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May 21, 2009


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Charles Johns

Excellent and incredibly important post.

I have traveled quite a bit in my discussion on RtI and I routinely find Tier 2 teams attempting to continue their focus on an individual student level as opposed to groups of of students with common needs. These practices inevitably clog a system. Typically, at the high school level, these teams are mini-versions of the Tier 3 team. By not focusing on groups, schools are simply putting more work on the plate of a few over-burdened staff who, in turn, usually are the implementers of the solution.

Keep up the great work.


Joe Kovaleski

Thanks, Charles. You do the same. I like to think that, as we learn to not repeat the mistakes of the past, we move from a pendulum-swing to an upward moving spiral.


Jacquie Lunser

Every child is different and needs special attention to be able to meet their goals, academic and life. It is a special educators job to study, learn, implement,and observe changes in the student's skills. There does need to be a push to loo at the students individually and not as a level. Providing equal education includes giving support so that each students can learn and absorb knowledge.



Every child deserves to recieve a quality education, and we as teachers need to make sure that they get one. RTI is an important process. The problem that I am seeing and reading about in schools the Tier teams understanding what goes into each Tier. Most teachers use interventions, but they are not researched based. The teachers are also not making nots about which interventions work. In the districts I have worked in, Tier 2 has been individual students instead of groups,and the assessment of the student has not been indepth. The middle & primary students are multipling in Tier 3 because of the teachers not doing groups of students.

Laurie Somma

I particularly found this information very interesting. The special education teachers in the school I teach decided to utilize RTI as a way to increase CAPT scores. We had the students read and respond to various types of articles. We will not know if this strategy was effective until CAPT scores are posted. What we did notice is that many of the students who participated in this intervention saw an improvement in their responding to stories.

Sandra Yeager

In my district it is like Tier 2 and Tier 3 are one and the same. The beginning of referral starts with a rgular education teacher noticing problems and making a referral to the "referral team". The team then assigns someone to, usually the special education teacher, to make observations of the child and come back to the team with recommendations for assistance (tier 1). Then in a few weeks the team meets to see if the recommendations are working if not a referral is made to test for special education services. It seems we miss the entire help in the classroom in tier 2.
I agree that every child is different and needs some type of service. The students I believe we are talking about need the additional help they usually can not receive in the regular classroom.

Misty Nemeth

I know that each student legally has the same rights to an equal education reguardless of their exeptionalities and I agree. I have a question on the appropriate timimg of services from support staff and the services that they can offer. For instance, at what level of the three tiered intervention do you request an observation of a student with problems forming blends? At what level of intervention do they begin servicing the student? This is a question that I have about behavioral issue, learning deficits, speech delays, etc. Educators would be more likely to do the appropriate steps of intervention if they were more mapped out. I am not insinuating that teachers can not think for themselves, rather (the teachers I have spoken with would feel better if they knew they were correctly going through the steps. There is nothing worse than feeling obligated to a student to intervene but not knowing exactly sure how to go about it.

Lisa Diamandis

The classrooms today are filled with so many students that are on different levels and teachers are required to implement differentiated instruction. Our school RTI teams are implemented when a teacher refers a student who cannot keep up with the daily work. First we begin with limited supports such as tutoring and if they are still struggling then we develop a plan for their needs and incorporate the appropriate supports and if needed request for testing for special education. However, the RTI team is very effective but there are so many students that need these supports it is hard to accommodate all of them with the limited staffing and the large classes.


I think as mentioned above that a big problem is using the research based interventions. At least this was a problem at my school. Our special education director developed a website for our title teachers to use with proven research based interventions. These ar eth eonly interventions that can be used with our tier 2 students. It is then documented which interventions are being used with the students. In a virtual school it is alot easier to work with small groups of students. I can see how it would be difficult to implement time with small groups ina traditional classroom setting with a high studnet teacher ratio.

Hugette Miller

My district requires intervention strategies to be tried for a nine week period. If there has been no improvements in this time, then another strategy has to be tried for another nine weeks. Interventions have to be tried for at least these two nine week periods before a student can be recommended for testing. It usually ends up taking more then a year for a student to actually be tested. Also, tier two and tier three are treated as the same for the intereventions done out side of the classroom. There are no individual interventions done out side of the classroom. Individual intervetions are done by the classroom teachers.

Lynne Hagan

As I dig deeper into truly effective RTI frameworks, I see the value of a problem-solving approach to matching students (small groups of students) with interventions.

As a first step, take a look at what is currently available in the school and create an inventory of possible instructional resources found throughout the school and assign recommendations for using the resource. I love the idea of creating a data base that can hold basic information that might be sortable or searchable, as well as hold comments from teachers who have used the resource. Next, take a step back and identify the areas of literacy that may not have enough alternatives for teachers to meet the learning and behavioral needs of students.

The flexibility that supplemental resources provides is endless in an RTI framework. It allows teachers to make the necessary shifts in instruction quickly.

How have some of you utilized supplemental resources in your RTI implementations? What has worked for you?

Amazing Water Fuel

Interventions have to be tried for at least these two nine week periods before a student can be recommended for testing. It usually ends up taking more then a year for a student to actually be tested. Also, tier two and tier three are treated as the same for the intereventions done out side of the classroom. There are no individual interventions done out side of the classroom.

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