Response to Intervention (RtI)
Champaign Unit #4 Response to Intervention (RtI) Philosophy
As embodied in the mission statement, Champaign Unit #4 School District guides “all students in gaining knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to direct their lives, improve a diverse society, and excel in a changing world by providing dynamic, resource-rich learning environments and experiences in which people and lifelong learning are valued.” Equity of access to quality public education is the right of every student and the responsibility of the District. Unit #4 embraces the use of a multi-tiered system of supports in order to accelerate the learning of all students. This is a collaborative and comprehensive system of differentiated supports that includes the following three elements:
- Using a three-tier model of school supports that utilizes increasingly more intense instruction and interventions. Tier I consists of the core curriculum, which is designed for all students in the general education curriculum and consists of scientific, research-based instructional and behavioral methodologies, practices, and supports. Differentiation of curriculum and instruction occurs by the classroom teacher at Tier I. At Tier II, supplemental instruction and interventions are provided in addition to core instruction to those students for whom data suggest additional instructional support is warranted. Tier III consists of intensive instructional interventions provided with the goal of increasing an individual student’s rate of progress. Differentiation of instruction and assessment occurs within each Tier.
- Utilizing a problem-solving method for decision making at all levels (district, building, classroom, and student) in order to match instructional resources to educational need.
Having an integrated data system that informs instruction so that progressively more intensive interventions and supports are coupled with more frequent progress monitoring of student achievement in order to guide the educational planning. Data systems used for screening and progress monitoring within an RtI model are consistent across all three tiers and are scientifically based.
In each tier, evidence-based instruction, universal screening and progress monitoring are matched to student needs. Educational decision making using individual and group data support students’ educational progress and outcomes. RtI services are dynamic and are adjusted according to student progress. Tiers are not places (i.e. Literacy room, Cross Categorical room, Self-Contained room, etc.); rather, they are increasing levels of student support. Tiers are fluid and students can move freely between based on data and needs.
Champaign Unit #4 Response to Intervention Framework
RtI is a collaborative and comprehensive system of differentiated supports that include the following three elements:
- A Three-Tier Model of School Supports
- A Problem-Solving Method for Decision Making
- An Integrated Data System that Informs Instruction
Three-Tier Model of School Supports
Tier I: Universal Instruction
- Tier I consists of the core curriculum, which is designed for all students in the general education curriculum and consists of scientific, evidence-based instructional and behavioral methodologies, practices, and supports. Differentiation of curriculum and instruction occurs by the classroom teacher at Tier I.
- Tier I is provided by the general education teacher in the general education classroom.
- Differentiation and flexible grouping occurs within the core.
- Approximately 80% of students should be proficient with Tier I instruction.
- Universal screening should be conducted three times per year.
- At least 90 minutes per day for literacy and 60 minutes per day for math (at elementary level).
Tier II: Strategic Instruction
- Tier II consists of supplemental instruction and interventions provided in addition to Tier I/core instruction to those students for whom data suggest additional instructional support is warranted. Tier II instruction may be provided by the classroom teacher, interventionist, tutor trained in a specific intervention, etc.
- Tier II is for students identified with marked difficulties (those scoring below the 25th percentile nationally) and those who have not successfully responded to Tier I efforts.
- Tier II is different from differentiation within Tier I. Tier II intervention should be more targeted in that it addresses specific skills, is provided for a limited duration (generally 8-12 weeks before decision making), is provided in addition to Tier I (additional time), and is not reteaching of the core curriculum using the same materials and methods.
- Targeted instruction is provided in smaller, homogeneous groups.
- At least 30 minutes per day, 3-4 times per week, in addition to Tier I instruction.
- Progress monitoring is weekly.
Tier III: Intensive Instruction
- Tier III consists of intensive instructional interventions provided with the goal of increasing an individual student’s rate of progress. Tier III will include individual problem solving and is not only special education.
- Tier III is for students identified with marked difficulties (those scoring below the 10th percentile nationally) and those who have not successfully responded to Tier II efforts.
- Instruction is provided in small groups and based on skill deficits.
- Instruction is 30-45 minutes per day, 3-4 times per week, in addition to Tier I instruction. For a small number of students (to be decided on a case-by-case basis), Tier III may consist of a replacement (to Tier I) curriculum.
- Progress monitoring is weekly.
A Problem-Solving Method for Decision Making
Problem solving is a collaborative model implemented by school staff at the district, building, classroom, and student levels. At the district, building, and classroom level, problem solving focuses on data in the aggregate to identify curriculum and instructional needs for groups of students. On the student level, problem solving is used to analyze student needs, set measurable goals, and pokies online develop and monitor interventions supported by research. All of these tasks allow educators to make on‐going instructional decisions based upon data, which greatly increases the likelihood that a student will positively benefit from an educational intervention.
The problem solving method is used to match instructional resources to educational need. The problem‐solving method is as follows:
- Problem Identification: Define the problem by determining the discrepancy between what is expected and what is occurring.
- Problem Analysis: Analyze the problem using data to determine why the discrepancy is occurring.
- Plan Development: Establish a student performance goal, develop an intervention plan to address the goal and delineate how the student’s progress will be monitored and implementation integrity will be ensured.
- Plan Evaluation: Use progress monitoring data to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention plan. (7-10 data points are needed before an appropriate decision can be made about whether the current instructional methodology is being effective for a child).
Steps of Problem Solving
Unit #4’s problem-solving model incorporates the following:
- A systematic, data-based approach that reviews student strengths and weaknesses
- Screening and assessment are based on skills, not classification
- Identification of evidence-based instructional interventions using screening and assessment data
- Effectiveness of intervention is analyzed individually for students as well as based on groups’ overall response
- Frequent collection of data to monitor student progress (norm-referenced progress monitoring)
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions implemented with the student
- Measuring the student’s response to instruction/intervention by looking at rate of improvement (ROI)
- Attempts to address student difficulties within general education classrooms
- Ensuring that evidence-based strategies/curricula are used
- Multi-disciplinary collaboration
Unit #4’s RtI Teams will follow seven steps of a standardized problem-solving process:
- Identify academic and/or behavioral strengths and challenges
- Analyze challenges – develop a discrepancy statement based on the problem identification. The statement defines the difference between the level at which students currently perform and the average range of their peers’ performance.
- Establish academic (and/or behavioral) baseline
- Brainstorm strategies and interventions (within the established framework)
- Develop an intervention plan to include the following information:
- Measurable goal statement
- Name or type of intervention
- Frequency of implementation including length of each session
- Period of time over which it will be implemented
- Progress monitoring tool and frequency of assessment
- Person responsible for implementing the intervention and progress monitoring
- Person responsible for ensuring that it is correctly carried out
- Develop a plan to evaluate student progress
- Establish a case manager
An Integrated Data System that Informs Instruction
Progressively more intensive interventions and supports are coupled with more frequent assessment of student achievement in order to guide educational planning. Data systems used for screening and progress monitoring within an RtI model are consistent across all three tiers, are scientifically based, and incorporate several levels of assessment:
- Universal screenings briefly assess all students with brief checks of critical indicators. Screenings are conducted three times per year. These assessments let educators know which students may need additional assistance or diagnostic evaluation. According to the National Center for RtI:
- A screening is conducted to identify or predict students who may be at risk for poor learning outcomes. Universal screening tests are typically brief, conducted with all students at a grade level, and followed by additional testing or short-term progress monitoring to corroborate students’ risk status.
- In screening, attention should focus on fidelity of implementation and selection of evidence based tools, with consideration for cultural and linguistic responsiveness and recognition of student strengths.
- Progress monitoring provides formative assessment data and lets educators know whether students are responding to intervention/instruction and making progress or whether intervention/instruction should be changed. The frequency of progress monitoring depends on the level of intervention that the student receives. Not all students will require progress monitoring. Progress monitoring data should guide decision making. According to the National Center for RtI:
- Progress monitoring is used to assess students’ academic performance, to quantify a student rate of improvement (ROI) or responsiveness to instruction, and to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring can be implemented with individual students or an entire class.
- In progress monitoring, attention should focus on fidelity of implementation and selection of evidence based tools, with consideration for cultural and linguistic responsiveness and recognition of student strengths.
- Diagnostic evaluations pinpoint specific information about a student’s strengths and needs. It can provide a starting point for instruction or identify specific skills on which to focus intervention. Not all students will require diagnostic evaluation.