Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Progress Monitoring in Response to Intervention

Since the goal of Tier I in the Response to Intervention (RtI) is to rule out lack of appropriate instruction as the reason for inadequate progress, monitoring progress during the intervention is critical. Progress monitoring must be ongoing and is used to determine whether students are responding     to the instructional approach being implemented. Collecting data on a particular strategy is a 6 to 8 week commitment and is done periodically during this time frame. If little to no change is noted over that period of time students may be recommended for additional intervention and placed on Tier 2 in the RtI process. This time frame is important to allow for a student to adjust to the intended strategy and achieve some consistency in progress or lack thereof. The two most common methods for monitoring progress are through “robust indicators” or “curriculum sampling”.  A robust indicator measures an academic skill this is closely associated with performance on student outcomes.  An example of a robust indicator in reading would be a one-minute sample of oral reading fluency.  A curriculum sample data point would be an actual task completed in goal-level material. An example of curriculum sampling would be monitoring performance on samples of items that represent the most critical curricular skills to be mastered by the end of the academic year. Consider the scenario on Jesse:

Jesse is in the second grade and his reading is very deliberate and labor intensive. He has been consistently well below recommended second grade rates on every oral reading fluency probe for the first two months of the school year. His teacher and the child study team decided to have him join two other students who are also poor readers to receive instruction in a small group setting in addition to the general education class instruction (this is Tier 2 intervention). The three students are to work with the reading specialist and use repeated reading to improve fluency. Jesse’s progress will be monitored so that more intensive intervention can be planned if he does not respond to this small group instructional model or if his fluency increases to the level of his peers in the general education classroom setting. If Jesse’s improvement puts him back on peer level, he will return to Tier 1 intervention.

Note that just because Jesse’s Tier 2 intervention is removed, he does not cease getting Tier 1 intervention support in the classroom. That Tier 1 support could include differentiating lessons for Jesse or having a classroom associate work with him in the general education classroom. The key is documenting the data to reflect the success of the interventions. Tier I strategies are used in the general education classroom to support the learning of all students. Additional strategies are then explored depending on the observations made by the teacher about the respective student’s learning challenges.

The primary benefit of RTI is that it eliminates the “wait to fail” situation because students get the help quickly in the general education setting.   It is important for parents to work with the school to support the implementation of strategies in the RTI process. It is also important to note that during the process of RTI, parents do not give up any authority to act on their child’s behalf, and, at any time during the RTI process, parents can request a special education eligibility evaluation.



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