Friday, May 15, 2009

Is RTI in our future?

Jonathon’s question: Our school site is considering the piloting of an RTI model to help our District move towards meeting the AYP requirements. What do you think about the Blueprints for Implementation presented at The National Center for Response to Intervention?

I couldn’t open the first document, but was successful with the second. Though I haven’t looked at all the information in this feed (there is a lot), what I have reviewed is consistent with what I have read and learned about this approach to intervention. We decided last year to explore RTI (Response to Intervention) because of the success some systems are experiencing and because of the support it is receiving at the national level. Districts exploring this model are better positioned for federal support than those not engaged in this research-based approach to intervention.

We chose Rock Creek as the site to begin our exploration and spent this year learning about it and visiting other systems that are using the model. A team of teachers with guidance and support from Michele Willson and Annette Whittlesey have attended training and explored options for implementation at Rock Creek. As I have shared in a previous post, I am excited with the attitude that the team has developed around the model and await a proposal from Fritz for a pilot implementation.

I believe that the model has the potential to change the way that we approach intervention, but it will require changes to practice that have been in place for many years. The interesting part concerning these changes is that there is no clear decision making process in place at the district level to review how we use Title 1 and RAP funds because we have always used them to support reading interventions. Since the proposal is focused on math with the need to use paraprofessional and certified intervention time in this content area, we will need to first make decisions on who has autonomy and how to reach closure before we even review the proposal. This will stretch us, something that I look forward to and see as an opportunity for system growth.

In closing, yes I think that the outline of a proposal that I have seen has a chance to become a pilot at Rock Creek, but as I shared above, it will require a significant shift in how we allocate limited resources. Will we be able to make this shift without negatively impacting the reading achievement levels that we currently experience? This will be one of the key, critical questions that will be explored as we discuss this potential intervention model.

Thanks for asking Jonathan.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Thank you for the generous gift of your time to address my question so thoughtfully. I was excited to see and read your prompt reply during a break at RA, but I was not able to respond until now. I am sorry that you were unable to reach the link to the Response to Intervention: Blueprints for Implementation document. Though I truly appreciate your efforts, I believe my question is only answerable after this document's review.

I will email you the document, and if you could please find time to review it, I believe within moments you will be as impressed as I am with the academic integrity and completeness of this blueprint. I sincerely hope it either reaffirms the approach to RTI implementation that you currently imagine, or that it provides you with a solid new direction.
Jonathan Hartke