I’ve been trying to find others working under an RTI model (our Tennessee brand is RTI^2, for “Response to Intervention and Instruction”) at the high school level. No response to these repeated tweets:
So I guess we’re out here alone (please prove me wrong)
Here are our first steps to implementing RTI in our high school of almost 2,000 students, grades 9 – 12:
- Scheduling: We have a fairly standard 7-period day, so scheduling time for RTI was our first, huge challenge. Level 2 and Level 3 intervention courses were created to address learning deficits in Reading and Math.
Students who score in specific reading or math areas in the 10th – 25th percentiles will be given a 47 minute period of Level 2 Intervention class each day in addition to their regular Math and English classes.
Those who score below the 10th percentile will be given a Level 3 Intervention class, also 47 minutes. Although it’s recommended that Level III be more time-intensive, we are, as always, restricted by the bell schedule,.
- Data Collection and Progress Monitoring: We’ll collect daily data for specific target objectives for each student in intervention, and are to administer short progress checks at least every two weeks. For now, we are to administer a “universal screener” at least three times a year to get an overall picture of student progress. Our county selected STAR, from Renaissance Learning, as our screener, but many of our teachers are skeptical about the validity of this measure. In fact, we have yet to preview any screener that we really like.
Credits: Students will earn credits toward graduation for the intervention courses, and those who need several intervention courses can meet our state’s graduation requirement for a focus area elective with intervention classes.
Students who make improvements and no longer qualify for intervention classes can transfer out at the end of a semester, receiving a half credit only. We don’t have any options for exiting students who progress out of the deficit level within a semester. We also haven’t agreed on grading policies for the classes yet.
Inclusion: For the past few years, we have had “inclusion” classes that were intended to be co-taught by a general and special education teacher, with about 1/3 of the students in the class identified with special needs. Teachers had a hard time implementing the co-teaching model well, so we’ve dropped it.
Students with disabilities will still be in general education classrooms, but distributed more evenly among teachers – and without special education teachers in the rooms. The hope is that the RTI classes will address the deficit areas and students will do better in their general education classes. The 1% or so of students with the most significant disabilities will still have pull-out special education classes, when needed, and support from special education assistants, if needed, in general education classes.
*The RTI model also includes some major changes in identification of students with Learning Disabilities, but these changes effect earlier grade levels more than high school, since most students who truly need services have been referred for special education long before coming to us.
In the future I’ll be reporting about our progress