RtI in Secondary Schools

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					RtI in Secondary Schools

    Effective Practices and Pitfalls
     Donald D. Deshler & Leslie C. Novosel
 Session Objectives
To explain the work of the Center for Research
on Learning

To identify and describe the needs of secondary
struggling learners

To provide an overview of the essential
components of RtI at the secondary level

To identify and discuss events that enhance and
impede progress of a school-wide secondary
literacy reform initiative
               KU Center for Research on Learning - CRL

 Advanced                                  Institute for
                       Division of                         Professional          Kansas
  Learning                                 Research on                                             E-Learning
                      Adult Studies                         Learning            Coaching
Technologies                               Adolescent                                                 Lab
                                                             Institue            Project

               Institute for Research on                         Professional Learning Institute
                 Adolescent Learning
                                                                 Seeks new ways to deliver quality
         Develop and research instructional                    learning opportunities, conceptualize
         practices, strategies, and programs                   models of PD, and provide support to
            that significantly enhance the                     teachers and other school personnel.
          achievement of adolescents who                       The ultimate goal is improved student
                struggle with learning.                       achievement through effective teaching
              What We Know

     Models & Interventions for Secondary Learners
          ARE Supported by Valid Research

 Increasing Access to Content Area Instruction (Biancarosa
& Snow, 2004)

 Strategic Instruction Model (Lenz, Deshler, & Kissam,

Secondary Behavior Support (Sprick, 2006)
                Framework for Guiding the Development of
             Schoolwide Literacy Services in Secondary Schools

Ensure mastery of critical core curriculum content to develop the background knowledge
required for comprehension, independent learning, and cumulative literacy development.

Integrate key learning strategies into and across core curriculum courses

Develop support structures to more explicitly and intensively teach those strategies that are
required/ integrated across core curriculum courses for those students who need more
direct instruction than can be provided by teachers in core curriculum courses.

Identify and support the development of intensive literacy course options and services (i.e.,
for students with literacy skills below a fourthgrade level) that are integrated into overall
schoolwide literacy development efforts.

Prepare professionals that support literacy goals, such as those provided through speech
and language specialists, to provide clinical support services consistent with schoolwide
literacy efforts.
           Profile of Adolescent Reader

Results of descriptive study conducted with 346 adolescent readers in
which 83% of the students attended urban schools (Hock, Brasseur, Deshler,
Catts, Marquis, 2005)

Struggling adolescent readers

   Overall reading skill at or below 40th percentile
  Need word level, vocab, fluency, & comprehension interventions

Highly proficient readers

   Acquired word-level skills
   Comprehension skills (just above average)
   Need high-level comprehension skill instruction
           RtI Conceptualized

Elementary RtI          Secondary RtI
     One                    Multiple
  Basic Skills              Content
   Seamless                Disjointed
     Small                   Large
   Children               Adolescents
    Flexible             Consequences
   Funding                  Limited
          IDEA Principles & RtI

IDEA mandates that students with disabilities be
 educated with children without disabilities to
 the maximum extent appropriate... and that
 students with disabilities be removed to
 separate classes or schools only when the
 nature or severity of their disabilities is such
 they cannot receive an appropriate education in
 a general education classroom with
 supplementary aids and services
           Essential Components

 Mission Statement       Clear, focused         Commitment

  Leadership Team         Key Players           United Front

Multitiered System of
                         Clearly Defined    Evidence-based, Fluid

Screening/Progress         Measures           Decision-making

     Logisitics         Service Providers        Scheduling
       Mission Statement   Clear, focused   Commitment

If a Student Has a Severe Basic Skill Discrepancy (e.g.,
Reading),Special Education Programs Will Be Focussed on
Intensive, Teacher-Directed Reading Instruction as Early and
Powerfully as Possible.

If a student has basic skill levels, Special Education will
Support Teachers and Students in Content Classes Through
SIM and Effective Behavior Support
                   Mission Statement

The mission or vision statement clarifies the intent of the program, its
philosophy, and the core responsibilities of the special education teacher, the
paraprofessional, and the students.

Without a central philosophy or purpose, special education programs,
especially Resource Rooms, lack definition and may become tutoring
programs, or anything else others deem it to be.

Be proactive in defining and protecting the purpose and integrity of your
Leadership Team   Key Players      United Front

    Representative Membership of Limited size

    Action Plan

    Process for Raising Concerns

    Commitment to Perservere

   Acknowledgement of Time to Allow for
Action Plan
    Screening/Progress                          Measures                      Decision-making

Universal Screening

Conducted as the first stage within a screening process

Identify or predict students who may be at-risk for poor learning outcomes.

Typically brief; conducted with all students at a grade level

Followed by additional testing or short-term progress monitoring to corroborate
students’ risk status

Progress Monitoring

Used to:

Assess students’ academic performance

Quantify a student rate of improvement or responsiveness to instruction

Evaluate the effectiveness of instruction

Can be implemented with individual students or an entire class
  Screening/Progress               Measures               Decision-making
Must address all the important aspects of literacy, including writing

Develop a broad approach to progress monitoring

Pay close attention to:
               the scope and function of decision-making teams
               fluid movement across levels

       Logisitics             Service Providers          Scheduling

Response to Scheduling
   At the secondary level is the complexity of the organization and the “nightmare
of scheduling”, especially in high schools.
  The definition of tiers is an issue:

     Who, what, how, and for how long?

     How intensive should the third tier be before it can be considered
     "specialized" and, therefore, more appropriately a special education service?

  Difficult (although not impossible) for secondary schools to promote flexible
movement across tiers within a semester course schedule.

  Issue of credits; students must be sure to take the courses they need to earn a
       Voices From MS Principals

Most vital behaviors key to your success as a
leader with your RTI initiative?

 Flexible, Keep an Open Mind

 Believe/Value/Confidence [in System], Passionate, Fully Invested

 Hold All Responsible for Collecting/Monitoring Data

 Observe, Model, Provide Feedback, and Support

 Clear Communication
          Voices From MS Principals
2 core competencies essential to creating successful RTI implementation in MS?

  Passionate that all kids can learn, even low-performing 10%, real children
behind the numbers

  Moral obligation, tenacity and not giving up

  Humor, keep perspective, be a learner by putting in the time and effort

  Set high expectations, be involved & supportive at every step

  Calm and confident, consistent

  Not punitive, listen to staff

  Collaborator, flexibility by monitoring and adjusting as needed

  Good relationship with staff, caring team player
            Voices From MS Principals

2 most important things you have done to get buy-in (or deal with resistance) from staff?

    Active involvement, let teachers be managers

   Didn't sugar coat ugly data, came to conclusion together after recognizing the
 need, ecourage questions, sharing info all of the time

    Ability to deliver "hard messages" such as "get on the train or get off"

    Fireside chats with staff, modeling

    Explicit District expectations, improvement plans

    Not punitive, proactive

    Address concerns privately, coaching, dialogue, problem-solving

   Honesty, open door policy, no tolerance for complaining
         Voices From MS Principals

What is the probability that RTI can succeed in MS w/o extraordinarily strong


          100% no, would be a scheduling nightmare

          50/50, good teachers could do it but wold be operating in a vacuum without leadership

          You have to have leadership, but credit should go to staff

          It won't happen

          It can't, leadership is crucial

          It cannot

          It can't, leadership is crucial

          it can't
                    What Will it Take?

“It would be foolhardy to assume, however, that because there is a focus on RTI
at the elementary level, there is no need to attend to it in middle, junior,
and high schools (Ehren,”

  Explain how the rationale of RTI relates to secondary education

  Be prepared to dispel myths that would thwart RTI implementation

  Be encouraged by the opportunities RTI presents in secondary settings

  Be cognizant of, but undaunted by, the challenges of implementing RTI in secondary


  Ask key questions with an ear tuned to positive responses

                                                                           RtI Action Network
To Move the Needle...

  Integrated, school-wide approach

  Entire school community takes ownership of the
 problem (“all my students” vs “my students”)

 Belief that change can happen (“It is what it is.”)

  Empowered to raise achievement (Job
 embedded PD, instructional coaching)
Closing Remarks

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