PD – Response to Intervention

RtI Activities & Readings: All articles and activities we will complete over the next few months pertaining to RtI will be posted here.

RtI Reflections: Please leave comments below regarding the readings and discussion we complete during the Department Meeting on May 8th and the Focus Meeting on June 5th.

48 Responses to PD – Response to Intervention

  1. Rachel, Kathy, Amy D., Amy W., Jean-Paul says:

    The most valuable point of the article is that RTI requires strong team decision making, sharing expertise and staff support and training. We have made some strides this year, but they seem to be more administrator driven than teacher driven. We’ve also had some training with differentiation and writing strategies, but there is so much more we could be doing if given the time and resources.

    Next steps would be more staff development that gives teachers specific ideas they could use in their lessons to engage students of all abilities, perhaps incorporating technologies (such as Smart Board lessons that differentiate). Are there programs out there that address at-risk students in specific content areas? Can we divise a master schedule that would allow teachers to become decision-making bodies? Is there a way to better include parents in the process? Perhaps community involvement would foster a greater interest in keeping students on track for graduation.

    There are many resources that go untapped. We would benefit a great deal from exploring how others are tackling this problem and what supports already exist in the community. It takes a village…

    Upper House ELA PLT: Raising the Roof on Education!

    • You pulled out some really powerful points. The idea that this requires “strong team decision making…” is so true and so critical. The time issue is also a huge aspect of this. The potential next steps you offered are interesting. You raised a lot of questions. I look forward to discussion them further in the days ahead.

  2. CJM says:

    5/8/12–“We’re All Business PLT”–DiMuro and Miceli–MVP–Consideration must be given to the cultural backgrounds and linguistic needs of the students and their families.

    PNS–Keep in mind where students’ learning gaps are and be sure to fill those in before we expect them to reach a higher level of achievement.

  3. AD says:

    The most valuable point to the RTI Article that our PLT took away was the stress on a systematic implementation program to support students, identify students early who may need intervention, and most importantly, provide training to staff on RtI.

    Some possible steps that Athena may use in developing a RtI program:
    SRI for early identification
    8th Grade Exams
    9th grade support classes for students identified as struggling learners
    Academic detention for students who refuse to learn but have the ability
    “Twilight” Academy
    Nova-Net for grade recovery
    PD time to review student data; monitor and adjust intervention strategies for students


    • The need to be systematic is so critical in this movement. Many of the suggested next steps you shared are already in the works and we are continually looking for ways to refine the process. Do you have any ideas about how this might relate to CIA students?

  4. Jason, Nancy, Carol says:

    MVP: Systematic Data Collection: allows us to identify students that need intervention
    Science already has power standards in place.

    Next Step for Athena: Make sure that our schedule for next year accommodates the students that need intervention, with staffing and resources.

  5. Toni, Tricia, Shannon, Erin says:

    Academic resuscitation requires the characteristics of our medical emergency response procedures: urgent, directive, timely, targeted, administered by trained professionals, and systematic.

    We need training in RTI for better understanding this process and how it works with many students at a high school level. An elementary setting is different from our setting. We would benefit from seeing examples of other high schools that have had success with it. What will RTI look like at a high school setting? Teams? Coordinated programs? Legal training?

    • Great MVP… such an interesting comparison. We definitely need more PD. The RtI committee spent this year developing our knowledge base and sharing that with the staff. We have begun the process of sending a few people to trainings and external PD, so that they can come back and share with us the ideas and information they learned. The key will be figuring out ways to make it fit effectively within our system and culture.

  6. tyler, mandi, amy and john says:

    MVP- We have a great number of strengths at Athena, and we are always looking for areas to improve upon. It appears to us that we do have some areas of need before we roll out the “twilight academy” such as a system for placing students in the “twilight academy” in a quick and efficient manner, and a method to assess our success rate (data collection). Lastly, I believe it will be a long, uphill battle with some of our RtI kids to gain parent support for some of our more difficult cases.

  7. Jeffrey Telle / Andy McCormack says:

    MVP: Struggling readers can be grouped to practice study skills. Block scheduling can provide an effective framework for modifying instruction.
    NEXT STEPS: Examine how we use our time in block scheduling. Do we lecture for 84 minutes or take advantage of the flexibility to incorporate small group work, stations, hands-on activities, etc. Do we need to improve our use of block scheduling?

  8. Scott says:

    US History PLT – (Pam, Dan, and Scott)

    MVP: Our MVP from the reading was the Realistic time line when implementing an RTI program… “RTI programs cannot be rushed…” these programs need to be developed over time… staff training is a vital component of developing these programs…. and it is best to start small.

    Next Step for Athena: We feel that we are certainly headed in the right direction regarding the development of a RTI program here at Athena… we feel the next steps will definitely center on collaboration on the development of the program, as well as continued discussion of what the program will look like here at Athena. Teachers and administrators will need to work together in order to develop a program that is meaningful and effective. We are starting small and working together to reach the students that need us most.

    • I love your MVP… the need for sustainability requires that this process be committed to over time. I also agree 100% with the need for collaboration between everyone. That is so critical.

  9. Joe and Mike says:

    MVP: RtI is important as an early intervention for students who are struggling, and could get kids back on track before their academic and behavioral problems become too great. The article mentioned that in one school it was being started at the 8th grade level, and even earlier intervention might be even more effective. Do we know if this is being done at our middle/ elementary schools?

    Next Steps: Possible teacher training by an expert in the field. (Our professional development opportunities have severely dwindled in the past few years…)

  10. Larry Frisa, Carl Stresing, Ralph Fornarola, Robert Marion, Michelle Scamacca, Dr. Clifford says:

    The most valuable point for high school RtI model should be proactive and not reactive. For example, students who need help in writing skills should be identified well before they enter high school. RtI should not be implemented based on current grades in high school. RtI interventions should not be used to replace Common Core curriculum, but rather it should be used to supplement the current instruction and student skills.

    The next step for Athena High School should be to align practices and RtI models with the Athena Middle School. We need to have our RtI programs in writing for students before the beginning of next school year.

    Please do not cut and paste….pending copyright Dr. Clifford, 2012

  11. Diane Maddock and Special Ed Department says:

    MVP: Developing and implementing the RtI plan and TRAINING staff can take a year. Start small, implementing only Tier 1 the first year or Tiers 1and 2 at one grade level or within one team.
    We need to take our time and do it right.

    Next Steps:
    1) 100% consistent support, guidance, training by administration.
    2) Clear, logical, coherent outline of steps and benchmarks for plan development

    • I agree with most of this… but I do not believe that the training should come entirely from administration. I believe we need to develop the internal expertise and capacity of teachers to take the lead in learning about and implementing the RtI concepts. Administrators need to be 100% committed to maintaining the focus… but teacher and admins much work together on this.

  12. Tech Dept says:

    The MVP for the technology department was having strong teams. It begins with the individual’s effort but it’s the team effort and feedback that allow us to improve by sharing our expertise. For our recommended next step we would to use the professional development time to start this process.

  13. Emily Rounding says:

    PLC: Reading Support (T. Woodcock; S. Garcia; S. McLaughlin; E. Rounding)
    Our MVP regarding this article is the importance of taking our time to implement RTI in order to identify the research-based strategies that we’d like to focus on. This could include forming learning/study groups to define which “scientifically/evidence/research based” practices may be most effective for the students in need that we identify.

    Next step at Athena: We need to coordinate across all curricular areas in order to clearly communicate to one another regarding the needs of our students, including a specific RTI document/form to provide information on each student through each tier. However, it’s also important to continually follow up on this documentation utilizing progress monitoring.

  14. Mike Setzer says:

    Team Entropy
    MVP: RtI is important because it takes a proactive approach to learning and helping struggling students. Catching students before they fail is key to this process. It is treating learning emergencies like health emergencies with urgent care by trained professionals.

    As far as next steps, we have AIS in place, but we can be doing more with that if we had the proper training. I think that we as a staff need more training in RtI to make it most effective.

  15. Brian King says:

    Music Department!
    MVP: Clearly defined program for students at all ages and all ability levels with a tiered program implemented over a given time period.

    Next Step: More training and continue development within a ‘realistic’ timeline.

  16. Melanie says:

    The Jim Wratz

    MVP: RTI builds upon existing frameworks, needs to be implemented in stages, and it should be proactive in nature

    Next steps:
    1. Professional development time for staff training, consistency with implementation, and accomplish within a realistic timeline

  17. Barbara Kleman says:

    Within the art dept., we felt the most valuable point for us was the need to start the process
    of support at a much earlier grade level which made far more sense. George stated that he would like to have information move up with each student for all areas including the electives. As well, we discussed the core principles of effective education and high quality instruction needs to be more consistent which we have done this year with our curriculum map.

    As for next steps, Julia said that testing 8th graders and knowing the results immediately would be a step forward and shared with all teachers including the electives. Teachers need to agree on a set of grammar and writing skills so we all teach the same writing skills.

  18. After reading an article by Canter, Klotz, and Cowan, (2008) the Math Department discussed and reflected on the RtI process and the current reality of our school. A couple most valuable points (MVPs) were important to the group. First, parent support and involvement is critical. So often parents are not engaged in the learning of their children for different reasons. Parents should be invited to information sessions and included on advisory councils to provide input into the design of the RtI program. A second MVP is that Athena should build our RtI model in a realistic time line. Often times educators jump into something without addressing specifics. If something sounds good, we try it for a year and abandon it the year after. For the RtI process to have a successful start next year, we need to be talking about specifics as soon as possible. Going forward as Athena sets up the RtI process, the decision makers must encourage and seek out parent involvement, and begin planning soon. Decision makers must also not rush something that is not ready.

  19. Ralph, Larry, Dr. Clifford, and Carl says:

    MVP – Catch students before they fail.

    Disagree – The textbook should not be the center of instruction. The common core and NYS Standards should be.

    Next Step – Make connections with Athena Middle School to help transition and identification of students who are at-risk. We need to be aware of social and emotional problems well ahead of high school.

    We have a doctor in the group, so we must be right 🙂

  20. Jeffrey Telle / Andy McCormack says:

    MVP- Teachers with the same students are grouped together so that the focus of instruction is more student based.

    Disagreement- PJ Caposey states that the high school curriculum is often driven by content not skills, whereas the state is sending a different message driving teachers to teach to the test more than ever.

    Next Steps- Scheduling should be looked at to building teams of teachers with common students.

  21. Jason, Nancy, Carol says:

    MVP: Catch Students Before they fail
    Disagreement: Teaming hasn’t been very successful for us
    Next Step: We need to address the social emotional awareness of our students (and staff)

  22. Kathy Benz says:

    Benz, DiVirgilio, Ingerick and Magin agree that the “diamond” encompasses all students is the most valuable point. The fact that it looks at “Students Needing Enrichment” as well as “Students Needing Remediation” was a strong point for us. We need to look at enrichment as much as well need to help with remediation. While moving all students from left to right on the continuum.

  23. tyler, mandi, john, amy says:

    We have a number of strengths here at Athena.. a great teaching staff, and a strong curriculum for starters. While I agree with many of the ideas in the article, experience has shown us that teams in the high school have been difficult to establish and maintain, and little or no intervention occurs (that we are aware of) during the middle school years. Those items pose a challenge to us. Next step: scheduling and identifying students to enroll in RtI classes.

  24. Linda Ingram says:

    Team Entropy
    MVP–It is important to catch students before they fail, not after. The article references communication with feeder schools, which should be easy for use because our feeder school is in the same building. We should use middle school data more to build support for struggling students.

  25. Barbara Kleman says:

    Barbara Kleman – Art dept.

    The MVP from this article for us was the ability to be successful no matter the size fo the high school – doing things smarter with what you had. As well as, monitoring what to improve and create for the student support.

    I did not disagree with anything in the article, but would have liked to know more about providing enrichment activities and extending the curriculum through creativity and innovation and how it related to the visual arts.As a past Odyssey teacher, I completely enjoyed when I could work with other teachers and create units which extended into the art program through social studies. A favorite was the world religions comparison through the arts.

    I did check the blog today on this and found we are doing a great deal and off to a good start.

  26. Mike Carges says:

    Mike and Joe says:
    Our MVP: RTI needs to be implemented appropriately by increasing our focus on skill development.
    One needs to be cognizant that the teaming approach is difficult to implement with unique teacher certifications in science and the variety of academic paths students may choose from.
    Our next step may be designing a rubric to aid in the student selection process for RTI as well as guiding student course selection.

  27. R.L. Marion says:

    Our RtI team discussed the following:
    1.) The Most Valuable Point (MVP) from P.J. Caposey’s “How to Implement Response to Intervention at the Secondary Level” was how to “Fix the Core Curriculum,” especially the section on how particularly to design such a repair: “Align the curriculum to standards; Maintain high expectations; monitor it frequently.”
    2.) One point from the article with which we disagreed was the author’s comment that RtI does not correlate to school improvement at the secondary level. The key is adaptation according to Caposey’s own hallmarks of personality, climate, and school needs which are only then followed up with implementation.
    3.) The next possible step for Athena on our RtI journey is perhaps to apply Caposey’s “Social-Emotional Awareness and Support” principles to our emerging emphasis on anti-bullying awareness and intervention for the 2012-2013 school year.

    -Ray, Alyssa, Bob.

    • I love the first point you mentioned… the need to align the curriculum to the standards. I might also add that we need to collaboratively prioritize what we will teach. There are too many standards to do an excellent job covering them all with the necessary depth.

  28. Brian King, Kathy Dyer says:

    MVP: Schools teach students, not subjects, and that we must know, value and support all learners in our building.

    Disagree: That RTI has become a cookie-cutter 3-tier system that is over-simplified. We feel RTI is still trying to stay very cutting edge and make adjustments to continue to evolve and help student learning.

    Next Steps: Identify students who need intervention based on many criteria (social, economic, emotional, academic, etc) and begin to focus classes to meet the needs of those students, and group then based on these findings.

    • Such a great point… about teaching students not subjects. This reminds me of a quote by Alan Blankstein… “If we only develop proficient test takers, we will have failed our children. Their joy in learning must be exponentially enhanced by their school experience, not doused by their ability to demonstrate recall on a test.”

  29. Counseling Dept. says:

    From the Counseling Dept:
    We enjoyed the idea that schools teach students not subject. We think this year more than ever before, teachers have been doing a great job of trying to individualize and differentiate their teaching. We’ve tried many new ways for students to learn the curriculum and get their credits. We also noted the emphasis in the article on teaming. We think that there was a great start on that a few years ago, but that the “teaming” idea was never reviewed…why didn’t it work well for us and what could we do to make it better…what was missing, etc. We also thought that the point about recognizing and focusing on students’ social and emotional needs was important to note, as we have a systematic and pretty fluid procedure for students with academic needs (as far as special education services) but don’t have as many services put in place for students with “undiagnosed” social/emotional needs. For example, we have different levels of classes for students with different academic needs (12:1:3, 12:1:1, 15:1, Co-taught, consultant, testing accomodations only, etc.), but we don’t have that wide of a spread with staffing for each for levels of social emotional need. That is something our counseling dept is going to try to concentrate on as the year comes to an end…a better process to help students with social/emotional needs.

  30. Tim says:

    sPeD DePt.

    We all agreed that the MVP of the article was identifying students in need of rTi before they fail and before they get to far downstream in the river of education. The department agreed that teaming as a concept was a good idea but difficult to implement in the HS setting and none of us had as of yet seen it work in that particular setting. The next step for ATHS we believe is building a better “mouse trap” so that students who are in need of rTi can be identified faster and begin receiving the services they need.

  31. Pam vail says:

    Mrs.Parsons Family (Dan Scott,Pam)
    Importance of implementing RTI properly. We need to make sure we really examine all possible aspects of the program . Also networking with our feeder schools to identify any student in need. Recognizing that our student population is changing and we need to be proactive. Equally important is maintaining high expectations and rigor in our classrooms. We need our children to rise to the challenge. 🙂

  32. ELA Department says:

    We found that embracing the team concept was the most valuable point, especially learning that although teaming by subject matter is great for instruction of content, it does not necessarily address interventions.

    We also acknowledged that we have tried to team with the lower house with team leaders and it had minimal success. There are too many variables with the high school schedule. So in theory teaming as they do in the middle school would provide good intervention strategies, it is not feasible in the high school. We need to find alternatives.

    One way to do that is to be creative with the master schedule, not just by changing advisement, but with plan time and Tuesday meeting time. We must find ways to allow teachers to share instructional strategies and best practices with colleagues in their respective departments, and to meet with teachers across the content areas to discuss intervention strategies and promote success with students who struggle.

  33. Literacy PLT- Garcia, McLaughlin, & Rounding says:

    Our most valuable point from this recent article by PJ Caposey is the importance of trying hard to catch kids before they fail.. after the fact it often becomes too hard to bring them around. Additionally, while the benefits of teaming can be great in theory, it’s very difficult to manage in such a large, comprehensive high school setting. Having more common planning time may help.

  34. PE Staff says:

    1. MVP= early intervention- cat6ch the students before they fail
    2. We disagree with the secondary leaders being the only ones to be made responsible. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure the RIT is applied across the board.
    3. Next steps= more training for staff with real application to our subject areas.

  35. Brian King, Kathy Dyer says:

    Jason, we need a solid music curriculum, especially instrumental. Ours is only a Draft right now and has not been touched since Louise Trucks was here. It was never implemented and really needs to be addressed. Right now we have the ability to connect to music teachers who have varied levels of experience, many with over 30 years experience. I think this is a great tool to be able to access and use new, as well as, proven ideas to shape a curriculum that will give us a solid avenue for music education.

  36. DiMuro & Miceli says:

    MVP–Catching students before they fail–having a process in place to identify and assist prior to failing is imperative. Some of us do that now, which is great!
    DW–Only intervention after Grade 11–all students should have every opportunity to succeed, and it has worked even as a senior.
    NS–District-wide process in place. We still have to remember that it all starts with the student. We have to know if and in what areas they’re lacking foundation and build on that first.

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