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Leading Response-to-Intervention (RTI)Implementation as an Urban Reform Effort LEARNING FORWARD 2012 Orla Higgins Averill, CAGS Claudia Rinaldi, PhDEducation Development Center, Inc. and John Verre
Need for Understanding RTI ImplementationOf the almost-decade of RTI research conducted since thepassage of IDEA 2004, it remains unclear “how extensivelyRTI has actually been implemented in schools and theextent to which those implementations represent tenableprevention models, guided by best practices” (Fuchs &Vaughn, 2012, p. 2).“We need to examine the conditions under which variousapproaches to RTI are most and least successful … andattempt to derive some principles that can be used to guideschools and districts in developing and implementingapproaches that are sensitive to their individual contexts”(Wixson, 2011, p. 509).
Urban Context for Reform District located in the Eastern United States 55,000 students / 125+ schools 75% of students eligible for free/reduced lunch 85% of students identified as racial minorities 30% ELLs 19% with special education needs Persistent challenges: significant achievement gaps among student groups high dropout rates high percentage of students identified as having special education needs
Adoption of RTI Model Adopted to establish a multi-tier system of supports that incorporates collaborative problem solving, progress-monitoring, and data-informed interventions and supports in academics and behavior Being rolled out over 4-5 cohorts of ~25-30 schools/over a span of 3 years Emphasis on co-construction among external organization, district leaders, school leaders and school staff
Constructivist Leadership Constructivist leadership is about learning together, and constructing meaning and knowledge collectively and collaboratively. “Formal, one-person leadership leaves the substantial talents of teachers largely untapped” (Lambert, 2002, p. 40).
Applying Constructivist Leadership to RTI Infrastructure / Implementation External agent of change supports school leadership and holds accountability for moving forward Staff receive a school-wide RTI orientation Leader facilitates discussion on improving core (i.e., Tier 1) curriculum and instructional practices Together, leader and staff conduct an inventory of existing supplemental instructional interventions. Leader arranges the schedule to allow time for RTI meetings (usually grade-level) to occur at least twice per month with a designated facilitator.
Applying Constructivist Leadership to RTI Infrastructure / Implementation Leader establishes an RTI Management Team to meet at least monthly. Facilitators attend to provide input from grade levels. Leader and staff determine universal screening and progress monitoring instruments and schedule. Professional development planned to support the development of core (i.e., Tier 1) curriculum and instruction, multi-tier instructional intervention and understanding of data. Mechanism for evaluation process of implementation is review regularly (2 to 3 times per year) to allow for refinement of the model from planning to sustainability