Implementing Response to Intervention. Amanda Iliadis EDUC 534 Concordia University Nebraska. Introduction.
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Immanuel Lutheran School in Elmhurst, IL will be undergoing the accreditation process this fall. One of the School Improvement Plans is related to differentiation and RTI, though not all of Immanuel’s teachers are comfortable with the process.
Therefore, the purpose of this study is to use survey research and current research about successful RTI programs to plan a successful RTI program at Immanuel Lutheran School.
In a 1990 article, Mary Dicker states, "action research is a form of self-reflective inquiry that can be utilized by teachers in order to improve the rationality and justice of (a) their own practices, (b) their understanding of these practices, and (c) the situations in which these practices are carried out" (203). It also "provides the opportunity of trying out a new approach while monitoring what is occurring" (Dicker, 1990, p. 208).
Dicker's (1990) statement that "teaching an unfamiliar subject seems to make a person react in a similar way to being in unfamiliar situations--thinking is thrown off balance and one can miss the obvious" really struck me since my principal moved me to a new position this school year (207).
Fuchs and Bergeron (2013) explain "it is suggested that the value and strength of RTI are in its use of collaborative problem-solving teams of expert educators to assess student data and provide appropriate, intensive, and explicit instruction to targeted students" (4). Ultimately, the authors share that "for RTI to be successful, everyone needs to work together to identify, intervene, document, and progress monitor in support of the academic success of all students" (Fuchs and Bergeron, 2013, p. 11). This article is fantastic and will be very helpful to my action research!
According to Mahdavi and Beebe-Frankenberger (2009), "building a successful collaborative team requires: (a) time built into the school day and year; (b) explicitly stated purpose of the collaboration...(c) training and support of school personnel so they can be effective collaborators; and (d) commitment by educators to work together as true professional colleagues" (65-66).
Our hope at Immanuel is that our RTI program will become "sustainable over time as the essential components become part of the everyday infrastructure" of our school (Mahdavi & Beebe-Frankenberger, 2009, p. 67). The authors of this article encourage educators to be patient and persistent.
The final article I studied listed the components of RTI models: "universal screening of all students, multiple tiers of intervention, a problem-solving method for decision-making, and an integrated assessment system and data collection to inform decisions at each tier of service delivery" (Rinaldi, Averill, & Stuart, 2011, p. 43).
In a nutshell, Tier 1 refers to the core curriculum that is taught to all students, Tier 2 is supplemental small-group instruction that is provided to students who are struggling, and Tier 3 is intensive individualized instruction for students who have not acquired knowledge and skills taught through the other two methods.
This statement sums up my vision for our school's functional RTI model: "The synergy and support among the administrative and the teaching staffs allowed the implementation of this model to transition from a top-down directive to actual adoption based on shared leadership and growing sustainability in year 3 and planning for the next academic year" (Rinaldi, Averill, & Stuart, 2011, p. 50).
The Rinadi, Averill and Stuart article is and will be the most helpful for me and my colleagues to study so we can successful build our school's RTI model. I am excited to share it with my fellow teachers and principal as we develop our School Improvement Plan for accreditation.
I will be researching the principal and other teachers at my Lutheran school. I hope to connect with every teacher this week or next week (there are 12 teachers and 1 principal).
My action research questions ponder support and resources the teachers and students will need, so I would love to acquire specific suggestions and answers from my colleagues personally and confidentially.
I will gather information in the form of face-to-face private interviews and completed questionnaires.
All members of my research group are adults (over the age of 21).
I will not be using individual consent forms, but I will add a confidentiality clause to the surveys/questionnaires my colleagues will complete.
I will also add my signature to their forms where I pledge not to share any specific information they provide me unless they suggest I do/give me consent to share it.
My project is designed to assist every teacher and student at Immanuel in a positive, supportive way. I wonder if comments about other teachers will arise in individual interviews, and I need to ensure I follow my own pledge to ethically use this information for anonymous research purposes only.
Dicker, M. (1990). Using action research to navigate an unfamiliar teaching assignment. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 203-208
Fuchs, W. W., & Bergeron, B. S. (2013). Viewpoints from the field: impressions from teachers and administrators on the challenges and successes of RTI implementation in Illinois. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 41(2), 3-12.
Johnson, E.S., Semmelroth, C., Mellard, D. F., & Hopper, G. (2012). Using RTI within a comprehensive SLD evaluation: A review of a state’s first year efforts. Learning Disabilities—A ContemporaryJournal, 10(2), 1-15.
Mahdavi, J. N., & Beebe-Frankenberger, M. E. (2009). Pioneering RTI systems that work:Social validity, collaboration, and context. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 42(2),64-72.