Guest Blog - RtI

Thanks, Jessica, for the opportunity to guest blog! This is my first time guest-blogging, and I'm glad to have the opportunity. 

I'm the RtI Coordinator at a PreK-8 Imagine charter school in Florida. Prior to my current position, which is new for this year, I taught PreK ESE, 1st, 3rd and 4th grade as well as middle school reading. I hold certification in Elementary and Special Education and am currently finishing my educational leadership M.S. This will be my fourteenth year teaching.  I've taken a  long path to my current position and I truly feel I have found where I belong. Finally. 

I thought I would share with you how our school has RtI set up.  Response to Intervention was introduced as an alternative to the discrepancy model of identification for students with learning disabilities. The model our district use is a tiered model. We have three tiers. All students are considered to be in Tier I (aka: "good" teaching).  All students are screened.  At our school, we identify students based on Spring SAT10 scores, FCAT (Florida's state test), FAIR (a state required progress monitoring tool), informal assessments and reading and math progress monitoring.

Students scoring below the 10th percentile on the SAT10 or FAIR can be immediately placed into Tier III if the team decides it is necessary.  Tier II students receive an additional 30 minutes twice a week in their area of weakness using research-based programs and teaching strategies. Tier III students receive an additional 45 minutes in their area of weakness in lieu of physical education, music, art, etc. We graph students considered at risk and place them on a Progress Monitoring Plan.  After 8-12 weeks, we review their graphs and current grades and data to determine the need to move to Tier II.  This year we will be doing this at monthly Targeted Problem Solving Teams (TPST) as a grade level. After 8-12 weeks in Tier II, we will meet again for a TPST meeting. If the team believes it is necessary to move the student to Tier III, we hold the meeting with the school psychologist and parents in attendance. After 8-12 weeks in Tier III the team meets to determine if the student can be dropped to Tier II or if the team needs to consider recommending a meeting to determine eligibility for ESE.  

Also new this year, I am implementing a school based team with a member from each grade level to help make decisions and keep track of students' progress. Our goal is to make a minimum of 1.5 years' growth with every student below the 25th percentile in reading and math.