Role of School personnel in RTI
Responsiveness to Intervention (RTI) is defined as the practice of offering the best interventions or instructions to meet student needs (Boyles, 4). It can also be described as using the rate of learning per unit time and performance level for crucial decision making. School staffs can play significant roles by using RTI in identifying weak students and giving them the necessary support to enable them to succeed in their studies. These roles would call for changing the approaches used in assessing education and carrying out intervention activities in schools. The school psychologist can use their expertise to assess children with disabilities and develop high-quality interventions to assist them.
Based on their research, school psychologists can make recommendations to support the needs of students. General education teachers would act on the recommendations given by a psychologist in giving instructions to students. School personnel needs to maintain a database that documents the performance of every student. In addition, they need to always monitor student progress. The principal would ensure that the best instructional and developmental support systems are in place. Again he or she would ensure that organized documentation proves that interventions are employed with devotion, integrity, and the required strength.
RTI is a collaborative process and school personnel needs to work together to be successful. Reading specialists would identify children’s difficulties and participate in the development of appropriate intervention measures. Parents need to monitor student progress reports and offer the necessary intervention support recommended by educators. Special education teachers, general education teachers, and reading personnel would provide notification to parents about student progress and give intervention participation documents. However, RTI requires that interventions address the personal needs of children and this requires the collaboration of all school personnel.
Different ways schools can structure the RTI model
There are three major ways that schools can structure the RTI model. The first approach, considered the most crucial element, is that all students need to get instructions based on core programs developed through evidence and scientific research. Generally, this approach is comparable to curricula developed to meet the state standards. The purpose of the intervention programs is to provide the best education that has reputable outcomes to all students with learning disabilities.
The second approach targets students who achieve less than expected and could fail academically, though they are above high-risk levels. The special needs for these children are recognized by carrying out assessments. Educational programs should then be developed that focus on student’s special needs. Instructions would be given to small groups compared to the first approach. The last approach is intended for students who are at high risk of failure. It is considered that these students have special needs. The groups are much smaller, about 2 or 4 students. Some models prefer using one-to-one coaching for this group of students.
The learning process is slow and students need careful assessment. Intervention measures that meet student needs are developed by a team of experts (Broxterman, and Angela, 56). In some cases, educators may need to integrate different structures of the RTI model. Students would be indifferent groups where they are assessed, monitored, and given appropriate intervention measures to meet their educational needs.
Some of the best practices that should be applied to an RTI model
Even though practices for implementation of RTI models differ, there are some best practices that should be applied to the RTI model regardless of the implementing school. These practices are common to most RTI implementations. The following sequence makes the implementation process easy. The first practice involves the use of scientific-based research intervention. Even though this practice is highly regarded, it may not be available to all schools due to a lack of expertise. In such schools, reputable practices should be adopted and their impacts monitored from time to time. Data collection is another important practice.
This involves collecting data about all students to identify those with learning challenges. The data would form an important part of the decision-making process. It can also be used in developing good intervention measures. The best decisions in RTI are made based on children’s performance data. Data is collected through assessment processes. Lastly, the performance of students needs to be monitored with their educators and parents.
Student monitoring is defined as a recurrent measurement of student performance to give information on each student (Addison and Cynthia, 59). The tools used in monitoring should be reliable and accurate to demonstrate the development of students. Monitoring helps in making improvements where necessary. Also, it helps in identifying the best approaches to intervention. Monitoring should be done at least every month.
Difficulties that schools might encounter
Schools may encounter some challenges in implementing RTI models. The most common challenges include scheduling, personnel, resource limitations, and complications in building consensus. One of the greatest challenges with RTI is that there are no guiding principles or methods of determining what should be or should not be considered correct systems of intervention. This means that response to intervention is an exceptionally subjective process.
Whereas some educators can naturally give proper interventions that can enable students with disabilities to succeed, other educators will have serious challenges in giving any form of appropriate intervention. Moreover, some children, especially those with learning challenges, will definitely try to keep up with their peers irrespective of any intervention being provided. Therefore, while some true students with learning disabilities would not be recognized through RTI assessments, many students without disabilities would be included in the intervention programs. Apparently, there is no simple or exclusively correct approach for evaluating or recognizing learning disabilities.
Irrespective of the method used, assessment teams should know that there are potential pitfalls. Thus, they need to make professional decisions to determine if a child has learning disabilities. Implementing schools need technical systems for managing data about students’ performance and progress. These systems would require some resource investments. Developing good schedules for implementation could also be a challenge to schools (Searle, 12).
RTI incorporates assessment and intervention to improve student performance and reduce social problems. RTI requires the collaboration of all school personnel. Assessment data is used to identify children whose performances are lower than expected. It also requires monitoring of student progress and the provision of scientific-based interventions in response to student needs. The nature and intensity of interventions can be adjusted where appropriate to meet student learning challenges.
Response and Intervention are necessary to give students a high-quality education that would enable them to succeed. Due to the continuous need to improve learning in schools RTI would be a very useful tool for educators and policymakers. Both teachers and decision-makers would use the RTI model to Identify students with disabilities and ensure that they get the necessary education and associated supports. Decision-makers would use RTI to plan for resources required to reduce the threat of long-term negative impacts linked to poor learning in schools. Also, the existing intervention measures would be evaluated and improved to achieve high-quality education.
Addison, Patricia, and Cynthia, Warger. Building Your School’s Capacity to Implement RTI. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2011. Print.
Boyles, Nancy. Launching RTI Comprehension Instruction with Shared Reading: 40 Model Lessons for Intermediate Readers. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House Pub, 2009. Print.
Broxterman, Kelly, and Angela, Whalen. RTI Team Building: Effective Collaboration and Data-Based Decision Making. , 2013. Print.
Searle, Margaret. What Every School Leader Needs to Know About RTI. Alexandria, Va: ASCD, 2010. Print.