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Tiered Intervention at the High School Level. Maurice McInerney, Daryl Mellard. Presented at: National High School Center’s Summer Institute Washington, D.C. June 19, 2008. Center Mission.

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maurice mcinerney daryl mellard

Tiered Intervention at the High School Level

Maurice McInerney,

Daryl Mellard

Presented at:

National High School Center’s Summer Institute

Washington, D.C.

June 19, 2008

center mission
Center Mission

Build the capacity of State Educational Agencies (SEAs) to assist Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in implementing proven and promising RTI models.

center objectives
Center Objectives
  • To identify, adapt, evaluate, and scale up RTI models for identifying and serving students with disabilities;
  • To provide SEAs and LEAs with ongoing TA support, as needed and appropriate, to implement comprehensive RTI programs in local districts, schools, and classrooms; and
  • To disseminate information about proven and promising RTI models to parents, service providers, program administrators, policymakers, and other interested stakeholders across the country.
center service areas
Center Service Areas
  • Technical Review Committee evaluation of RTI tools and practices for:
      • Rigor and Impact
      • Conditions for successful implementation
      • Cultural and linguistic competence
  • Technical Assistance for SEA Capacity-Building:
      • Face to Face
      • At a Distance
  • Information Dissemination:
      • Web-based Communities of Practice
      • Library of Products for Educators and Families
center strategic partners
Center Strategic Partners
  • Center for Early Literacy Learning
  • Center for Evidence-Based Practices
  • Center on Instruction
  • Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
  • IDEA Partnership
  • IRIS Training Center
  • National Center on Student Progress Monitoring
  • National High School Center
  • National Research Center on Learning Disabilities
  • Project Forum
what is rti
What is RTI?
  • Response to Intervention
  • Organizational framework for instructional and curricular decisions and practices based on students’ responses
  • RTI Components
    • Screening
    • Tiers of instruction
    • Progress monitoring
    • Fidelity indicators
what do we mean by rti
What do we mean by RTI?

Response to intervention integrates assessment and intervention within a multi‑level prevention system to maximize student achievement and to reduce behavior problems.

With RTI, schools identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence‑based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student’s responsiveness, and identify students with learning disabilities or other disabilities.

presentation topics
Presentation topics
  • Essential considerations at the secondary level
  • Research findings on RTI at the secondary level
  • Tiered Instruction example from KU’s Center for Research on Learning
  • Implementation issues
considerations at the secondary level
Considerations at the Secondary Level
  • What percentage of the students are meeting expected performance levels?
  • What role do the instructors have in developing students’ literacy skills and strategies?
  • Fundamental Issue: The quality of the primary level of curriculum and instructional practices
research studies of rti at the secondary level
Research Studies of RTI at the Secondary Level
  • No experimental studies in an RTI framework of commonly associated components
    • Screening
    • Student progress monitoring
    • Tiered level of services
    • Implementation fidelity
  • Descriptive studies of a few high schools
university of kansas center for research on learning
University of Kansas:Center for Research on Learning
  • Founded in 1978. Almost 30 years of scientifically-based research; accepted as “Best Practices” nationally.
  • Designed Strategic Instruction Model (SIM)
    • Learning Strategies
    • Content Enhancement Routines
    • Cooperative Strategies
    • Community Building Strategies
    • Motivation Strategies
  • Developed Content Literacy Continuum
  • Over $120 million R & D

McInerney & Mellard, RTI Ctr


Content Literacy

The listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking skills and strategies required to learn in each of the academic disciplines.


RtI in Secondary School Setting: Riverbank High School Story - Implementing the Content Literacy Continuum

Ken Geisick, Ed.D.

Riverbank High School Principal

Peggy Graving-Reyes

National Site Coordinator, Midwest CLC Research Project

CLC/SIM Professional Developer, KU Center for Research on Learning

Silvia DeRuvo

Program Associate

California Comprehensive Center at WestEd

McInerney & Mellard, RTI Ctr


Thinking about the curriculum:

Knowledge and Outcomes


Thinking About the Curriculum...


Critical Content


the clc says
The CLC says…
  • Each member of a secondary staff has unique (but very important) roles relative to literacy instruction
    • While every content teacher is not a reading teacher, every teacher instructs students in how to read and process content.
    • Instructional coaches may be necessary but aren’t sufficient.
  • Some students require more intensive, systematic, explicit instruction of content, strategies, and skills

McInerney & Mellard, RTI Ctr

content literacy synergy
Content Literacy “Synergy”


Level 1. Enhanced Content Instruction



Level 2. Embedded Strategy Instruction


Level 3. Intensive Strategy Instruction

• strategy classes

• strategic tutoring

Level 4. Intensive Basic Skill Instruction

Level 5. Therapeutic Intervention

Foundational language competencies

Improved Literacy

KU-CRL CLC- Lenz, Ehren,& Deshler, 2005

McInerney & Mellard, RTI Ctr

a continuum of literacy instruction c ontent l iteracy c ontinuum clc
A Continuum of Literacy Instruction(Content Literacy Continuum -- CLC)

Level 1:Enhanced content instruction (mastery of critical content for all regardless of literacy levels)

Level 2:Embedded strategy instruction (routinely weave strategies within and across classes using large group instructional methods)

Level 3:Intensive strategy instruction (mastery of specific strategies using intensive-explicit instructional sequences -4th & above)

Level 4:Intensive basic skill instruction (mastery of entry level literacy skills at the PreK-3rd: decoding, fluency…)

Level 5:Therapeutic intervention (mastery of language underpinnings of curriculum content and learning strategies)

McInerney & Mellard, RTI Ctr













Enhance content instruction

Tier I: Universal Instruction in CERs

Embedded strategy instruction

Tier 1:Universal Instruction in Learning Strategies (LS)

Intensive strategy instruction

Tier II: Targeted Interventions in LS (Short Term)

Tier III: Specialized Treatments in LS (Long Term)


Intensive basic skill instruction

Tier II: Target Interventions (Short Term)

Tier III: Specialized Treatments (Long Term)


Therapeutic intervention

Tier III: Specialized Treatments (LSs, CERs, Traditional…)

content enhancement teaching routines
Content Enhancement Teaching Routines



Concept Mastery Routine

Concept Anchoring Routine

Concept Comparison Routine

Planning &


Course Organizer

Unit Organizer

Lesson Organizer


Text, Topics, & Details

Framing Routine

Survey Routine

Clarifying Routine

Order Routine



Quality Assignment Routine

Question Exploration Routine

Recall Enhancement Routine

McInerney & Mellard, RTI Ctr

learning strategies
Learning Strategies

Expression of Competence

• Sentence Writing (Fundamentals and Proficiency)

• Paragraph Writing

• Error Monitoring

• Theme Writing

• Assignment


• Test-Taking

• Essay Test Taking


• Word Identification

• Paraphrasing

• Fundamentals of Summarizing & Paraphrasing

• Self-Questioning

• Visual Imagery

• Word Mapping

• Interpreting Visuals

• Multipass


• First-Letter


• Paired Associates

• Listening/Notetaking

• Vocabulary

McInerney & Mellard, RTI Ctr

strategies for effectively interacting with others
Strategies for Effectively Interacting with Others
  • •SLANT - A Classroom Participation Strategy
  • • Possible Selves (Motivational - Goal Setting Strategy)
  • Cooperative Thinking
  • THINK Strategy (Problem Solving)
  • LEARN Strategy (Learning Critical Information)
  • BUILD Strategy (Decision Making)
  • SCORE Skills: Social Skills for Cooperative Groups
  • Teamwork Strategy
  • Community Building Series
  • Focusing Together
  • Following Instructions Together
  • Organizing Together
  • Taking Notes Together
  • Talking Together

McInerney & Mellard, RTI Ctr

analyzing change vs stability
Analyzing Change vs. Stability
  • RTI Components
  • (Technology)
  • Current practices
  • Change agent

School Culture

(Social System)

• Team relationships

• Team chemistry

  • Perceived Role
  • ( Personal Theory)
  • Professional beliefs
  • Context

William Reid (1987)

how can teaming be organized at the secondary level
How can teaming be organized at the secondary level?
  • Site-based literacy teams
  • Teachers working across subject areas
  • Teachers working within subject areas
data analysis teaming
Data Analysis Teaming

Teams of like teachers working together to…

  • Access critical data on all students’ performance related to achievement of standards
  • Analyze data and find which students have which gaps in attainments
  • Set measurable goals to close the gap
  • Brainstorm or create instructional strategies
rti in a school reform framework
RTI in a School Reform Framework
  • What happens for those students reading below the 4th grade level?
  • What’s in place in core classes to ensure that students will get the “critical” content regardless of their literacy skills?
  • What happens for students who know how to decode but can’t comprehend well?
  • Are procedures for teaching powerful learning strategies embedded in courses across the curriculum?
  • What happens for students who have language problems?
resources content literacy continuum

Resources: Content Literacy Continuum

-- University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning:

-- Strategic Learning Center

McInerney & Mellard, RTI Ctr

tiered intervention at the high school level
Tiered Intervention at the High School Level

Maurice McInerney (American Institutes for Research)

Daryl Mellard (University of Kansas)

The National Center on RTI is funded under a cooperative agreement

(# H32E070004) issued by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, to the American Institutes of Research.

The views expressed in this presentation do not necessarily reflect

the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education and

no official endorsement should be inferred.