Shifting Gears SLD Eligibility Determination in an RtI World
Objectives • Describe practical and conceptual issues related to implementing the specific learning disabilities rule • Apply a problem-solving/response to intervention thinking logic to intervention decisions and disability determinations. • Identify the technical assistance resources available through the Florida Department of Education and other resources and tools of relevance to practitioners. • Analyze student performance data (level of performance and rate of progress) at both group and individual levels relative to expectations/standards.
Shifts in the Law . . . Alignment of ESEA and IDEA • Improved student outcomes • Effective instruction (highly effective teachers & leaders) • Early intervention and prevention • Use of evidence-based interventions • Data-driven accountability & data-based decision making
ESEA Reauthorization – Key Priorities • Highly effective teachers & leaders in every school • College- and career-ready students (rigorous standards & assessments aligned with standards • Equity & opportunity for all students (improving learning and achievement in America’s lowest performing schools) • Raise the bar & reward excellence (performance pay) • Promote innovation and continuous improvement
RTI & Education Reform • What we need . . . is a way of screening children, early in their schooling, that can help schools and educators identify those who may not be responding to instruction – and thus may be at risk for school failure. The technique allows schools, on a school-wide basis, to provide any student more intensive support–and monitor their progress – than may be typically available in every classroom. • What we need is . . . “Response to Intervention” AlexaPosny, Assistant Secretary, OSERS at NASP 2010
Critical Role of School Psychologists in Multi-tiered Models of Support AlexaPosny, OSERS, NASP 2010 Convention Provide professional development Provide culturally competent services at all tiers of service delivery Work closely with teachers and school teams to enhance critical skills Consult with teachers and other school staff Advocate for evidence-based and culturally competent practices Help schools reform practices that result in inequitable and ineffective outcomes
Congressional Vision & Purpose – 20 USCS §1400 • Vision - “Improving educational rights for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.” • Purpose: • Ensure that children with disabilities have services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living • Ensure that educators and parents have the tools to improve educational results for children with disabilities • Assess the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities
Improving Outcomes for Students withDisabilities – 20 USCS § 1400(c)(5)(F) • Having high expectations & ensuring access to the general education curriculum in the regular education classroom. • Coordinating special education with other efforts so that special education becomes a service NOT a place. • Providing incentives for whole-school approaches, scientifically based early reading programs, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and early intervening services toreduce the need to label children as disabledin order to address their learning and behavioral needs.
Early Intervening Services20 USCS § 1413(f) • Professional development that improve staff capacity to deliver scientifically-based academic and behavioral interventions • Educational and behavioral evaluations, services, and supports including scientifically-based literacy instruction
Shift happens . . . aka, It’s not Your Grandmother’s School Making the shift to a new paradigm does not simply involve accepting a new set of skills. It also involves giving up certain beliefs and practices in favor of others.
An Essential Shift in Thinking The central question is not: “What about the student is causing the performance discrepancy?” but “What about the interaction of the curriculum, instruction, learner and learning environment should be altered so that the student will learn?” This shift alters everything else Ken Howell
Shifts inPractice . . . • Focus on intervention rather than placement • Use assessment to identify and monitor interventions • Base intervention intensity (dosage) on student need rater than label or diagnosis • Make decisions based on student outcomes • Apply problem solving fluidly • ALL students
J J L Intervention L Consider ESE J Monitor Progress J Problem Solving Problem Solving Problem Solving Problem Solving Monitor Progress L General Education L Consider ESE if necessary Shiftin Function of Interventions Intervention Traditional J Response to Intervention
The Paradigm Shift in School Psychology • Shift from correlational science of standardized testing to experimental science of interventions guided by problem solving and response to intervention • Shift from search for pathology (underlying process deficits, disabilities, and disorders) to one focused on building capacity of systems to improve student competence • Shift from deficit perspective focusing on weaknesses to resilience perspective emphasizing strengths & ways to modify the environment to increase probability of success Jim Ysseldyke – 2009 NASP Legends of School Psychology Address
NASP Blueprint III (2006) • School psychologists should work to improve competencies for all students and build and maintain the capacity of systems to meet the needs of all students • School psychologists should be instructional consultants who can assist parents and teachers to understand how students learn and what effective instruction looks like • School psychologists must possess a set of skills, including the ability to use problem solving and scientific methodology to create, evaluate and apply empirically validated interventions at both an individual and systems level
General Education Intervention Procedures, Identification, Evaluation, Reevaluation, and Initial Provision of ESE Rule 6A-6.0331, F.A.C.
Organization of Rule 6A-6.0331, F.A.C. • General Education Intervention Procedures • PreK Procedures • Initial Evaluation • Parental Consent for Initial Evaluation • Evaluation Procedures • Determination of Eligibility • Reevaluation Requirements • Additional Evaluation & Reevaluation Requirements • Parental Consent for Services
General Education Intervention Procedures Rule 6A-6.0331 (1)
Why? – Provide a coordinated system of intervention support in general education. Who? – Students needing additional support to succeed in the general education environment. How? – Teams applying a problem solving process to develop and implement coordinated general education intervention procedures. Highlights of the “General Education Interventions Rule”
General Education Interventions (1) • District responsibility to implement coordinated general education intervention procedures for students needing additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in the general education environment • District may carry out activities that include the provision of educational and behavioral evaluations, services, and supports as part of general education intervention procedures • Group of qualified professionals and parent may determine that general education interventions are not appropriate for some students
General education interventions (1) • Parent involvement in process including discussion of RtI • Observations in educational environment to document area of concern • Review of existing data including attendance • Screenings – permits screening or assessments for intervention planning • Evidence-based interventions
Evidence-based interventions (1) • Developed through a PS/RtI process that uses student performance data to: • Identify the area of concern • Analyze the area of concern • Select and Implement Interventions, and • Monitor the effectiveness of interventions • Interventions implemented as designed for a reasonable period of time (fidelity) • Intervention intensity matched to student need • Ongoing progress monitoring communicated to parents in understandable format
General Education Intervention Memos • General Education Intervention Requirements for Home Education and Private School Students – June 27, 2008 • General Education Intervention Prior to Referral for Special Education – December 23, 2008 • Response to Intervention for Gifted Learners – January 19, 2009 and February 4, 2009
Keeping up with PS/RtI in Florida • Florida’s RtI Website http://www.florida-rti.org/ • Statewide Projects • PS/RtI Project http://www.floridarti.usf.edu/ • PBS Project http://flpbs.fmhi.usf.edu/ • TLC Project http://www.rtitlc.ucf.edu/ • Florida’s SLD Website http://www.fldoe.org/ese/sldr.asp • News, Events, & Resources • On-line Professional Development • Parent Brochure • BEESS Weekly Memo
RTI Resources for Parents • Florida Response to Intervention http://www.florida-rti.org/Partnership/involvement.htm • RtI Action Network http://www.rtinetwork.org/Essentia/Family/Schools-Families-and-Response-to-Intervention • National Center on Response to Intervention (RtI) – RtI Stakeholders: Familieshttp://www.rti4success.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=12&Itemid=65 • National Research Center on Learning Disabilities http://www.nrcld.org/topics/parents.html • Parent Advocacy Brief – National Center for Learning Disabilitieshttp://www.ncld.org • Response to Intervention (RTI) – A Primer for Parents – NASP http://www.nasponline.org
National RTI Resources • National Center on Response to Intervention http://www.rti4success.org/ • RTI Action Network http://www.rtinetwork.org/ • Center on Instruction http://centeroninstruction.org • What Works Clearinghouse http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/ • NCCRESthttp://www.nccrest.org/ • Intervention Central http://www.interventioncentral.org/ • IRIS Center – Vanderbilt http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/index.html • NASP http://nasponline.org/
Identification & Evaluation Rule 6A-6.0331 (3) – (8)
Initial Evaluation (3) • District must conduct full and individual evaluation before initial provision of special education • Documentation that • General education interventions were implemented & indicate need • General education interventions not appropriate based on nature & severity (determined by team of qualified individuals) • If parent requests evaluation, district must complete interventions concurrently with evaluation • Conducted by qualified examiners • Completed within 60 school days (of attendance) from receipt of parent consent
Obtain consent for initial evaluation: • When student’s response to intervention indicates: • Intensive interventions are effective but require a high level of intensity & resources to sustain performance • Student does not make adequate progress when given effective core instruction and intensive & individualized evidence-based interventions • Whenever a parent initiates a request for an initial evaluation district must • Obtain consent and conduct the evaluation, or • Provide parent with written notice of refusal
Parental Consent Requirements • Consent required whenever district proposes to conduct assessment procedures to determine special education eligibility. • Consent is not required when sole purpose of assessment is to inform/plan general education instruction or interventions. • Consent is not required if team determines that existing data are sufficient to establish special education eligibility.
Evaluation procedures Rule 6A-6.0331(5) and (8)
Evaluations for Special Education Eligibility • All of the procedures used to determine whether a student is a student with a disability, and the nature and extent of the special education needs (Rule 6A-6.03411(1)(l), F.A.C.) • Team must (6A-6.0331(8), F.A.C.): • Review existing evaluation data on student • Identify additional data needed if any • Evaluation data used to determine: • Whether the student is a student with a disability • Educational needs of the student • Need for special education & related services
In conducting an evaluation district must: • Use variety of assessment tools and strategies including • Information provided by parent • Information enabling student to progress in general ed curriculum • Not use any single measure or assessment as sole criterion for determining eligibility • Use technically sound instruments
District must ensure that assessment/evaluation procedures are: • Selected & administered so as not to be discriminatory • Administered in native language or mode of communication • Used for purposes for measure is valid & reliable • Administered by qualified personnel • Selected to accurately reflect student’s aptitude or achievement • Assess student in all areas of suspected disability • Provide relevant information for determining need • Sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of a student’s special education needs
Additional Evaluation/Reevaluation Requirements (8) • Review existing evaluation data including • Evaluations & information provided by parents • Classroom, district, and state assessments • Observations by teachers & related service providers • Identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine • Whether student is student with a disability • Educational needs of the student • Present levels of academic achievement & related needs • Whether student needs special education & related services • Administer tests and other evaluation materials needed to answer questions in 2nd bullet
Determining evaluation completion date for 60-Day Timeline • Evaluation timeline starts when district receives parental consent • Evaluation is complete: • After the last assessment procedure is conducted OR • When the team determines there is sufficient information to determine eligibility • District must determine eligibility within a reasonable timeframe
Eligibility Determination Rule 6A-6.0331(6)
Determination of Eligibility • Made by group of qualified professionals & parent • Draw on data/information from variety of sources • Aptitude & achievement tests • Student response to instruction/intervention • Parent and student input • Teacher recommendations • Info about student’s physical condition, social/cultural background, and adaptive behavior • NOT eligible if determinant factor is: • Lack of appropriate instruction in reading • Lack of instruction in math • Limited English proficiency
RtI & ESE Rules • PS/RtI interventions • RtI Eligibility Criteria • Consideration of impact of other factors • EBD InD LI SLD ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Benefits of PS/RtI System in Making Eligibility Determinations • Student needs addressed proactively – early intervention • Reduces the number of students misidentified because of mismatch between instruction, curriculum, environment and student need • Focus on what works for the student rather than what’s wrong with the student • Eligibility determination based on educational need • PS/RtI continues after eligibility determination
Making ESE Eligibility Decisions in RtI Framework • What is the student’s educational progress as measured by rate of improvement/progress? • What is the discrepancy between the student’s level of performance and peer group and/or standard? • What are the instructional needs of the student?
So How Do We Identify A Disability? Using Team Judgments based on: Evidence of lack of response to evidence-based general education interventions OR effective intensive interventions that require sustained effort Evidence of severe discrepancy from peer performance levels A data-based description of resources necessary to improve and maintain the individual’s rate of learning at an acceptable level Convergent evidence logically and empirically supporting the team’s decisions Tilly, 2009 RTI Innovations Conference