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Intervention Response"Literature Review" Chapter

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Responsiveness to Intervention (RTI) is a process of evaluation and intervention that is designed to methodically monitor student progress. It also includes a process to make decisions regarding the need for instructional amendments or introduction of intensified services via monitoring information. The key question in RTI procedures is: What are the conditions under which students will demonstrate successful responses towards the curriculum? Hence, rigorous conditions guide selection and implementation of interventions, in order to ascertain what works for individual students.

This move towards change springs from a disapproval of existing criteria, elements, and techniques for identifying specific learning disabilities (SLDs). Criticisms include: disability identification delays; cognitive and aptitude-achievement discrepancy measures' irrelevance to instructional plans or outcomes; and inequitable treatment in academic settings. However, prior regulations defined no systematic procedure to ascertain that learning experiences delivered before evaluation referrals were typically suitable to the ability levels and age of the child.

A description of the hypothetical school or district for which you are designing this Response to Intervention program

For a school that implements an RTI program, the following components provide student information through implementation of the RTI guidelines:

1. Indication of skill level of student compared with peers, or alternate standard benchmark

2. Specific interventions' success or failure

3. Sense of extent of instructional support required for children to achieve.

Education Progress

Education Progress emphasizes extensive analysis, accountability, evaluation, and systemic restructuring. Using evidence-based measurement tools, training materials, teacher training programs, and reporting systems, Education Progress assists teachers in focusing more on the teaching-learning process for every student.

Evidence-Based Progress Monitoring and Improvement System (MIS)

The Monitoring and Improvement System (MIS) for evidence-based progress represents a technique of formative assessment that informs the teaching-learning process through offering continuous performance data for students, and relating student improvement to teachers, parents, administrators, and students themselves, to facilitate evidence-based assessment and data-determined instruction.

Intervention Central

They aid parents and educational staff in promotion of positive schoolroom behaviors, while fostering efficacious learning for every student.

Monitoring Basic Skills Progress (MBSP)

This information technology (IT) -based program automatically conducts curriculum-centered measurement and monitors progress of children in reading, mathematical concepts, application, and computation. The program delivers instantaneous feedback on student progress, while providing teachers with individual as well as class reports, to enable them to more effectively plan classroom instruction.

A rationale for the introduction of RTI to the school

School-Wide Screening (RTI Model)

The RTI system adopts screening to identify which students may require a stronger intervention or more rigorous monitoring of their general academic curriculum.

Screening is vital as it is the gateway to subsequent RTI instruction tiers. Screening cannot just be conducted once and then overlooked; it is an iterative and ongoing process that must be conducted all through the academic year and in all grades. During Tier 1, i.e. primary instruction, the school adopts screening across the entire school (consistency) in key academic areas to identify individual students' proficiency levels (normally thrice a year). Screening information is systematized to enable comparison of individual as well as group performances, with regards to specific proficiencies (National Association of State Directors of Special Education [NASDSE], 2005).

A screening technique is useful if it satisfies three conditions (Jenkins, 2003):

1. Classify individuals requiring further evaluation and probable shift to the second tier.

2. Provide feedback on class performance to help school leaders recognize when teachers may need support

3. Recognize false negatives, children who pass one level of screening but are identified subsequently in higher grades, if implemented regularly across all grades.

For instance, in reading skills research conducted on first graders in 2006 by Compton and colleagues, 50% of students detected in the first screening recovered on their own, or in other words, improved by the end of first grade with no preventative intervention whatsoever. Identifying children to be included in preventative intervention, depending on the results of one-time screening, implies that schools are hard-pressed to offer numerous students, not in need of any extra assistance, with expensive preventative intervention, thus diluting the preventative intervention's nature.

Changing Structures, Roles, and Responsibilities

Table 1.1 below describes the responsibilities that school staff, divided into three key categories, may be required to assume in the process of school-wide screening.

Table 1.1: Changing Structures / Responsibilities (source PDF1P.-6)

General Education*

Specialist/Support Staff*

Administration*

Organize and manage screening measurements over the entire school across key content areas (reading, writing, and mathematics) as per schedule.

Oversee assessments, map outcomes, and conduct evaluation.

Spot students to be further monitored for intervention through a comparison of outcomes to pre-fixed cut points.

Provide parents with information if results are used to report child progress.

Help general education teachers with implementation of screening.

Gather information on tools of screening and related cut points to help with the process.

Work in collaboration with general education teachers, aiding them in identifying students requiring further assessment.

Present at-risk students as candidates to school teams for more rigorous progress monitoring (Tier 1), with possible Tier 2 entry, and beyond.

Guide efforts to create infrastructure for the purpose of school-wide screening.

Deliver requisite technology, professional development, materials and resources to staff.

Offer new staff with initial and ongoing opportunities for professional development, in addition to refresher training.

Ensure implementation fidelity by means of regular discussions with school personnel, and observation.

Seek availability of tools for screening, with the help of the whole staff or staff committees to choose suitable methods/tools. Coordinate the system to meet multiple needs, including verifying of adequate annual progress reports for the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110) (NCLB 2001).

Decide when/if schoolroom performance merits an intervention (for example, performance of entire class is noticeably lower compared to other classes of the same grade).

Present district personnel and teachers with aggregated data derived from the results of school-wide screening.

* General Education teachers are included under general education subdivision,

* Specialists / Support Staff is comprised of special education teachers, learning/reading specialists, paraprofessionals, and related services staffs

* Administration is comprised of building principals, assistants, and assessment / curriculum specialists at district or building levels

Methods and Procedures

The following activities, a list of essential tasks for screening across the school, standards for judging high-quality screening, and internal resources for implementation of the screening process, provide a means for the school to go about implementing screening on a school-wide scale.

1. A description of the methods and procedures that you would put in place to screen students to define eligibility for entrance into the program and your rationale for choosing these methods.

Progress monitoring

Progress monitoring represents a collection of assessment techniques to determine the degree to which children benefit from schoolroom instruction, and to monitor curriculum effectiveness. A primary academic assumption is that quality instruction is beneficial to students. Failure to provide quality education necessitates well-planned, sustainable interventions, which have been tested for outcomes.

Progress monitoring denotes a scientifically-based method of evaluating academic performance of students regularly with the following three aims:

1. To establish whether students are sufficiently benefiting from instructional practices and the syllabus;

2. To formulate better programs for those who don't benefit sufficiently; and

3. To assess student improvement rates.

Progress monitoring in RTI aids school teams with decision-making pertaining to appropriate intervention levels (National Center on Student Progress Monitoring, 2006).

Implementation of progress monitoring within RTI will necessitate a transformation in both school structure and educators' responsibilities and roles.

Impact on conceptualizations of SLD

Under progress monitoring system, specific learning disability (SLD) is considered predominantly as lower achievement in comparison to peer functioning. For instance, if the lowermost 25% (in terms of performance/achievement level) of students in a class are chosen for secondary interventions or additional progress monitoring, a particular student being designated for the purpose of Tier 2 intervention, and beyond, can differ based on which class the student is in. A dual discrepancy approach may be utilized to identify students with low performance, as well as low progress rates, in order to eliminate some of the variability. Constant progress monitoring across the tiers is needed to ensure that children are receptive to each instructional tier. If a particular student progresses or responds in the intervention's second or third level, school staff needs to ascertain whether sufficient progress is made for the student to return to the first tier (general education), or whether he/she must remain in intervention levels to maintain performance levels comparable to their other classmates. Students classified as 'requiring Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention' may still need more thorough assessment to decide suitable instructional interventions. With measurement of progress, teachers gain information on students' performance level and gain rate.

School structural changes

General educators have to take into account and develop (or select) suitable assessments; these must have a consistent, comparable structure and must fit grade levels. Another aspect to be considered is these tools' relationship with performance standards and school content. Best practices indicate that assessments have to be done at least once a week, and hence, schools and teachers should… [END OF PREVIEW]

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