Leadership Challenge: Implementing RTI and collaboration Christine Gialousis University of New England
Setting the Stage Leadership Position Issues at Hand The culture and climate of this school is built around fear of change and resistance to change. Collaborative time has slowly been built into the master schedule, however, guidance is needed to use this time in a more structured manner. The district recently acquired a new core reading program and teachers are adjusting to teaching a standards-based program. Teachers are overwhelmed and value their personal, “closed-door” time. The school has been using curriculum-based measurements to collect data and progress monitor for 2 years . Approximately 60% of students are meeting reading goals. Position: Reading Coach for the district. This position requires strong communication and collaboration with both administrators and teachers within this grades 3-5 school. My lead charge is to provide ongoing professional development to increase instructional capacity coupled the use of data to provide appropriate, differentiated core instruction and intense interventions. I will be working with building administrators to move the school into an RTI model of services.
To build on current practices ; articulating, clarifying, and improving current initiatives
Information to be Collected DATA Student data How are the students performing? What assessments are currently used to monitor progress? How are student learning goals being set and monitored? How is data used in deciding intervention needs? What are the data points used for different interventions?
Needed Info cont….. DATA Teacher Data (to be collected via survey): What percent of teachers value data? What is the readiness of the teachers to move to an RTI model? What is the comfort level teaching and assessing all students in the classroom? What are experiences with having professional collaborative conversations?
Culture and climate of a school impact leadership, decisions, and future successes (Barth, 2004)
Readiness of teachers needs to be taken into account when forming collaborative groups, having conversations, and executing tasks (Green, 2009).
In order for RTI to be successful, collaboration time must be built into the schedule (Mahdavi & Beebe-Frankenberger, 2009).
Research and Rationale cont. “Leaders have a special responsibility to establish shared cultures. Collaboration, by definition, occurs only when two or more individuals share meaningful responsibility for producing a choice…..one or the other collaborator could not accomplish the task consistently without the contributions of the other.” (Fullan, 2004).
In order for change to occur, all staff need to be involved and invested in the process (Stuart & Rinaldi, 2009).
Surveys will be given to all staff members to gain a sense of culture, beliefs, and readiness. This survey will be given three times over the course of the school year to track progress of change and implementation readiness (Mahdavi & Beebe-Frankenberger, 2009) .
Focus groups will be created. These groups will look at questions and responses from the survey to identify key messages about the goals and vision of implementing RTI. They will problem solve and hold open discussion forums for all staff to have a means to voice their supports, concerns, and questions.
Key individuals will be conferenced with. This time will be utilized to comment on observations, strengths and a sharing of how they can bring the vision of RTI to fruition.
Staff Engagement cont….
The interventionists will pool resources and indentify primary programs for intervention for each Tier of support.
Interventionists will reexamine their role and how to maximize their time and areas of expertise.
Interventionists will offer mini workshops on instructional techniques and best practices
Research “snippets” will be shared with staff at the onset of all team meetings, faculty meetings, and structured collaboration times.
ISLLC Standards Utilized Standard 1 Examples of action Promotes the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation and stewardship of a vision that is shared and supported by the school community. The nature of RTI is to focus on the needs of all learners. The endeavor of implementing such a model requires a shared vision and trust in the change process. As a Reading Coach, I would be a leader in mentoring teachers, instructing students, and building the shared vision through collaborative efforts.
ISLLC Standards cont. Standard 2 Examples of action Promotes the success of all students by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional programming conducive to student learning and staff professional growth. The collaborative nature of the plan provides ongoing professional development for educators while supporting and nurturing the culture of the school. The use of the staff survey will help to have strong understand of current practices and cultural influences. Students will benefit from instruction and programming that is tailored to their needs based on their data.
ISLLC Standards con. Standard 3 Examples of action Promotes the success of students by ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe efficient and effective learning environment. The implementation of protocol, intervention definitions, set assessment periods, and student data sheets will help to ensure fidelity to the plan. The collaboration and reflection times will help support the endeavor while making needed adjustments along the way for optimal efficiency and effectiveness.
ISLLC Standards cont… Standard 5 Examples of Action Promotes the success of all students by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner. The use of the staff survey will help to build understanding of staff readiness. This in-turn will allow for appropriate goal setting for teachers and effective communication. The needs of students will be met based upon what their data shows, not external factors. All students will receive a high quality appropriate education, regardless of their skill levels.
References Barth, R. (2004). Culture in Question. The Jossey-Bass Reader on Educational Leadership , 159-168. Developing Minds Software. (2007). Retrieved April 3, 2011, from Developing Minds Software: developingmindssoftware.com Fullan, M. (2003). The Moral Imperative of School Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Green, L. (2009). Practicing the Art of Leadership: A Problem-Based Approach to the Implementing the ISLLC Standards. Boston: Pearson. Mahdavi, J., & Beebe-Frankenberger, M. (2009). Pioneering RTI Systems That Work: Social Validity, Collaboration, and Context. Teaching Exceptional Children, 42 (2), 64-72. Stuart, S., & Rinaldi, C. (2009). A Collaborative Planning Framework for Teachers Implementing Tiered Instruction. Teaching Exceptional Children, 42 (2), 52-57.