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I have been working at Monforton School for 14 years. I started as the P.E. teacher and then taught Middle School math for 6 years and I am currently the RTI Director.
RTI is the practice of providing high-quality instruction matched to student needs using learning rate over time and level of performance to make educational decisions. The RTI practice relies on proactive & instructional problem solving to develop plans that address academic or behavioral concerns.
Our RTI model uses a three-tiered approach to provide specialized instruction and interventions as determined by student assessment data in reading and math. The tiers describe increasing levels of intensity: The Benchmark (on-level) tier provides core instruction to all students and is represented by the green portion and the base of a triangle. Strategic includes students who are just-below level who require supplemental or targeted instruction and is color-coded in yellow. The third tier is the tip of a triangle and is called Intensive. This tier identifies students who are significantly below level and who need several direct interventions like smaller group size, modified curriculum, behavioral instruction, and extra support from our staff.
As mentioned, we use assessment data from state, school, and classroom tests. Each year, every student is monitored three times: fall, winter, and spring. Using these results, the RTI team places students in the three tiers. From there, students receive individualized attention in our team meeting. The students are monitored closely – either every week for Intensive, or every other week for Strategic – to make sure the intervention assigned is successful. The RTI team meets about every six weeks to repeat the process of intervention placement. If a student is not making gains, we go through a problem-solving session that could lead to a change in the instruction or a Student Support Team (SST) meeting. The SST meeting is another targeted way of meeting students’ needs. Parents are typically invited to help make the plans at this point. A parent can also initiate an SST for their student, if desired, by calling the school.
The RTI model is circular in nature, going through a cycle of four components: Defining the problem, Analyzing why it is occurring, Implementing a plan of action, and Evaluating for effectiveness. In this way, we can best serve each student as they grow and progress through the year. Data is kept for as long as the students are here.
Although we are not the only school using this model (it is common across the state and across the country), because of our small district, we have a unique position to make the model work really well. Our teachers and staff are fully committed to the RTI process and are invested in taking the time to make sure it benefits all students all year.