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Determining Eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities






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Determining Eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities. Policy, Procedures and Processes. March 2009. The Guidance Document Process. Included a committee of stakeholders One school-level RTI coordinator/interventionist Two principals One district special education director
Determining Eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities

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Slide 1

Determining Eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities

Policy, Procedures and Processes

March 2009

Slide 2

The Guidance Document Process

  • Included a committee of stakeholders

    • One school-level RTI coordinator/interventionist

    • Two principals

    • One district special education director

    • One district special education coordinator

    • Five school psychologists

    • State RTI Coordinator

    • Assistant Director, OAA

  • Was based on current research, professional judgment, and experience gained from implementing the RTI process in RTI Demonstration Schools

  • West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 3

    The Committee

    Angela Madia, Harrison County

    Beverly Winter, Raleigh County

    Brenda Clark, Tyler County

    Bonnie Vickers, Kanawha County

    Conrae Lucas-Adkins, Lincoln County

    Ed Morgret, Hampshire County

    Hope Reagan, Berkeley County

    Jim Brown, WVDE

    Kerynn Sovic, Jackson County

    Linda Palenchar, WVDE

    Marianne Annie, Kanawha County

    Susanne Vila, Wetzel County

    Vic Fisher, Harrison County

    Slide 4

    Professional Development Plan 2009-2010

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 5

    Guidelines for Identifying Students with Specific Learning Disabilities

    • Guidelines to inform practice and decision-making

    • Background information

    • Strategies and procedures to provide consistency across schools and districts

    • Resources

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 6

    Policy & Guidance

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 7

    Revised Timelines for Implementation

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 8

    Big Ideas

    • RTI conveys a new way of thinking about determining specific learning disabilities

    • Decision-making for determining a specific learning disability is a data-driven process

    • RTI data collection and formal evaluations inform the SLD decision-making process

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 9

    You Will Know…

    • The nature, roles and responsibilities of the various teaming structures needed within the RTI framework

    • Procedures for verifying each of the SLD criteria

      • Level of Learning

      • Rate of Learning

      • Exclusionary Factors

      • Validating Underachievement

  • How to document the written requirements for SLD determinations

  • West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 10

    You Will Understand…

    • EC members need a comprehensive understanding of the student, his/her educational environment, educational history, and response to intervention

    • The EC decision-making process relies on high quality:

      • Collaboration

      • Data analysis

      • Documentation

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 11

    Essential Question

    How can educators, school psychologists, and parents feel confident in making an appropriate SLD eligibility decision?

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 12

    RTI Knowledge Rating Scale

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 13

    Advance Organizer

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 14

    Connecting RTI and SLD

    The Framework and the Identification Process

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 15

    Response to Intervention is…

    a process of teaching students to read, write and do math . . .

    and perhaps concluding that a few have specific learning disabilities.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 16

    RTI Continuum of Support for All

    Intensive

    Strategic

    Universal

    Slide 17

    Opportunity to Learn

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 18

    Two Purposes of RTI

    • Provides an academic support system for all students through tiered instruction, progress monitoring, and teaming

    • Is used as a method for identifying students with specific learning disabilities

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 19

    Research Base for Using RTI as a Component of SLD Identification

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 20

    RTI and SLD

    • West Virginia’s SLD eligibility criteria no longer include use of the IQ-achievement discrepancy

    • The data collected through the tiered instruction model is a component of a multidisciplinary evaluation for SLD

    • SLD is characterized by:

      • Achievement that is substantially below grade-level, and

      • Documented low response to research-based intervention

    Slide 21

    LD Identification Considerations

    • Low academic growth does not necessarily constitute a specific learning disability.

    • If the low-performing student does not grow where other students are thriving, targeted intervention needs to be considered.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 22

    The Paradigm Shift

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    • Work with a partner

    • Read “Connecting the RTI Framework to SLD Determination” pp. 2-7

    • Reflect on the changes in identifying students with SLD

    • Complete the Paradigm Shift Worksheet

    Slide 23

    Conceptual Framework for SLD Identification

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 24

    Advance Organizer

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 25

    Problem Solving and Teaming

    Laying the Foundation for Decision-Making

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 26

    Problem Solving Process

    Step 1: Problem Identification

    Step 4: Evaluating Response to Intervention

    DATA

    Step 2: Problem Analysis

    Step 3: Intervention Planning & Implementation

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 27

    Teaming Structures

    Each collaborative structure provides a framework and process for discussing students’ educational concerns.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 28

    IIT and SATRoles & Responsibilities

    IIT

    • Teachers working together to:

      • Identify students for tiered intervention

      • Group students

      • Select and develop targeted interventions

      • Monitor student progress and effectiveness of interventions

    SAT

    • Review and validate documentation collected during the instruction and intervention process

    • Make recommendations for further, broader problem solving activities

    • Initiate multidisciplinary evaluations for special education

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 29

    SAT Forms

    • Local districts are encouraged to develop SAT forms that meet the needs of their students and schools and communicate problem solving activities to parents

    • Sample SAT forms are available on the OSP RTI web site at http://wvde.state.wv.us/osp/RtIForms.html

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 30

    MDET and EC Roles & Responsibilities

    MDET

    • Review and discuss existing data collected during the tiered intervention process

    • Determine the need for additional evaluations that inform instruction and eligibility decision-making

    • Select appropriate assessments to confirm or reject a SLD hypothesis

    EC

    • Review and discuss student’s response to intervention

    • Review and discuss results of additional evaluations

    • Determine if multiple data sources indicate a specific learning disability

    • Document the presence of a SLD

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 31

    Roles & Responsibilities At-a-Glance

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 32

    Student Support Teams Sort

    • Read the roles/responsibilities of the various teaming structures

    • Categorize each according to:

      • IIT

      • SAT

      • MDET

      • EC

      • IEP Team

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 33

    Parents as Partners in the RTI Process

    The district must document that the student’s parents were notified about the following:

    • The state’s policies regarding the amount and nature of student performance data that would be collected and the general education services that would be provided;

    • Strategies for increasing student’s rate of learning; and

    • The parents’ right to request an evaluation at any time throughout the RTI process

    http://wvde.state.wv.us/osp/ResponsetoInterventionParentsGuide.pdf

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 34

    Parent Requests for Evaluation

    • The law is clear - a parent may request an evaluation at any time during the RTI process

    • If a parent requests an evaluation, the district may choose to:

      • Request permission to evaluate, OR

      • Decline the request to evaluate and issue prior written notice (PWN) in accordance with the regulations

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 35

    Determining Levels of Support through Problem Solving (p.14)

    Identifying Students for Tier II Support

    Identifying Students for Tier III Support

    Use September universal screening results to identify students at risk for failure

    Group by similar academic needs

    Provide 2 rounds of Tier II

    Continue problem solving activities throughout Tier II

    Use results of 2 rounds of Tier II intervention to determine appropriate Tier III intervention

    May be provided simultaneously with a request to evaluate

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 36

    Advance Organizer

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 37

    Multidisciplinary Evaluation Components

    Selecting Assessments to Inform Instruction

    and Determine SLD

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 38

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    A complementary relationship between the RTI process and psychoeducational testing exists in evaluating for a potential learning disability.

    Slide 39

    RTI as a Component of the Evaluation for SLD

    • Data collected throughout the RTI process is used as a component of the multidisciplinary evaluation

    • Calculating a severe discrepancy is no longer part of the SLD determination process

    • Policy 2419 phases out the use of IQ-achievement discrepancy to determine SLD

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 40

    RTI Documentation Constitutes Existing Data…

    Most information is gathered through the course of the student’s instruction and intervention…

    • A chronology of the student’s educational history

    • Benchmark and progress monitoring data

    • Results of diagnostic assessments to inform the intervention process (e.g., Quick Phonics Screener, Phonological Awareness Screening Inventory, Basic Reading Inventory)

    • Specific documentation of the nature and intensity of general classroom instruction

    • Comprehensive documentation of the nature, frequency, and duration of intervention

    Slide 41

    Considerations for Selecting Formal Assessments

    • In conducting an evaluation, MDETs select assessment procedures that will link eligibility determinations to instruction.

    • Assessments that focus on specific features of a student’s academic difficulty are more useful than measures that address global academic areas.

    • For the student who exhibits weaknesses in areas such as memory, attention, or processing speed, the evaluation battery addresses those areas.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 42

    Cross Battery Assessment (XBA) Approach for Determining SLD

    • Cross battery assessment(XBA) is a process of selecting subtests that target specific cognitive domains.

    • XBA results and interpretations inform and guide instructional approaches and strategies for the student.

    • X BA includes multiple measures for arriving at a conclusion that confirms or rejects the hypothesis made by the SAT and MDET.

    • Lists included in the SLD guidance document are not exclusive. Professional judgment and expertise should guide the selection of tests.

    Slide 43

    Observation Requirement

    • The student suspected of having a SLD must be observed in the learning environment, including the general classroom setting, to document the student’s academic performance and behavior in the areas of difficulty.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 44

    Observation Requirement

    • Use information from observation done before the student was referred for an evaluation OR

    • At least one member of the evaluation team conducts an observation after the student has been referred for evaluation and parent consent is obtained

    New

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 45

    Observation and Parent Consent

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 46

    Observation Requirements

    Before the Referral

    After the Referral

    Running records

    Principal walk-throughs

    Informal or anecdotal information that addresses specific referral issues, instructional practices and fidelity of instruction

    Observations made by reading specialists, co-teachers, counselors

    Formal classroom observations conducted by a member of the evaluation team

    Information regarding setting demands, student behaviors, teaching practices, and any other related curriculum and instruction issues that may affect student performance

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 47

    Activity: Designing the Evaluation

    • Read the Case Study entitled “Danielle”

    • Work with your group to create an assessment battery matched to Danielle’s learning characteristics and performance data

    • Keep the goal of instructional planning in mind

    • Record your decisions on the large chart paper

    • Be prepared to share your decisions

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 48

    Which did you consider in planning the evaluation?

    • Rate of learning

    • Level of academic performance in one of the 8 areas for SLD

    • Memory

    • Processing speed

    • Attention/concentration

    • Visual motor integration

    • Behavior

    • Executive functioning

    • Speech/language

    • Primary language

    • Phonological processing

    • Academic fluency

    • Others?

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 49

    Advance Organizer

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 50

    SLD Eligibility Standards

    Operationalizing the SLD Criteria

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 51

    Policy 2419 SLD Criteria

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 52

    SLD Guidance Document Scavenger Hunt

    Work with a partner at your table. Use the SLD Eligibility Standards section, to answer each question on the Scavenger Hunt worksheet.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 53

    All the data have been collected…What constitutes a convergence of evidence?

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 54

    Good decisions are based on

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 55

    Four Questions for Eligibility

    Does the child achieve adequately for the child’s age or meet State-approved grade level standards?

    Has the child shown a lack of response to scientifically based instruction?

    Have other factors or conditions been ruled out?

    Are the student’s academic concerns the result of a lack of instruction?

    Policy 2419 Eligibility Standards

    address these questions

    Slide 56

    Standard 1: Level of Learning

    • Addresses mastery of grade-level content

    • Evidenced by significant and persistent low academic achievement even after intervention

    • Guidelines for Determining Severe Underachievement assist the EC in making this decision

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 57

    Defining Severe Underachievement

    • Research indicates that a score of the 30th percentile on a nationally normed benchmark test or individual achievement test is equivalent to a proficient score on most statewide tests (Kovaleski, 2009).

    • To demonstrate inadequate achievement relative to this standard, West Virginia is using at or below the 8th percentile to meet the SLD qualification.

    • IQ score is not a comparable comparison against academic performance.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 58

    WV Guidelines for Determining Severe Underachievement

    • Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) results that include a minimum of 6 data points that reflect at least 16 weeks of intervention that are at or below the 8th percentile.

    • Norm-referenced achievement test score at or below the 8th percentile.

    • Inadequate performance as indicated by assessment of grade-level CSOs

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 59

    Purpose of the Severe Underachievement Guidelines

    • No single data source is more important than another

    • Multiple sources establish a convergence of data and help the EC reach a logical conclusion about the student’s underachievement

    • The Severe Underachievement Guidelines (i.e., 8th percentile) are not fixed rules used to deny eligibility

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 60

    Standard 2: Rate of Learning

    • Student’s rate of progress as compared to expected rate in a given content area

    • Determined by comparing the slope of the student’s data points with the slope of the expected learning rate (aim line)

    • Standard 2 is met when the student’s learning rate or growth is substantially below grade level peers

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 61

    Progress Monitoring Resources

    http://www.studentprogress.org/default.asp

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 62

    Understanding Slope of Progress

    • Progress monitoring considers student performance over time

    • Change is reflected in slope

    • Slope calculation addresses both the expected and actual rates of performance

    Follow-up training will include specific information on using slope within the SLD identification process.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 63

    Using Acuity for RTI

    http://wvde.state.wv.us/oaa/acuityfaq.php

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 64

    Using Acuity for RTI

    • Acuity is an online/paper-pencil platform for grades 3-11 for Mathematics, Reading/Language Arts, Science and Social Studies

    • Acuity includes:

      • WVDE authored benchmark tests aligned with WESTEST2

      • Custom test capability using 25,000 items aligned with WV 21st Century CSOs

      • Instructional resources to target instruction

      • Immediate reporting capabilities

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 65

    Using Acuity for RTI

    • Progress monitoring assessments comprised of multiple measures of critical skills will be developed by the WVDE

    • Acuity progress monitoring measures will address critical academic components such as vocabulary, reading comprehension and mathematics

    • Instructional Resources can be used to support instruction

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 66

    Standard 3: Exclusion Factors

    • Standard 3 is met when the EC can rule out:

      • A visual, hearing, or motor disability

      • Mental impairment

      • Behavioral/emotional disorder

      • Cultural factors

      • Environmental or economic disadvantage

      • Limited English proficiency

      • Lack of appropriate instruction

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 67

    Considerations for Validating Exclusion Factors

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    (Adapted from Kovaleski, 2009)

    Slide 68

    Validating Underachievement(Ruling Out Lack of Instruction)

    • Only after a student has been provided an opportunity to learn with the additional targeted supports provided within a tiered instructional model should referral and eligibility for special education eligibility under the SLD category

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 69

    The EC ensures that the underachievement of a student suspected of having a SLD is not due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the five essential components of reading, written expression or mathematics…

    Phonemic awareness

    Phonics

    Fluency

    Vocabulary

    Comprehension

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 70

    Considerations for Validating Underachievement

    • Appropriate instruction in reading, written expression and mathematics

    • Student’s primary language

    • Limited English proficiency

    • Environmental and cultural factors

    • Excessive absences and patterns of attendance

    • Interruptions in schooling

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 71

    Validating Underachievement

    Students who demonstrate reasonable progress in response to research-based strategies and interventions should not be determined eligible under the SLD category using RTI criteria even though they may have academic weaknesses.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 72

    Ruling Out Lack of Instruction

    • Has the student been provided opportunities for increasing levels of research-based instructional support?

    • Were the tiers implemented with fidelity?

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 73

    Essential Questions at Each Tier

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 74

    Assessing Provision of Appropriate Instruction

    • Principal’s regular review of lesson plans

    • Principal’s regular observations of classroom instruction (e.g., walk-through documentation)

    • Intervention lesson plans and progress monitoring data that document nature, frequency and duration

    • Fidelity checklists completed by teachers

    • Fidelity checklists completed by content specialists or curriculum supervisors

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 75

    RTI Fidelity Checklist

    • Serves as verification of RTI process

    • Completed by principal

    • Submitted to SAT and EC

    • Ensures appropriateness

      of the referral

    • Intended to document fidelity of RTI process

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 76

    RTI Fidelity Checklist

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 77

    RTI Fidelity Checklist

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 78

    RTI Fidelity Checklist

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 79

    Two Options for Tier III

    Student is not suspected to have a SLD

    Student is suspected to have a SLD

    Implement Tier III and continue to monitor student’s response to intervention; and

    Reconvene the SAT periodically to review and discuss the student’s achievement

    Based on Tier II data, convene the SAT to initiate a multidisciplinary evaluation;

    Implement Tier III and collect data on the student’s response to intervention; and

    Use the data to make the EC decision

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 80

    Advance Organizer

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 81

    RTI Documentation Requirements

    SLD Team Report

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 82

    SLD Team Report

    • Has been revised to accommodate all areas in which a SLD may be manifested (e.g., reading, mathematics, written expression)

    • Includes IDEA requirements

    • Is completed when a student is suspected of having a SLD

    • Accompanies the Eligibility Committee Report

    • Access on line at http://wvde.state.wv.us/specialeducationcompliance/resources.html

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 83

    SLD Team Report

    • Based on multiple and convergent sources of data, the student’s current level of performance is below grade expectations in one or more of the following areas:

    • The student has been provided high-quality, research-based instruction and intervention

    • Progress monitoring results indicate minimal or low response to intervention

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 84

    SLD Team Report

    • The student’s severe underachievement is NOT primarily a result of any of the following:

      If NO, note exclusion factor and explain: ____________

    • The EC has reviewed the following required documentation:

      • Data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals (progress monitoring data)

      • Observation of student academic performance

  • The EC has concluded that the student has a specific learning disability

  • West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 85

    Reevaluation & Private Schools

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 86

    Reevaluations

    • Review existing evaluation data

      • Current IEP and progress toward meeting annual goals

      • Evaluations and information provided by parent/student

      • Current classroom-based, local or state assessments and classroom-based observations

      • Observations by teachers and related service providers

  • Conduct additional evaluations if needed

  • Slide 87

    RTI and Private Schools

    • RTI is a component of the evaluation process for SLD

    • Same evaluation components and procedures apply

    • Option to collect documentation as part of the referral process

    Policy 2419, Chapter 8, Child Find Requirements

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 88

    RTI and Private Schools

    • Data that demonstrate that prior to or as part of the referral process, the student was provided appropriate instruction in general education settings; and

    • Data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal assessment of student progress during instruction, which was provided to the student’s parents (i.e., benchmark and progress monitoring data).

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 89

    RTI and Private Schools

    • The evaluation team, which includes the parent, private school representatives and district personnel, develop a data collection plan as part of the multidisciplinary evaluation.

    • Every effort should be made to inform the parent and private school personnel of the need to address the student’s academic difficulties through the provision of intervention and use of frequent progress monitoring.

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 90

    RTI Knowledge Rating Scale

    Let’s see how we rate now…

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 91

    Post Your RTI for SLD Questions

    http://rtiwv.edublogs.org/

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009

    Slide 92

    Contact Information

    Linda Palenchar

    RTI Coordinator

    Office of Special Programs

    lpalench@access.k12.wv.us

    West Virginia Department of Education 2009


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