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What has to exist in order for RtI to work?
RtI is successful when an infrastructure exists to support sufficient assessment and intervention resources to make decisions that result in successful outcomes for students. School staff must possess skills in the necessary assessment and intervention practices. Applying these skills requires that staff members have an understanding of evidence based interventions and how to apply them to academic or behavior problems. Additionally, monitoring would be needed to assure that interventions are implemented with a high degree of fidelity. Teachers and support services personnel will require the support of building administrators and district staff to implement the RtI model. Support provided to teachers must extend through the implementation of interventions and the collection of appropriate data to assess student progress. The implementation of RtI is best done in phases with focus on quality over quantity and generally requires three to six years. Extensive professional development must take place. For more information about professional development, refer to Response to Intervention: Policy Considerations and Implementation published by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc. (NASDSE) pages 39 - 42.
What is the criterion for a successful intervention?
An academic intervention is successful if there is a sustained narrowing of the achievement gap for the struggling learner as demonstrated by data collected through progress monitoring. A behavioral intervention is successful if there is a reduction in the problem behavior and/or an increase in desired replacement behaviors.
How long should interventions be implemented in RtI?
The amount of time required to identify and verify the effective interventions will vary by skill (decoding, algebraic equations, etc.), the age, and the grade level of the student. Interventions should be continued as long as the student exhibits a positive response. The interventions should be modified as appropriate when a student’s progress is less than expected.
What documentation is used with the RtI model?
Districts should document the assessment and intervention strategies and outcomes using the district’s PMP and/or BIP guidelines. The use of graphs and charts is a basic component of RtI. In addition, other data collection strategies may be employed at the teacher or building level. Such strategies should produce documentation of a student’s progress or lack of progress (e.g., graphs, charts).
How is RtI funded?
The RtI model will operate within the current funding structure in the state of Florida. IDEA 2004 allows for up to 15% of the Part B allocation to be used for early intervening services. Other funding streams can be utilized such as the Title I, Supplemental Academic Instruction (SAI), reading FEFP, etc.
Is RtI just a way to avoid providing special education services?
RtI is a way to integrate the mandates of NCLB and IDEA so that all students receive high-quality, effective instruction in the general education setting and beyond.
How/what do we communicate to parents?
Regardless of whether the parent initiated a concern or the teacher initiated a concern, parent involvement is critical and should be facilitated throughout the process, beginning with the problem identification phase. The district should communicate the progress monitoring information to the parent each time the data are analyzed. Parents should be involved in all the decisions regarding modifications to interventions and related changes to a student’s curriculum.
Do I have to use RtI to determine eligibility for the program for students who are SLD?
Yes, in order to comply with SBER 6A-6.03018, eligibility for SLD must be based upon response to intervention data which confirm:
If a parent requests an immediate evaluation within the sixty (60) day time frame during or prior to the RtI process, is the school obligated to default to the discrepancy model?
The Florida Department of Education hopes that RtI is utilized and/or is successful long before a request for an evaluation occurs. However, in accordance with SBER 6A-6.03018, FAC and the IDEA 2004 Federal Regulations, the 60-day timeline must encompass RtI practices. The 60-day requirement in Florida stipulates that if the parent requests an evaluation before the interventions have been completed, the district must complete the general education interventions concurrently with the evaluation but prior to the determination of the student’s eligibility. Parents are to receive frequent progress monitoring updates throughout the RtI process in such a way that they are assured of actions taken to improve their child’s educational outcomes and the results of those actions. If parents and the district decide to extend the 60 days, there is a means to do so currently in the rule. Timelines for the completion of evaluations may be changed as the administrative rules are redrafted to support the IDEA 04 regulations.
How will the ESE teacher plan interventions for a student after he or she has been found eligible for services through the RtI process?
The multidisciplinary team continues to work together until effective interventions have been implemented regardless of the setting in the school within which the student is receiving services.
Under the RtI process, how will students transition between districts using different evaluations models?
For students with an IEP, IDEA 2004 Section 614 (d) (2)(C) states that “…the local educational agency shall provide such child with a free appropriate public education, including services comparable with those described in the previously held IEP, in consultation with the parent until such time as the local educational agency adopts the previously held IEP or develops, adopts, and implements a new IEP that is consistent with the Federal and State law.” Additionally, current SBER 6A-6.0334 is consistent with IDEA 2004 in regards to transferring exceptional students. A student found eligible for a program in one district in Florida is automatically eligible for the same program upon enrollment in any other district in the state unless and until the IEP team determines through reevaluation that the student is no longer a student with a disability under IDEA. Districts may use different evaluation models to determine eligibility. However, regardless of the evaluation model used to determine eligibility, it is expected that the RtI model will result in an intervention plan that significantly improves the academic performance of the student.