

For state and district tests, reducing the number of answer choices typically is not allowed for any student, including those with disabilities. This is because of a concern about changing what the item is measuring when the number of answer choices is reduced. There is also a concern that reducing the number of answer choices decreases the cognitive load of the item, making it non-comparable to the item that other students are taking. Remembering what is required in state or districts tests is important when considering what to do during classroom testing. The purpose of reducing the number of items must be very clear, and a plan for moving back to the full number of answer choices must be in place.

As this response implies, there may be a good reason for reducing the number of answer choices in a classroom test. For example, a student who is blind and in the process of learning braille may require a lot of extra time to read through four answer choices. If there is careful selection of the choice to remove e. Thus, the student must know this, and must have practice selecting among the full number of answer choices. Classroom tests are often the best place to get this practice. The bottom line is that extreme caution should be exercised in reducing the number of answer choices, even on classroom multiple choice tests.

Our school district administers AIMS web assessments both literacy and numeracy to our students three times a year. Personally, I feel AIMS is one useful measure in gearing instruction and assisting us in identifying the needs of our students Many teachers practice fluency by reading letters, letter sounds or nonsense words off anchor charts or practice pages in the same format as practice probes on a daily basis.

Some teachers have their instructional assistants pull students to work on these skills everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. The same type of practice is occurring for math. While I understand it is important to familiarize our students with the format of tests, I do not feel it is ethical to spend a substantial amount of time preparing in this way….

We are going to be required to plan lessons together as a grade level next year. I do not want to be required to use these practice pages as an instructional tool in my classroom. Am I wrong? I have tried to look for a clear answer on my own but I am only coming up with bits and pieces here and there. I would appreciate any advice or guidance you can provide. Response from Carol Connor, Ph. Drilling students on nonsense words essentially turns them into sight words, which, again, invalidates the assessment.

Students would be much better served learning the phonics rules on real words and letting the nonsense word assessment indicate whether they have learned the rules or not. With regard to letters, real words, and mathematics, there is a value in building fluency and so some drill and practice is appropriate. At the same time, new research is showing that students need time to build oral language skills, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension at the same time they are learning how to decode. I am concerned about the amount of assessments that my school schedule asks me to complete on all students and feel that time is taken away from helping these kindergartners adjust to the classroom I am wondering if administering this many assessments is best practice.

Most of the assessments will not be used for re-testing to show student growth. I feel that this much time testing takes away from my ability to help these kindergartners become adjusted to the classroom. I also feel that if these tests are not going to be used for group placement and growth, that maybe the testing schedule should be re-evaluated. It also sounds like your school asks you to complete a number of assessments to ensure that all students who may be at-risk are identified.

The research on screening suggests that using multiple measures can result in a more accurate screening process — having more data points on student performance provides more stability in the scores obtained during the screening process. That means we can have more confidence in the decisions made as a result of screening. Additionally, using a variety of measures that assess various component skills of reading may serve an important diagnostic role; areas of relative strength and weakness can be identified in order to determine an appropriate intervention for that child.

However, as you note, there needs to be a balance between efficiency and accuracy in the screening process, and given that your school is using nine assessments by my count on all students, it may be worthwhile to evaluate the screening procedure to determine if all measures are truly necessary for all students. There are several ways to evaluate the screening process. I'll outline a couple that should help. Using last year's screening and outcome data, a regression analysis can identify the strongest predictor s of end of year reading performance.

Through this type of analysis, your school may find that it is only necessary to administer a few measures to accurately identify students in need of intervention. Alternatively, a small number of measures can be used to identify an initial risk pool of students, and then this initial group of students can have their progress monitored for five to six weeks using a curriculum-based measure CBM.

Either one of these procedures may help your school streamline the screening process to include only that which is necessary for you to identify early those kindergarteners who require intervention in order to become successful readers. Catts, H. Estimating the risk of future reading difficulties in kindergarten children. Language, Speech, and Hearing in the Schools, 32 , Compton, D. Selecting at-risk readers in first grade for early intervention: A two-year longitudinal study of decision rules and procedures.

Journal of Educational Psychology, 98 , Davis, G. Children at-risk for reading failure: Constructing an early screening measure. Teaching Exceptional Children, 39 5 , Must you assess a student before determining intervention strategies? Procedures need to be in place that allow for the assessment of students early in the school year or there must be adequate information from the previous year available to guide the decision process. If the information indicates that previous interventions and accommodations were successful, they should be reviewed for their match with the current requirements in the classes and that the accommodations still speak to important values e.

Parents should expect that the school staff and parents will review and implement interventions and accommodations very early in the school year. My district is trying to decide between using the same screening tools as our progress monitoring and other tools that do not lend themselves to frequent progress monitoring. Do you have any published writings on this to which we can refer? My district is having a discussion regarding the selection of our screening and progress monitoring tools. We'd like to utilize the same screening tool as our progress monitoring and know that tools such as CBM are validated for both purposes.

Others in the district would like to consider screening tools that do not lend themselves to frequent progress monitoring. While we can argue from an efficiency standpoint and continuity of data across decisions, I'd like to know if any of you have published writing on this issue that we can offer to our committee.

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Response from Joseph Jenkins, Ph. However, it is likely some of the measures will ultimately differ because schools will need more detailed measures than CBM to identify students. The problem with using the same CBM progress monitoring assessments for screens is they are not by themselves very accurate screens.

Second, students scoring around some cut-point receive further, in depth, testing to help distinguish between those who without intervention are likely to fail true positives from those who will succeed without intervention false positives. Another consideration is whether schools use a Direct Route or a Progress Monitoring Route model of identifying students for Tier 2. The way that schools identify students for Tier 2 intervention varies according to the type of RTI model that is implemented.

In Direct Route Models students identified as at-risk by a screening process are immediately provided Tier 2 intervention e. By contrast, in Progress Monitoring, or PM Route Models , universal screening identifies potentially at-risk students whose progress is then monitored for several weeks. The PM Route yields marginally better identification accuracy than the Direct Route, but it also postpones intervention during the PM phase.

By contrast, the Direct Route leads to earlier intervention, but without PM to catch screening errors more students are mistakenly identified as at-risk. Reminder: any student entering 12th grade school year in need of a second meningitis vaccine MUST do so before the beginning of next school year. All students entering 11th grade must also have a physical before the school year begins. WY Memorabilia! The District is seeking memorabilia donations for archives and future displays.

Photos, team shirts, yearbooks, signs, awards, plaques, etc. Please contact Cindi Greco at cmgreco wyasd. This partnership program with WellSpan Health provides students total work immersion in the York Hospital as they prepare for post-secondary employment. Congratulations Celeste on earning your diploma and employment in dining services at the Haven at Springwood!

Todd Gettys, second from right.

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Meese at mrmeese wyasd. York, PA Email: BulldogMail wyasd. Elementary Handbook. Click here. Middle School Handbook. High School Handbook. Bulldog Bistro, Activities, Little Library, and more Pictured, l to r : Mrs. Great way to represent — best of luck to all!