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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

RTI in Middle School


RTI in Middle School
Recognizing that RTI implementation differs at the middle school level as a result of the structure, teacher role, and learning expectations of middle schools, the NCRTI has released a number of products targeted specifically at RTI implementation in middle schools. These products are based on descriptive information from middle schools implementing RTI throughout the country. In addition to the new products below, there are also information briefs focused on RTI Implementation Processes for Middle School and RTI Scheduli ng Process for Middle School as well as a number of webinars focused on RTI at the middle school level.

RTI in Middle Schools: The Essential Components
This brief describes the essential components of RTI: screening, progress monitoring, a multi-level prevention system, and data-based decision making for RTI implementation at the middle school level, based on descriptive information from middle schools implementing RTI. The brief covers information on how schools selected screening and progress monitoring tools, developed a process for conducting assessments, used data to make decisions, and implemented primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention levels. View the brief on the NCRTI website and learn more about the essential components of RTI by viewing the Essential Components of RTI – A Closer Look at Response to Intervention.

Response to Intervention in Middle Schools: Considerations for Implementation
This training module was developed for teams implementing a RTI framework at the middle school level. This module shares information about the essential components of RTI and considerations for implementing RTI in middle schools. The module is designed as a component of comprehensive professional development that includes supplemental coaching and ongoing support and should be delivered by a trained, knowledgeable professional. The module includes PowerPoint presentations with speaker’s notes for use by the trainer and activities and handouts for use during the training. View the training module and accompanying handouts on the NCRTI website.

The ABCs of RTI in Middle School: A Guide for Parents
This guide was developed to help middle school parents and other family members understand the essential components of RTI, ask questions about RTI, and understand how the RTI framework may be used to help their children succeed in school. A similar guide is available on the NCRTI website for parents of elementary school students.

Screening and Progress Monitoring Briefs
The NCRTI has released a series of new briefs focused on screening and progress monitoring to help school practitioners develop a deeper understanding of assessments used within the RTI framework. These briefs cover various topics related to screening and progress monitoring practices. Practitioners engaged in the implementation of RTI at any stage may benefit from these briefs. While the briefs can be read in any order based on your need, it is recommended that you read them in numerical order.

Progress Monitoring Briefs Series
The progress monitoring briefs provide practitioners with guidance to support careful planning and thoughtful practices as part of comprehensive progress monitoring within the RTI framework, and highlight frequently omitted pieces of the progress monitoring process. The briefs include:

Screening Briefs Series
The screening briefs cover various topics related to screening practices within an RTI framework so that practitioners will better understand the contextual issues that surround them, and enhance their ability to accurately identify at-risk students using these practices. The briefs include:
  • Brief #1: Classification Accuracy (PDF)Brief 1 provides a short explanation of classification accuracy, and provides an illustration of the interaction between true positives, false positives, false negatives, and true negatives. There is also a brief discussion of sensitivity and specificity. This brief also notes potential methods for improving classification accuracy.
  • Brief #2: Cut Scores (PDF): Brief 2 describes cut scores and discusses their role in the identification of at-risk students and allocation of resources.
  • Brief #3: Predicting Students at Risk for Reading and Mathematics Difficulties (PDF): Drawing from the research literature, Brief 3 provides suggestions of age-appropriate screening measures to use in the areas of reading and math. It provides succinct recommendations for practitioners and briefly describes how a two-stage screening process may improve accurate identification of at-risk students.
  • Brief #4: Ensuring Fidelity of Assessment and Data Entry Procedures (PDF)Brief 4 addresses the importance of fidelity when delivering and scoring screening assessments, and when entering these data into a database.

The National Center on Intensive Intervention Hosts Free Webinar
The National Center on Intensive Intervention presents: Providing Intensive Intervention using Data-Based Individualization in Behavior
On Tuesday, January 29th from 3:00 – 4:00 PM (EST) The National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII) will hold a free webinar conducted by Dr. Joseph Wehby, associate professor in Vanderbilt’s Department of Special Education and Senior Advisor to the NCII.  It provides an overview of the Center’s approach to providing intensive interventions: the Data-Based Individualization process, or DBI.  Dr. Wehby will describe the essential components of the DBI process while highlighting a relevant student example in behavior.  This webinar provides a good foundational understanding of how interventions can be intensified and individualized for students with persistent behavioral challenges, and ma y be helpful to district staff, administrators, special educators, interventionists/specialists, school psychologists, social workers, and parents.  No pre-registration is required for the webinar and instructions for accessing the webinar along with a link to the webinar will be posted on the NCII website. The webinar will be archived on the NCII website after the event. Learn more about NCII and intensive interventions for students at

Note from the National Center on Response to Intervention
Since 2007, NCRTI has provided technical assistance (TA) to build the capacity of states to assist districts in implementing and evaluating proven models of response to intervention. Through our work, we have identified essential components of tiered instruction based on our synthesis of relevant research and have developed tools and approaches that help states, districts, and schools build and assess their capacity to implement tiered academic instruction with fidelity. The intensive TA supports we have provided have included customized training, assistance with developing guidance documents, and on-site and distance supports, and have allowed more than a dozen states to build their capacity to effectively implement multi-tiered, data-driven instructional programs. As many of you are aware, our five year grant from the Office of Special Education Programs ended July 31. A lthough the NCRTI’s federal funding has ended, we will continue to provide technical assistance on RTI on a fee for service basis. Those interested in receiving technical assistance can still make requests through our website. However, it is important to understand that requesting states and districts will be asked to cover       the costs of the TA, including travel costs and daily rates of any speakers or trainers. In addition, we will be adding resources, such as those in this newsletter, to our website over the next several months and our website, which currently contains over 1500 resources, will continue to be available to you at no charge. The State database, progress monitoring tools chart, and the instructional interventions tools chart will continue to be available, through the National Center on Intensive Intervention. On behalf of the entire staff of the NCRTI, it has been a pleasure to work with you all and we hope we can continue to meet your needs.