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Implementing a RTI Model for ELL: An Urban Case Study


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THis session will provide present the implementation of an RTI model in urban schools with large percentage of ELL. Student Achievement in reading and teacher perceptions of implementation will be presented.

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Implementing a RTI Model for ELL: An Urban Case Study

  1. 1. Implementing a Response to Intervention Model with ELLS: An Urban Case Study Claudia Rinaldi, Ph.D. Orla Higgins Averill, CAGS Sarah Estabrook [email_address]
  2. 2. Presentation Goals <ul><li>To present specifics about the implementation of an RTI model that addresses student reading skills in urban schools with a large percentage of ELLs and a suburban school </li></ul><ul><li>To present school wide changes in oral reading fluency and comprehension as a result of the RTI model for schools in their first year and the school in 3 rd year of implementation </li></ul><ul><li>To present implications of RTI as school-wide reform </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special education referral rates and practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher perceptions of the model </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To discuss the specific issues regarding meeting the needs of ELLs through the RTI process </li></ul>
  3. 3. A Growing Population <ul><li>ELLs increased by over 60% from 1994-95 to 2004-05 (National Clearing House for English Language Acquisition & Language Instruction, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>43% of teachers in the U.S. have at least one ELL in their classroom (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>72% of ELLs are Spanish Speakers </li></ul>
  4. 4. Special Education and ELLs <ul><li>Since the inception of IDEA (1975), the number of students referred for Learning Disabilities (LD) has more than doubled </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2% in 1976-77 to 5% in 2007-08 (The Condition of Education, 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Special education teachers receive an average of 40 hours of training in their program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>60% of those with at least 3 ELLs receive an average of only 3 additional hours of training on ESL strategies (Leos and Demilio, 2005) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. RTI and English Language Learners <ul><li>Response to Intervention is the practice of providing high quality instruction in a tiered system with interventions matched to student need using progress monitoring to frequently make changes in instruction based on individual progress (Reschly, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The potential for reducing the number of racially/ethnically diverse students in special education by applying the RTI model is important, because the disproportionate representation of racially/ethnically diverse students in special education is one of the most prominent, controversial issues facing researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in education today” (Newell & Kratochwill, 2007) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Tier 1 – Primary Prevention Universal screening (CBM) of all students Progress monitoring of ELLs: oral language proficiency & academic language development Progress monitoring of high-risk students Collaborative Problem Solving- School & Grade level Tier 2 – Secondary Prevention 15-20 weeks of small group instruction & Progress Monitoring & Collaborative Problem Solving Team decision to Add, change and/or refer to Multidisciplinary Team Evaluation (MDT) for Special Education Tier 3 – TeRTIary Prevention 1:1 and PM using CBM MDT evaluation Eligibility and IEP Oral English proficiency Academic language proficiency Increasing needs-based intervention Response to Intervention Model for English Language Learners (Rinaldi & Samson, 2008) TIER 3 One-on-One Referral to Special Ed. TIER 2 Additional EIRP Pre-referral Intervention TIER 1 Evidenced-based instructional reading program (EIRP) Universal Screening
  7. 7. This Study <ul><li>This session describes a research project implementing a Response to Intervention (RTI) model to improve reading skills at urban & suburban elementary schools as a school-wide reform effort </li></ul><ul><li>Part of a larger study that includes data from various constituents involved in the reform effort (principals, teachers, & students) </li></ul><ul><li>Research questions : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What were the reading outcomes of students in general in the 3-tiered RTI model? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What were the reading outcomes of ELL students in general in the 3-tiered RTI model? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In the first year of RTI implementation how many students were referral for special education assessment & how many were eligible for services? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Longitudinally look at the school in year 3 of implementation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 9. Study Implementation Overview <ul><li>Trained school personnel before school start on RTI and RTI framework </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All school personnel including individuals identified to be the universal screening & progress monitoring team </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conducted Universal Screening of all students </li></ul><ul><li>Tiered student using data sources & teacher judgment- Class-wide overview protocol (see Stuart & Rinaldi, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly RTI meetings & completion of protocols for tier 2 & 3 students (see Stuart & Rinaldi, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule repeated again at benchmarks (January & May) </li></ul>
  9. 10. Station Teaching using Flexible Grouping <ul><li>We address critical components of reading by having students move through stations/centers in the reading block </li></ul><ul><li>Stations/Centers are design to address: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phonological awareness, decoding, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate small group instruction using direct instruction, semi-independent, & independent instructional practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using flexible grouping formats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobility across instruction and grouping to ensure direct instruction and peer models </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Supported by multiple personnel, grade level planning time , and RTI progress monitoring problem solving protocol . </li></ul>
  10. 11. Progress Monitoring Practices <ul><li>1. Screening all students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify tier 1, 2, & 3 by grade level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Administer one minute timed measures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students in Tier 1 (3 times per year -Sep., Dec., & May) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students in Tier 2 (1 per month) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students in Tier 3 (1 per week) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3. Meet with RTI/PM Team weekly* and discuss all students in your class & grade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor academic interventions & progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note movement in tier by progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor social-behavioral-health services </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Assessments Kindergarten Letter-Naming Fluency (LNF), Initial Letter-Sound Fluency (ISF), phonemic segmentation fluency & Criterion-referenced comprehension test 1st Grade Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF), Oral Reading Fluency (ORF), & Criterion-referenced comprehension test 2nd Grade Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) & Criterion-referenced comprehension test 3rd Grade Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) & Criterion-referenced comprehension test 4th Grade Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) & Criterion-referenced comprehension test 5th Grade Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) & Criterion-referenced comprehension test
  12. 13. Benefits of RTI Meetings <ul><li>Enhanced teacher collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion of Tier 2 and Tier 3 students </li></ul><ul><li>Data informed planning </li></ul><ul><li>Shared responsibilities for teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ My students” become “Our students” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implicit professional development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross training (ELL, special education, general education) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific evidenced- based interventions explored & implemented </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Results, Discussion, & Implications School- wide Data Results Teacher Perception Results
  14. 15. School-Wide Reading Fluency All Schools – First Year Percentage
  15. 16. School 1- Reading Fluency 2007-2008 Urban Percentage
  16. 17. School 2 School-Wide Reading Fluency 2009-2010- Urban Percentage
  17. 18. School 3 School-Wide Reading Fluency 2009-2010- Urban (high poverty) Percentage
  18. 19. School 4 School-Wide Reading Fluency 2009-2010 (Suburban) Percentage
  19. 20. School 1- Urban Two Year trajectory
  20. 24. Impact of RTI on ELLs <ul><li>In depth grade level analysis also suggest: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In K2 there were no differences between Non-English language learners and English Language Learners (ELLs) in risk status according to letter naming fluency (LNF). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 1st grade, ELLs significantly drop below when the stakes go up from LNF to ORF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As non-ELLs progress from 1st grade to 5th grade their risk decreases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As ELLs progress from 1st grade to 5th grade the gap widens- largely in comprehension (good decoders but no context due to language proficiency) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 25. After one year of RTI implementation how many students were referred for special education assessment & how many were identified? (School 1) <ul><li>School year 2006-2007 (prior to RTI implementation) School 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>32 students were referred for special education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>26 students were found eligible (60% eligible) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 more qualified but parent declined services (3%) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>School year 2007-2008 (RTI -year 1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>17 students were referred for special education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10 teacher referred, 9 parent referred </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>7 students eligible (41% eligible)/53% did not qualified </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>School year 2008-2009 (present RTI-year 2) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 students referred as of Feb. 15, 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3 parent referred, 3 teacher requested (1 PT & OT, EBD, 2ELLs) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2 eligible (25% eligible), 1 504 medical </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 26. Teacher Perceptions of RTI
  23. 27. Teacher Perceptions Year 1- All schools <ul><li>General Themes in Adoption </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Assessment and Progress monitoring happening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increased students achievement </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need for more data beyond Oral Reading Fluency </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Intervention and Instruction is being addressed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Established a core reading program by grade </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Indicates change is necessary but does not dictate what to change </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measure effectiveness of instruction- RTI targets or individualizes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Impact on Teacher Practice is evident in classrooms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Needs for Professional development </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Referral practices now are considering language diversity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 28. Teacher Perceptions Year 1- all schools <ul><ul><li>4. Culture of Reform taking place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communication & Collaboration – problem-solving </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers value the new time for collaboration and problem solving at grade level </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5. Special Education Referral Process for ELLs is been critically addressed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>General concerns of the the referrals of ELL still present but more informed but decreased by 50% in school </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers still unable to report rates referring to special education </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Perceive RTI as having an effect in the process even though they were not able to quantify the actual prevalence </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 29. Longitudinal Third Year Teacher Perception Analysis of School 1 <ul><li>Reduced special education referral rate is clear </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No questioning the profiles of the latest referral in contrast to previous years looking for profiles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improved Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Now we have a core curriculum and we use progress monitoring to improve the way we present the core- not just monitor students’ progress. Our core has improved dramatically. I also think the way that we plan the core lessons shows that we have the kids in mind.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Awareness of how to better instruct students who receive Tier 3 and or special education services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RTI has been instrumental in getting to analyze and address our core instruction so that all of us are on the same page”. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 30. Longitudinal Third Year Teacher Perception Analysis -School 1(cont.) <ul><li>4. Efficacy of Using Progress Monitoring to Guide Instruction is clear </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Participants were able to now monitor Tier 2 and Tier 3 students monthly for grade level instructional progress and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>they were able to strategically mobilize personnel resources to assist in instructional interventions and progress monitoring. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>5. Understanding the needs of ELLs is strategic now </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Participants felt that they made a shift in the manner in which they used data to inform instruction. “ (Progress Monitoring data) helps us characterize exactly what the student needs rather than guess at what the student needs.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 31. Longitudinal Third Year Teacher Perception Analysis -School 1(cont.) <ul><li>Most significant finding: </li></ul><ul><li>6. Big Shift in School Culture </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>also specifically describing a shift in their views of themselves as educational leaders </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 32. How Did RTI Contribute to the Success of Students? <ul><li>Teacher collaboration in planning, problem-solving, and communication- developing strong professional learning communities </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers were clear about the need for the core instruction and access to regular curriculum (students not leaving for pull out) </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers strategies around center-based instruction developed around the recommended areas in reading </li></ul><ul><li>Developed a common understanding of RTI in their school and what needs to drive instruction for their population </li></ul><ul><li>Developed abilities to integrate data for planning instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness of the unique needs of ELLs in their school </li></ul>
  29. 33. Discussion <ul><li>RTI model is effective for monitoring the progress of all students including ELLs in reading </li></ul><ul><li>RTI model ensures targeted preventive instruction for all learners is delivered </li></ul><ul><li>RTI models may need to address urban schools even more strategically based on projected percentages </li></ul><ul><li>Change and reform take time </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at year 1 data it is evident that ELLs have unique needs beyond fluency instruction and additional dosage of the core curriculum in small group instruction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must evaluate the role of vocabulary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perhaps address academic language in content areas </li></ul></ul>
  30. 34. LIMITATIONS <ul><li>Qualitative design is subject to the limitations associated with a small sample size and lack of generalizability of findings. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 30% of the teachers represented in each school </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Although large volumes of data were gathered, this collection allows only a glimpse into participants’ perceptions of the efficacy of RTI reform movement in their school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student outcomes and student perceptions </li></ul></ul>
  31. 35. Implications for Practice and Working with ELLs <ul><li>Teacher perception are vital in understanding & planning for a school-wide reform effort </li></ul><ul><li>Educators achieved sustainable changed by creating a balance between administrator and faculty roles </li></ul><ul><li>When participants perceived ownership they will take the challenges associated with including proper training, planning, and supporting of ELLs </li></ul><ul><li>Helped administrators & teachers meet goals that met the needs of all students including ELLs </li></ul>
  32. 36. References <ul><li>Newell, M & Kratochwill, T.R. (2007). The Integration of Response to Intervention and Critical Race Theory - Disability Studies: A robust Approach to Reducing Racial Discrimination in Evaluation Decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Reschly, D. (2005). Learning disability identification: Primary intervention, secondary intervention, and then what? The Journal of Learning Disabilities,38 (6), 310-315. </li></ul><ul><li>Rinaldi, C. & Samson, J. (2008). English language learners and response to intervention: Referral recommendations. Teaching Exceptional Children , 40 (5), 6-14. </li></ul>
  33. 37. References <ul><li>Stuart, S. K., Rinaldi, C ., & Higgins Averill, O. Educators’ three year perceptions of an RTI reform effort in an urban elementary school. Manuscript submitted for publication. </li></ul><ul><li>Rinaldi, C., Stuart, S.K., & Higgins Averill, O. Educators’ perceptions of an RTI reform effort in an urban elementary school: A qualitative analysis of year two. Manuscript submitted for publication. </li></ul><ul><li>Greenfield, R., Rinaldi, C ., Proctor, P., & Cardarelli, A. (in press). Teachers’ perceptions of RTI reform in an urban elementary school: A consensual qualitative analysis. Journal of Disability Policy Studies. </li></ul><ul><li>Chapman, L., Greenfield, R., & Rinaldi, C. (2010). Drawing is a frame of mind: An evaluation of students’ perceptions about reading instruction within a response to intervention model. Literacy Research and Instruction, 49 (2), 113-128. </li></ul><ul><li>Rinaldi, C . & Stuart, S. K. (2009). Whole schooling and response to instruction. International Journal of Whole Schooling, 5( 1), 41-58. </li></ul><ul><li>Stuart, S.K., & Rinaldi, C . (2009). A collaborative planning framework for teachers implementing tiered instruction. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41 (4), 52-57. </li></ul>