RtI...how would this be received at your school?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by waterfall, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I used to run the RtI program at my old school. I was by no means perfect at it and had to really "learn along the way" but I feel like I can say that I have a good grasp on it. I'm on the committee at my new school, but as a new teacher don't have much sway. We are a title 1 school and get funding for it, but the school has chosen to spend that money on instructional coaches rather than interventionists. We do have two teachers running interventions as well as coaching, but they are required to pull the "high partially proficient" kids (aka kids who have the best chance of passing the state test this year) for interventions leaving no resources for the lower students.

    This morning we were talking about what each of the tiers actually looks like. The AP who runs the team was saying that the purpose of RtI is to prevent a sped label, and I don't even think that part is true at all. Then we were asking about how interventions for tier 2 and tier 3 were going to work. These are all up to classroom teachers because the school "doesn't have the resources." Tier 3 is expected to be at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. However, we can't "take instructional time" to do this even if you think that you can somehow fit in to the regular school day. We are supposed to give up our planning or meet with kids before/after school to do these tier 2 and tier 3 interventions. Of course that means all the planning and documentation is up to us too. The AP knows that she can't "force" people to give up planning or work non-contract hours, so she made a big speech about this was a "personal moral and ethical decision" about how much we were "willing to give to the kids," and if we decided we were only going to "give" our 8 hour contract day, well then our kids will only get tier 1.

    At my last school classroom teachers were only responsible for documenting tier 1 and I could barely get them to do that. I would love to see what would have happened had someone proposed this. The other teachers on the RtI team didn't seem to think what the AP was saying was that big of a deal. I was telling my team about it and they completely freaked out, but two of them are really high up in the union so it's part of their job to "freak out" about things like this. I'm certainly not pleased with it. Would this actually go over at your school?
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    We have time built into our daily schedules to provide tier 2 and tier 3 interventions. Teachers are the main ones responsible for these tiers, but if you are really having trouble fitting in tier 3, instructional aides are used to carry out the intervention, which is planned by the teacher. We can't legally keep kids out of recess because they are required by state law to have 30 minutes a day of physical activity, so no, teachers would not be giving up their planning to do interventions as recess is our planning time. As far as after school, that would be considered tutoring, and not related to RtI.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    This would never even be proposed in my district!
     
  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Sadly waterfall this was one of the bad things that ended up happening when you decided to leave :). I remember you saying that you liked how that part of your job was last year, and you knew when moving schools that you might not be in a school where things were as good on the building level.

    My response about the ways things are set up is that that setup isn't atypical, but its certainly wrong - both in terms of intended purpose (avoiding sped vs. providing early intervention) and structure (not resourcing tiers II and III). But, sadly, looks like you won't be able to change it.

    Given this, are you still happy with your change of schools overall?
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Yes and no. I enjoy the day to day teaching a lot more than I enjoyed teaching sped (not that I disliked teaching sped, I just like this better). I really like having my own class. My grade level team is awesome and that's something I didn't have in my previous building. We work really well together and provide a lot of morale for each other, which I know can be rare. However, my new admin is pretty much totally nuts and that part makes work very stressful. Apparently last year the previous admin was extremely strict about following scripted curriculum to the exact minute and exact wording of the book. Obviously that was wrong, but this admin has swung too far the other way. No pencil/paper (ever, unless it's an assessment which can't be given more than once a week), kids must be constantly engaged and "happy" (yes, they must look "happy") to be learning, one week it's all about differentiation, the next it's all critical thinking, 3 days later we're told everything they said last week was wrong, etc. Expectations are very vague/constantly changing but strictly enforced. Yes, in my last district the sped admin was pretty bad, but I had very little interaction with them on a daily basis. I certainly miss my previous building admin dearly and how they treated us as professionals. I never worried about losing my job in my last building but here I (along with everyone else) am constantly worried that I'm not measuring up to whatever this week's big thing is. My kids have made excellent growth already and I hope my data will speak for itself, but that's largely due to things I'm "sneaking in" (like fluency practice/interventions). I also miss the sense of leadership/being part of the "bigger stuff" I had in my old building, but I think that's something that you can't expect to have anywhere coming in as a new teacher.
     
  7. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    We have always had RTI interventionists that provided Tier 3 services, but teachers provided intervention for Tier 2 students. This year, the funds aren't available, evidently, and now they are saying that data shows that students who receive intervention from the classroom teacher do as well (and in many cases, better) than those receiving intervention from an "outsider." So this year, we have to provide 30 minutes a day of intervention for Tier 2 Reading, 30 minutes a day of intervention for Tier 3 Reading, and 30 minutes twice a week for Tiers 2 and 3 Math. This must be in addition to Reading Groups and Tier 1 instruction. We have a 30 minute period built in, and fortunately, don't have many tier 2 & 3 Reading students. I take all the Tier 3 Reading students and my grade level partner takes all the Tier 2 Reading students during that half hour. For math, our only option is to teach the lesson for about 30 mins. and then provide intervention for the last 30 minutes. We got an OK on that from our district Math rep., btw. We don't mind spending time on intervention as much as we mind doing it with little to no training on how to help the struggling students. It's really really sad. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer :(
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Oct 6, 2012

    Well... my school doesn't even do RtI. And yes, we're public.

    We have no time built into the schedule for interventions. We have no coaches or interventionists, because we are the "good" school, and the district feels that our data doesn't dictate the need for these people. So essentially, our lowest students are left to drift along, and teachers have to try their best during the class period to give them individual attention.

    Apparently, it's OK to leave kids behind when district funds are on the line.
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    That sounds pretty awful and would never fly. In my district tier I is considered high quality regular instruction with typical differentiation or minor tweaks to help students. Tier II is provides by the classroom teacher, but often covered through guided reading groups or pulling a group to the side while the class is completing an assignment. Tier III is covered by an interventionist, but some years we have different resources and kindergarten pretty much never gets Tier III.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This would not happen in my district. Our planning time is contractually mandated. Principals won't try to reduce or eliminate our planning time, even "unofficially" through guilt-trips and discussions of morals and ethics, because the union will pitch a fit, as it should. The school would need to find another plan.
     
  11. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Oct 6, 2012

    This would be my same answer. It would NEVER happen in my school district.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I hope the union does pitch a fit! I know uninterrupted planning time is one thing they've fought really hard for. The union rep at my grade level said that last year they did this to, but they paid people to work with kids before/after school or during their planning, which is a whole different story. The same teacher is on the improvement plan committee (something we have to do because of low test scores) and she said that this has been mentioned before and the principal just keeps saying she doesn't have the money to pay people.
     
  13. Jlyn07

    Jlyn07 Comrade

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    Oct 7, 2012

    Providing services before/after school would definitely not fly in my school; the union and teachers would put up a fight!

    In my district, we (me and the other 3 AIS teachers) provide intervention for all tier III students and some tier II if we can fit them in, if not we progress monitor them and the classroom teacher provides intervention through differentiated instruction.

    Our program isn't perfect but we're constantly working on it.
     
  14. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Oct 7, 2012

    It could happen at our school, but people would certainly be unhappy about it. We recently went from one 54 minute planning period last year to two 30 minute planning periods (one is personal planning and one is considered "team time"). We received word that we could be asked, at any time, to do an internal sub job during our team time with no supplemental pay because our contract only guarantees one uninterrupted planning period, not two. Theoretically, we could be asked to provide interventions during "team time". But I know ALOT of people (myself included) would be vocal about their feelings if that happened.

    This is my second year at my school and, as far as I can tell, we do not do RtI. I implemented a behavioral RtI program this year for my grade level, and so far, it's working well.
     
  15. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Wow. Just wow. In response to several responses: wow.

    Three years ago, I provided Tier I during "core" reading time via small group instruction, Tier II intervention during dedicated "intervention" time 30 min per day, while a Title I para provided "enrichment" activities for my "benchmark" students, and Tier III intervention was provided for 45 min per day, 5 days per week by either a Reading Interventionist or a SPED inclusion teacher trained in ReadWell (pull out during Social Studies/Health/Science time). No math intervention was done.

    Last year, we lost the grant that funded our reading coach, interventionist, and one para, and suddenly, ALL reading interventions were to be done by the classroom teacher, and Dibels Progress Monitoring was to be done during core reading time (previously this was done by the reading intervention "para."). In the 11th week of school, we were informed that we were supposed to be doing Universal Screening (via Aimsweb) (apparently our former principal didn't believe in it), and subsequent interventions and progress monitoring every two weeks during core math instruction.

    This year, nothing has changed regarding the interventions, EXCEPT... the minimum scores keep going up, we are implementing Common Core, have a new teacher evaluation system, and no materials for any of it.

    Regarding planning time - we have 45 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Next week, 2 of those days will be taken up with meetings - one about our new teacher evaluation SLTs (student learning targets) and the other with 15 minute (as scheduled) SBLT (sped inquiry) meetings (have these EVER taken less than 30 minutes each????). In addition, we are supposed to have a 20 minute duty-free lunch. This is the first chance I have to go to the restroom, check messages, make copies, etc., so I usually eat lunch during my planning period. Guess I'll take some yogurt to my meetings! Oh, and the planning time is also when we are supposed to meet with parents.:unsure:
     
  16. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 7, 2012

    Sounds like some changes for the good and better. At least it's balanced and not all bad :)
     
  17. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    I'm guessing "Land of Sunshine" is Florida, and given everything going on in FL with RtI, that's pretty surprising actually. Guessing you're definitely not in one of the bigger districts.
     
  18. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Right you are, EdEd. I'm in a medium-sized district that doesn't like to play by the rules... unless it suits them.

    (I sure am grumpy these days.)
     
  19. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Rules were meant to be broken right? :)
     
  20. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I have 3-4 babies who will definitely qualify for Tier III. I'm just trying to figure out when I'm gonna carve out 45 more minutes of interventions, and what I'm gonna do with the rest of my class during that time - what kind of meaningful activity can the average 1st grader do without supervision???
     
  21. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Just had to update...this wasn't in my class, but in one of my teammate's classes.

    Apparently the mom of one of the "high partially proficient" kids who is getting pulled for interventions just realized he was an intervention class and absolutely freaked out. My friend said that this students is her highest student in math, and he's being pulled out for 30 minutes a day for "intervention" because he scored 2 points below proficient on the first MAPS test. Mom is obviously upset that he's missing grade level material time to go to some intervention he doesn't need. The principal was "venting" about this parent in front of my team this morning...she couldn't understand what the family was possibly upset about:rolleyes:.
     
  22. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2012

    It's a little more settling to know that my district isn't the only one who is a little... backwards. :dizzy:
     
  23. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Sounds like they consider him a "bubble kid" and could push him over the edge of "proficiency" with that intervention. Definitely a sad reason to push for intervention.
     
  24. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Yep, that is the reason exactly. This is how all of the interventions are set up. There is before school tutoring as well, but again only for the "partially proficient" kids. The "unsat" kids are not invited.
     
  25. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    So, does anyone know if there is actually any legal argument against not allocating intervention resources for the lowest students, or throwing out data from past years? The AP was out yesterday and therefore wasn't at our weekly RtI committee meeting. One of the teachers on the team is a union rep and she was asking me if I knew of anything that they could use to talk with admin. I know there have been some cases recently of schools getting sued for using RtI to keep kids out of sped, but just looking around my state department of ed website I can't really find anything at all. I even found something that was "newly released" that stated that you only had to progress monitor tier 2 every 4-6 weeks. Given that, in order to have the 6 data points to move to tier 3 a student could be in tier 2 for an entire year...so that doesn't really support any arguments that we're keeping them in RtI for too long.
     
  26. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Oct 13, 2012

    1. In our district, Tier one is for all students who are doing fine. As such, there are no special funds for them.

    2. Tier 2 students show problems in some area and teachers are expected to have interventions set up in their classrooms. In two grade levels that are overcrowded, I also help work with these students.

    3. Tier 3 students are on their way to being assessed for a learning disability. Interventions are monitored on paper and data is collected and graphed. I have notebooks for all Tier 2 and Tier 3 students, and a folder for those we may put into Tier 2.

    4. This year, I am the person in charge of Tier 2 and Tier 3 students for two grade levels. That's all I do. I pull grade three students who are officially in Tier 2 and 3 and some from Tier 1 that we think are weak and need a boost up. I pull them 3 times a week for 15 minutes, and then I work with the classroom teacher in her classroom and monitor those kids as well as anyone else who needs help or needs anything. It's a pleasant working relationship, and I think the kids are getting what they need. Heavy interventions for a short period of time and then back in the regular class with an extra teacher available. So there is funding for my position.

    I do this for 3rd grade reading and language, then another hour spent with 3rd grade math. I pull anyone in math class who need help, and by pull, I mean bring them next door to my very quiet classroom and work in small groups or one-on-one. I also may just stay in the classroom and help monitor all kids as they work. Sometimes some of the gifted kids come and work in my class because it's so crowded in the reg. class...28 kids in a small classroom. They like getting their work done and then they read, read, read. Or they work on a project they're working on in the gifted class. But it's very, very quiet in there. I usually quickly check over their work to make sure they understand, but other than that, they're on their own.

    Repeat in the afternoon with 4th grade.

    The principal also has the special area teachers pulling kids or coming into classrooms several times a week. So the ESOL teacher will come in two days a week to the 3rd grade math class. The two gifted ed teachers pull either one or two students and work on skills with them during any extra planning periods. Etc. PE teacher works with one or two students in the morning for 15 minutes before her classes begin.

    Right now, everyone still has their full planning periods.
     
  27. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 15, 2012

    I'm not exactly sure where you're going with this. In terms of delaying full eval to use RtI, there's a huge contradiction in federal law. First, RtI is not only permitted but encouraged, which automatically - by definition - means delaying a full eval. However, federal law also prohibits denying or delaying provision of services due to RtI. Doesn't make much sense, and I would bet that eventually this will be clarified as RtI services improves, buy-in from the community improves, etc. However, case law currently supports that if a parent demands an eval, the school can't delay of a full-service eval in hopes of using RtI and lower tiered services. Still, in absence of parent demand, a school is perfectly fine using RtI to deliver services. I'm not sure of the exact amount of time, though, that is considered acceptable before "delay of services" in considered to have occurred. I don't know of any case law or legal standard in this area. I would imagine that if courts found excessive delay they might do something, but I don't see this as being very likely unless a parent sued.

    In terms of legal obligation to provide RtI services equally to all students, again - grey area. First, RtI is considered a general education concept/service, not SPED. So, any law related to SPED is probably not applicable. I'm not aware of any law requiring schools to provide ALL services to ALL children equally. There might be a case made if students were denied services based on some sort of "protected class" (e.g., race, income), but I don't think "low-achieving" could be considered a protected class.

    On the other hand, IDEA clearly refers to RtI in the structure of identifying SLD, so it could be argued that denying services within an RtI structure could be equivalent to denying initial SPED screening/assessment/intervention. Also, to the extent that a district is using SPED to fulfill its "child find" obligation, it could be argued that such a "child find" screening instrument is not be equally applied, and that the district is negligent for failing to equally "find" children in different sub-par achievement categories. Still, this would probably be a rather convoluted legal argument that an attorney would have to make, rather than a default law that's very clear and already on the books.

    All this being said, these are all my speculations - I'm not an expert in this area, and certainly not an attorney!
     
  28. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Oct 15, 2012

    Tier 3 is taught by Title 1 teacher or reading specialist.

    Tier 2 by the classroom teacher. I teach the fluency intervention and my teammate a comprehension intervention.

    Tier 1 is doing Daily 5 rounds 2 days a week, Kid Blog 2 days, and buddy reading 1 day with 7th graders. I have a HS student aide who comes in for this 30 minute time to guide the Tier 1.
     
  29. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Oct 15, 2012

    I thought this was interesting to, regarding the parent requesting an eval. This is from my state's handbook:
    If a parent requests an immediate evaluation within
    the sixty day time frame during or prior to the
    problem-solving process, is the school obligated to
    default to the discrepancy model?

    If a parent requests an immediate evaluation, schools
    should explain the problem-solving process and the
    services the child will receive during the documentation
    period. Schools may not talk parents out of requesting
    an evaluation; however, it is expected that parents will
    be informed of what the current evaluation practices
    are. If parents request a traditional assessment, schools
    will not be expected to administer an IQ and
    Achievement assessment. Determination of a Specific
    Learning Disability will be dependent on information gathered through the problem solving process.



    Doesn't that make it sound like the state is requiring RtI? I realize that has nothing to do with what I was saying before, I just thought it was interesting because I know we've discussed that on here before.

    The two union people at my school were telling me that if the school was doing something wrong in regardes to RtI, we should really be telling admin about it, just to document that we've told them and "what they do with the information is in their hands." I was telling them that although it could certainly be considered unethical, I dont' think I can prove it's legally wrong, but I told them I would look, so that's why I was asking! I was looking through the "new model" for the state and came up with a lot more questions than answers!
     
  30. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 16, 2012

    That's definitely an interesting response. The first part of the answer seemed very traditional - explain options, hope they accept RtI framework, but give in and do the eval if they request it. However, the second part is interesting - that if a full evaluation is requested, IQ/achievement are not administered but SLD determination is made based on existing problem-solving data. My primary question would be, what data? What data would be collected that could lead to an immediate determination of SLD? Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's much validity in a discrepancy model either, but the only alternative out there is through RtI, which by definition needs time - it doesn't lend itself to a snap judgement based on existing data collected.
     

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