Frequently Asked Questions about Response to Intervention (RtI)


1 Frequently Asked Questions about Response to Intervention (RtI) the district self- We encourage the reader to review the Illi nois RtI state plan and rough these questions and answers. assessment tool prior to reading th State RtI Plan: District Self-Assessment Template: plan/rti_template.doc ific to RtI, that email address is There is an email link for questions spec [email protected] . Implementation of RtI How is it determined who wi ll receive services under RtI? 1. A student would not be “referred” to RtI t he same as a student would be referred for a special education evaluation. These are two different processes. A student is identified for RtI through the data colle ction and analysis by a building level team. A special education request for evaluation can be “made by a parent of a child or by an employee of a State educational agency, another State agency, a service agency” (23 IAC 226.110(b)). local educational agency, or a community “Each school district shall develop and make known to all concerned persons procedures by which an evaluation may be requested” (23 IAC 226.110(a)). In a three-tier model, a school district should administer a universal screening tool in core academic areas at the beginning of each year to identify a student’s ine the effectiveness of the core strengths and weaknesses and to exam curriculum and instruction. The team would then discuss which students would benefit from supplemental interventions in addition to the core curriculum. Initially, a building level team consists of building staff members; however, once a student is identified by the team as a student who may need interventions, the parents of the child would become members der to develop an of the team in or intervention plan. 2. What subjects should RtI encompass? RtI should encompass the core academic areas, i.e., reading, math, writing, science, and social studies; however, w hen planning for the implementation of RtI, districts should focus on reading and math as their starting point and expand to include all core academic areas. 1

2 3. Can students receive Tier II or Tier III acy interventions as part of the regular liter block instructional time? The 90-minute Literacy Block, for example, is for Tier I or core academic er II or Tier III interventions those are instruction only. If a student is in need of Ti in addition to the 90 minutes for more instruction . Interventions are to provide students. 4. What types of supports are availa ble to develop and implement RtI (called “Recognition and Response”) in early childhood programs? State and federal regulations tervention implementation emphasize response to in wever, many districts across Illinois in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Ho utilize Recognition and Response in their early childhood programs. plementation supports on K-12 due to current The state will focus im requirements. Nevertheless, a distri ct may choose to coordinate its early childhood program for RtI and K-12 programs to ensur e a seamless transition between the two. 5. To what degree does a district have to implement an RtI process and how much latitude is it given to implement at its own pace? scientific, research-based intervention All school districts must implement a state regulations. A fter completing the model in order to comply with federal and district self-assessment tool, a district will have a better understanding of what it fully implement RtI. The district plan, already has in place and what it needs to ds and establish a timeline of activities. District due January 1, 2009, will list nee plans must explicitly outline the transition phases describing how full implementation for all grade levels and content areas wil l occur. Full implementation of RtI is expe cted by the 2010-2011 school year. Are different curriculum programs needed for each tier? 6. Instruction and program c ontent should be aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards and Assessment Frameworks. Interventions provided to a student should match his or her needs, as ident ified through universal screening and ongoing progress monitoring tools. These tools should utilize curriculum based measures (CBMs); therefore, differ ent programs may not be needed. 2

3 7. What are som programs that are approved unde r the RtI guidelines for e math Tiers I, II, and III? ISBE does not review or approve specific programs. However, several other . Internet resources include: entities do conduct program evaluations When students receive Tier II or III in 8. terventions or special education services— what subject area is missed? This is a scheduling issue that should be determined at the local level. All students receive the core (Tier I) inst ruction and interventions. Students needing additional support through Tiers II, III or s pecial education, receive these services in addition to the core curriculum (Tie r I). Literacy and numeracy intervention blocks are becoming common practice across the state. Time is found by carefully examining current master schedules to determine how time is currently allocated and how to use staff resources flex ibly in order to provide interventions for students. What certification is required for staff who work with students under an RtI 9. model? There is no specific certification or endor sement for staff members working with students to provide interventions. The staf f member that provides interventions should be trained in the program or curriculum that is used by the district. 10. plement RtI at the secondary level? How should districts adequately im RtI in secondary schools may have a di fferent implementation approach. Specific universal screening tools may not be as prevalent for the secondary education setting; however, curricu lum-based and/or department-level assessments could be used as universal screening tools to assist educators in making data-based decisions regarding student performance. Additionally, assessments already in place, such as ISAT, EXPLORE, PLAN, and PSAE could be used to make placement decisions. 3

4 Reading should be taught ac Every teacher should be ross each content area. reinforcing reading comprehension skills an d focus instruction on how students engage with the text to ensure that all students have a full understanding of it. Additionally, differentiated instructional practices need to be emphasized. of strategies to engage all students in Classroom teachers must use a variety active learning practices. and resources regarding this topic: Below are links to some presentations Reading   4-12 (There are 3 sections: Res ources, Research, and Exemplars)  Events: RtI Summit Summit Presentations  Friday, December 7, 2008: pres entation RTI and Secondary Education  presentation and What Works in the High School:  Results Based Staff Development 11. How does the role of special education change in RtI? The role of each staff member is determined at the local level. In regards to a special educator, the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) need to ensure that they comply with the Illinois Administrative C ode specific to Work Load for Special Educators 226.735 which states in part: In order to provide student s with IEPs the free, appropriate education to which they are entitled, each entity subject to this Part shall adopt a plan specifying limits on the work load of its special educators so that all services required under students’ IEPs, as well as all nee ded ancillary and support services, can be provided at the requisi te level of intensity. ISBE has published a question and answer document regarding special education personnel that can be located on our website at . ng/pdf/sped_personnel_qa.pdf 4

5 12. In what setting/location can interventi odel be provided? ons specific to the RtI m According to the federal r egulations, 34 CFR 300.309(b)(1): as a part of, the referral process, the Data that demonstrate that prior to, or ction in regular education settings, child was provided appropriate instru delivered by qualified personnel. tions must be provided in Therefore, general educ ation instruction and interven e interventions specific to the RtI the general education setting. These includ model since RtI is considered a general education practice. 13. Is the implementati on of PBIS a mandate? Positive Behavior Intervention and Suppor ts (PBIS) is not being mandated. However, districts do need to use a di strict- or school-wide positive behavior intervention system to provi de a tiered approach to meeting students’ behavioral needs. There are a number of assessments and screening tools available. A school- wide systems approach could include an analysi s of the school data related to behavior and/or the analysis of the results from screening and assessment tools. Illinois is the national leader in the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Support. The Illinois PBIS Network is funded by the Illinois State Board of Education, and is a compone nt of the Illinois Statewide Technical Assistance Center. Data used to determine the need for additional student behavioral support, include office disciplinary referrals, in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, and expulsions. or . For more information on PBIS, please visit In the State RtI plan, ISBE supports the use of behavioral interventions and “continuous monitoring leads to responsive levels of interventions” (p. 3). State and federal regulations define the eligibility for serv ices under the category of emotional disability. Coordinated Services 14. How does a school coordinate the efforts of Title I, a 3 ti er model of instruction, and reading specialist services? All of the supports and services available within the school should be coordinated collaboratively through the work of the building team rather than through the efforts of isolated departments and services. 5

6 15. Are Englis eligible to participate in RtI? If so eligible, h Language Learners (ELL) ct participation in RtI? how does their status affe who are identified RtI is intended to benefit all K-12 students; therefore, students RtI just as all other students would participate; this is as ELL would participate in and other federal or state true for a child eligible fo r Title I, special education, contingent upon specific to these programs is funded programs. Entitlement criteria and there are specific obligations that a district must conform to for this is identified to receive Limited English entitlement. For instance, a student who hese services from an individual that is Proficiency (LEP) services, must receive t ore, the building team c properly certified. Theref ould determine that a student that is eligible to receive LEP services would also benefit from RtI interventions. It would be crucial for the building team to involve the specialty teacher to ensure support from all necessary providers the student receives the most appropriate without a redundancy of supports. A valuable resource on literacy and ELL students is available on the Doing What Works website of the U.S. Department of Education ( ). 16. How do gifted students fit into the RtI model? All students, including those identified as gifted, can benefit from RtI because of the differentiated instructional practices. Classroom teachers that differentiate their instruction provide mu ltiple learning opportunities at various levels of unity to demonstrate their knowledge learning. Students are afforded the opport is identified as gifted but is experiencing in multiple ways. Further, if a student difficulties in a specific academic or behavioral skill, that student could be considered for some type of intervent ion to address the targeted skill area. Through analysis of universal screening data, students’ strengths and weaknesses should be identified and instructional decisions made based on this data. Teachers need to tailor their instru ction to meet the full range of student needs. 17. How do students with disabilities already receiving special education services fit into the RtI process? All students need to receive instruction in the core general education curriculum, and interventions should be targeted to meet the students’ i dentified strengths and weaknesses. The main differenc e for students that receive special education services is that a special educator provides services determined by the Individualized Educati on Program (IEP) team. 6

7 18. If a student has an IEP for behavior, c an he/she still receive early intervening services (EIS) for reading? The response to this question depends on t he funding source a district uses to al regulations at 34 CFR 300. provide the EIS. The feder 226(a) permit districts to Part B funds to develop and implement use up to 15 percent of their IDEA coordinated EIS for students in grades K- 12 who are not currently identified as eligible for special education and relat ed services. In January 2006 the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) published a question and answer document relevant to RtI and early intervening ng EIS paid for with IDEA Part B funds is services (EIS). Their response regardi as follows: “However, children with disabilities w ho are currently identified as needing... may not receive RTI services that are [special education and related] services ause EIS is “... for students who funded with IDEA funds used for EIS...” bec are not currently identified as needing s pecial education or related services, oral support to succeed in a but who need additional academic and behavi general education environment.” Therefore, a district ma y not provide EIS funded with IDEA Part B dollars to a student who already has an IEP. However, there is nothing that would prevent a district from using funding sources other than IDEA Part B to provide EIS to such a student, provided this was an allowable use of funds under the different fund most appropriate means of addressing source and EIS was determined to be the the student’s learning needs. Parent Involvement What is the role of par ents in the RtI process? 19. One of the main components of the RtI process is the collaborative team effort. Parents as members of this team, will be involved in data sharing and decision- making. Raw score data may be analyz ed by building personnel; however, the results or conclusions drawn from this analysis should be shared with the team, which includes the parent. The information shared should be specif ic to the student’s progress and allow the team to make informed in structional decisions in a timely manner. The frequency of the data sharing and decision-making timeline should be established by the team when the student’s intervention plan is initially developed. 7

8 20. How does a district/school increase and parent education parent involvement implement RtI? activities to Resources are available through local c hapters of parent and school partnership entities and on the Internet. The Illinois Statewide Technical Assistance Center for Parents (formerly known as Parent and Educator Partnership) has a variety of boration and parent resources to assist districts and parents with colla parent resources are available at: involvement activities. Links to . Data Tools 21. What are the data collec tion requirements for RtI? processes and tools wi ll be made at the Decisions about specific data-collection local level and could be considered as local assessment data for district improvement planning. Data collection to determine student needs typically involves record reviews (e.g., student work, grades, office referrals), interviews (e.g., teachers, parents), observation of the student and the l earning environment and testing (e.g., screening, curriculum-based measures, scientifically, research-based universal classroom tests, district-wide and state tests). The universal screening tool and the curri culum-based measures should align to Additionally, the local assess ments, i.e., scientifically, the district’s curriculum. rriculum-based measures, classroom research-based universal screening, cu tests, department-level tests, and district-wide tests, need to align to the district curriculum to ensure that they can adequately measure student mastery of the core content. With regard to data collection for progress monitoring, as stated in the State RtI Plan: ing RtI, progressively more intensive Within a three-tier intervention model us interventions and supports are coupled with more frequent progress monitoring. At Tier I data are collected and used as a general screening process for all students and to determine effectiveness of core instructional practices. At Tier II data are co llected to determine the effectiveness of an intervention and determine if an instruct ional change is needed. At Tier III, data are collected for the same reasons as Tier II, but are collected on a more frequent basis so that educational dec isions can be made in a timelier 8

9 manner. Data systems used for progr ess monitoring within an RtI model should be consistent across all three tiers and be scientifically based. The use of ongoing as sessment tools serv e three functions, 1) teachers have a consistent and relatively accurate set of goals for students, 2) expectations are he data collected allows teachers to consistent for all students, and 3) t continually check on the impact that their classroom instruction has in relation to grade-level standards. Team Process What are the responsibilities of 22. the building team in RtI? solving method of decision making to Building teams should use a problem udent’s educational needs. The team must match instructional resources to a st define the problem the student is exper iencing by determining the discrepancy actual performance. Once this between expected performance and the student’s hes a student performance goal in the has been determined, the team establis targeted area(s), and develops a plan that details specific interventions to address the goal and determines how the student’s progress will be monitored and implementation int egrity will be ensured. 23. use the intervention before determining that What is the timeline for continuing to ion is needed? Is there a special education evaluat a maximum time that a student can remain in RtI? equested at any time, as the federal and A special education evaluation may be r state regulations maintain. Furthermore, Illinois regulations at 23 Illinois he district shall not use any child’s Administrative Code 226.130 state “... t participation in the [RtI] process as the basis for denying a parent’s request for an evaluation.” There is no set timeline or maximum amount of time that interventions should continue prior to special education referral. The team, which includes the parent, must consider each student’s needs on an individual basis and use student data to determine how long an intervention should be continued. Factors they will need to consider are: Is the student pr ogressing? Are the interventions being provided sufficient to meet the student’s needs? Is the student making sufficient progress to close the gap in the identified area(s)? Can the current interventions be maintained? 9

10 Special Education Evaluation 24. After the RtI interventions start, when does the timeline for the referral process their right to an evaluation? begin and how are parents informed of There is not a specific timeline for implem enting interventions prior to referral for special education evaluation. This t eam decision should be based on student data, and parents may request a special education evaluat ion at any time during In accordance with the federal regulations at 34 CFR the intervention process. 300.311(a)(7)(ii)(C), district s must be able to document that the child’s parents were informed of their right to make such a request, but the regulations do not specify the form of such a notice. In terms of the 60 school-day timeline for completing a special education the district receives informed, written evaluation, this timeline does not begin until parental consent for such an evaluation. 25. How does the RtI process affect the evaluation process? derations section of The Special Education Eligibility Consi the State RtI Plan states “...eligibility decisions typically occur within Tier III when students do not respond to the most intensive intervent ions, but may occur at any tier.” Additionally, the data collected during t he RtI process can and should be used as part of the evaluation proce ss for determining special education eligibility. 26. If a student is found to need an evaluation, what are the types of evaluations y the RtI data used, or used to address processing deficits? Is onl is other testing included? Neither federal nor state regulations require assessm ent of processing deficits when conducting an evaluation to determi the category of ne eligibility under specific learning disability (SLD). The r egulations do, however, require that a full and individual evaluation be conducted before the initia l provision of special education and related services. The stat e special education regulations at 23 IAC 226.130 state the following in regard to determining SL D eligibility: “...each district shall, no later than the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, ocess that determines how the child responds to implement the use of a pr scientific, research-based interventions as part of [emphasis added] the evaluation procedure described in 34 CFR 3 00.304.” Therefore, while a district must utilize an RtI process as part of the evaluation procedures, it is expected that evaluation data will be co llected from multiple sour ces. The decision about other types of data needed and the evaluati on tools used to collect them lies with the building team, whic h includes the parent. 10

11 State Education Agency Responsibility 27. What technical assistance, resources and support will ISBE employ to support public awareness, parent training and personnel training to assist districts with implementing RtI? ISBE already has several training modules that can be utilized for professional development and support to districts, in cluding the modules posted on the Illinois ASPIRE website at . ISBE is also developing additional training modules for use by Illinois districts. Module topics include: Overview and Use of Three-Tier Inst  ruction and Intervention Model to Support Improved Student Performance Leadership Skills for Improved Student Performance  Parental Involvement for Improved Student Performance  Culturally and Linguis tically Diverse Learners and Improved Student  Performance  Scientific, Research-Based Assessm ent for Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring  Data-Based Decision-Making  Scientifically-Based Instruction and Interventions  Determining and Des igning Effective In terventions in Literacy (kindergarten through grade 3)  terventions in Literacy (grades 4 Determining and Designing Effective In through 8) Determining and Designing Effective In terventions in Literacy (grades 9  through 12) Determining and Designing Effectiv e Interventions in Mathematics  (kindergarten through grade 3)  Determining and Designing Effective Inte rventions in M athematics (grades 4 through 8)  rventions in M athematics (grades 9 Determining and Designing Effective Inte through 12) 28. What funding sources are available to districts for implementing RtI? The State RtI Plan discusses funding options available to districts. As a state agency we are continuing to analyze other funding sources and as these become available, we will notif y qualified districts. 11

12 29. Can Title I monies be used to purchase progress monitoring tools? According to the USDE’s PowerPoint on Implementing RTI Using Title I, Title III, and CEIS Funds: “Generally, Title I, Title III, and CEIS funds may be used to fund progress monitoring if the progress monitoring is used to determine the response to an intervention that is su pportable with Title I, Titl e III, or CEIS funds.” For further information, please see the USDE PowerPoint at /titleiparta/08-0398rti.pdf 30. Will there be uniformity in developing student intervention plans—identifying and meeting student needs? No. Intervention planning documents will be created by districts to meet local needs and individual student needs. Spec ific components of a student’s intervention plan will be based on the pr oblem-solving model with the use of data-based decision-making and quality interventions. 31. Will there be a template available to dist ricts to assist them in completing the RtI plans that are due in January 2009? Rather than developing a separate template , the Illinois State Board of Education used the District Im provement Plan (DIP) template available on the Interactive ) for districts to incorporate Illinois Report Card website ( objectives and activities that address t he required components of the District RtI RtI Plan components are available at Plan. Resources for completing the 12

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