Each school and district is different in the resources it can put towards intervention. This includes dollars for materials/programs and towards payment for staff. It’s also a mentality or ordering of priority. And this ordering may be dictated by the day to day pressures that a school may face.
This post will define those involved in the intervention program at Randolph Elementary.
Our Superintendent, Dr. James Lane, has made RTI development a priority in the last several years. Our county program is known as the Goochland Tiered Intervention Program (GTIP). Weekly leadership meetings, possible due to our size of 5 schools, will often touch on student data. On a quarterly basis the Superintendent will visit each school to discuss results and action plans. The Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and a central office part time data analyst will join that meeting.
This year our Director of Special Education is focused on GTIP more than in the past. This trickles down to getting support from the elementary Special Education Supervisor. Both of these individuals are School Psychologists and can contribute a wealth of knowledge to data analysis, cut score suggestions, interventions, and the process of moving students from Tier 2/3 to the possible special education evaluation process.
This year we have a full time Reading Specialist. She has helped with cut scores, progress monitoring instruments, Tier 2 intervention material development, teacher education (for Tier 1 and 2), and defining the structure of GTIP. She also provides Tier 3 reading instruction 5 days a week to students in grades K through 3. This year she was asked to not pull 4th and 5th grade students, but rather work to strengthen Tier 2 intervention through modeling, training, and resource creation.
The GIST (Goochland Instructional Support Team) Facilitator and County Literacy Lead has helped in many of the same areas of our Reading Specialist. She can also do student observations and help in the behavioral realm of tiered support. As she is a reading specialist, the conversations around reading instruction, intervention, and monitoring has been very helpful.
Our teachers and instructional assistants serve as our Tier 2 Interventionists for Reading and Math. Unfortunately we do not have additional funding (Title 1, etc.) to cover interventionists outside our specialists. This requires training and discussion about the difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruction. Data meeting discussion with teachers first focused on the who, then it switched to the how. This is both good and bad. The bad means that we must be efficient in switching classrooms for the 30 minute intervention block and getting a room settled. Teachers must also own different kids and teach differently (intervention versus remediation). The good is that they know all kids on their grade level academically well. And Tier 1 instruction is strengthened as they pull from Tier 2 resources and discussions.
And the principal, that me. Coordinator, cheerleader, researcher, data manipulator, motivator, accountability holder, cross grade level sharer, resource sharing determiner, etc. etc. You’ve got to be actively involved and have RTI on your radar as a priority. Absolutely lean on experts and gifted educators. But give praise, credit, assignments, and expectations to keep the ball rolling.