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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

RTI and SPED

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I was wondering if anyone's had a lot of success with the RTI model and tracking methods within their school, or school system? I am intersted to hear what everyone has to contribute, as I have heard great things, and terrible outcomes of the RTI process.

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SMcCarthy's picture
SMcCarthy
K-12 special education teacher

I am a true believer in RTI. When our school first jumped on the wagon, it quickly became confusing and overwhelming to many of us. I suggest taking it slow and putting specific organizational and management systems in place before starting. Otherwise it's easy to become consumed with paperwork and assessment data and not have time for the teaching and interventions! The process and the organization of a schoolwide RTI process starts in each individual classroom. Getting everyone on board and on the same page is tough, but necessary.
I am in charge of implementation at our school and we had a difficult time with the issues above and that made it very hard to decipher the impact of RTI at our school. Last year we implemented a awesome RTI management tool called, "Ready to Iniciate Response To Intervantion.". We put one of the kits in each classroom and our teachers were all trained in it. We saw amazing results in just weeks. Teachers commented that the system finally made RTI clear and kept them on track and organized so that they had more time to work with the students. I was in charge of monitoring the kits and coordinating meetings. At the end of the year I collected the data from the kits and easily organized the data for each student. This year we have a collection of completed data forms on every student that received interventions last year. The teachers have a wonderful resource for this year and we are extremely excited to see how it goes.

Here is some info on the kits:
RTI RTI is a complete management system that includes step by step documentation forms and a filing process that was developed and designed by educators, for educators. Each classroom based kit includes
color coded, systemized forms and an organizational format that guide every teacher through the RTI process. Precise and simple to complete RTI/RTI covers all necessary documentation while outlining the implementation of RTI at your school.
Www.greatmindsthinkdifferently.com

Sara Adkins's picture
Sara Adkins
Special Education K-5

At our building, our RTI process works well and our kids don't get left behind. We have a dedicated team in every building (made of up 2 gen. ed. teachers, title 1 teacher, a special educator, principal, and sometimes our district diagnostician) that meets every week for 45 minutes.
If teachers have a student in their classroom that they feel is struggling, they sign up for a meeting and the team meets on that student. We create a chart that lists the student's strengths and weaknesses and make a list of possible interventions. We write a goal or 2 for the student, and then the teacher selects a few interventions to try out and then tries those and monitors for 6 weeks. We then reconvene on that students and decide if the interventions were working or not and what the next step may be (more intense interventions, special ed. testing, etc.).
This system works great in our district and I feel that the kids are truly getting the help they need, even if they don't end up in special education. We use all the staff in our building to help provide interventions and really do what we can for the kids.

Elizabeth Harvey's picture
Elizabeth Harvey
High School English Teacher, Special Ed

I have been teaching for 35 years and I think that RTI and INCLUSION are old ideas with new names. I am for every student placed in a learning environment that allows successful learning to take place. My district has, and still does, view Sp. Ed as a "terminal" placement. Sort of like cancer, once you have it, you cannnot get rid of it. In fact, the state of Texas must have realized this because beginning this school year ARD committees must sign a statement saying they are aware of the implications of instruction in a Special Ed. Setting. That being said, do I think ALL kids need to be in a regular classroom? NO! There exists a population of students who do need more individualized instruction to be successful. (And I am not referring to the MR student). But I think we throw the baby out with the bathwater to throw all students in a regular classroom and expect them perform, ESPECIALLY AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL! Today's curriculum makes rigorous demands on all students and teachers. Inclusion may be appropriate in some cases and in a theoretical world it looks great . Let's bring reason back to the table and all have a bowlfull

Rebecca Alber's picture
Rebecca Alber
Edutopia Consulting Online Editor
Blogger

Hi all,

Here's a post I wrote about one middle school in the Los Angeles area, and some of the approaches they took with intervention at their school:

Intervention for Failing Students: What Matters Most?

Best,
Rebecca
Edutopia

mkspecialeducation's picture
mkspecialeducation
sped teacher from Tennessee

We are only using RTI as an identifier for services in Reading and Math, they are not addressing any other issues.

Melissa Wolfe's picture
Melissa Wolfe
Graduate Student- Elementary and General Special Education, mom of 3

Do school districts offer some sort of training for RTI? Also, are there RTI representatives for each district that can ensure teachers are implementing it correctly? It seems like having an RTI mentor would be beneficial. Of course, that = $$ !!

Diane Cotton's picture
Diane Cotton
Literacy Specialist

Our state department of Ed provided train the trainer models and each district sent a team to be trained. This District RTI team then trained teachers and administrators in our district. Every school now has an RTI Committee to look at data and determine if their RTI interventions are successful, when to move students through the tiers, etc. The district has a specialist who will assist the school RTI committees when they need help. I am that district wide person. I periodically go to the RTI committee meetings at each school to observe and offer suggestons. In our district, each school comes up with an RTI model that works for them. Every school is different in their approach. As the district RTI person, I also keep track of data, the computerized RTI paperwork program and meet with the Curriculum Coordinator and Special Education Coordinator to keep them up to date on RTI procedures and processes.

lisa yeoman's picture
lisa yeoman
MA Special education multi-cat/autism

I have been following this group and value your comments! I would also like to ask if anyone would please take this short survey (less than 5 min)concerning special education teachers only (past or present) it is necessary for my master's research. We need this information to move forward! Thank you!
http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22EG3NUS22K

LydiaJacobs1's picture
LydiaJacobs1
teacher/tutor from South Florida

I think RTI is great in theory, but, as everyone else has been saying, it is a long process. When I taught third grade, my teammate had a student who was going through the process. Her parents felt that she needed ESE services immediately, but because she wasn't that far along in the process, she didn't qualify for ESE until the following year.

OCTAVIA N. SLEDGE POLITE's picture
OCTAVIA N. SLEDGE POLITE
Eighth grade Social Studies teacher from Union, City GA

As a first year teacher, I am new to the process. My team members seemed to have very negative thoughts and feelings toward the process. Now, i understand why. It is taking so long to compile the list of accommodations.

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