Response to my article in Teaching Exceptional Children, 2009, 52-57

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“A Collaborative Planning Framework for Teachers Implementing Tiered Instruction” by Shannon Stuart & Claudia Rinaldi.
Thank you for your feedback on our manuscript and for your questions. Please find the recommendations within your questions.

I am writing in regard to your journal article, A Collaborative Planning Framework for Teachers Implementing Tiered Instructions in the Nov/Dec. Teaching Exceptional Children. Your article is very helpful. Thank you. In the school division where I work, we are using a PLC framework regarding literacy and Positive Behaviour Supports to address the social behavioural instruction and intervention. I also work at the ministry level on the RTI model specifically related to social behaviour.

I have some questions about the groups that meet to address the needs of students at the 3 tiers.

I understand that grade level teams meet regularly to plan for instruction at the Tier 1 level.

* Are all the teachers for a given grade level on the grade level team? YES, IDELALLY ALL REGULAR EDUCATION, SPECIAL EDUCATION, ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGE SPECIALIST AND SOMETIMES PARAPROFESSIONALS OR AIDE. IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE RESOURCES WITHIN THE SCHOOL IN ORDER TO THAT. SOMETIMES THEY MEET WHEN STUDENTS ARE IN ART OR PHYSICAL EDUCATION OTHER TIME THEY MEET WHILE THE PARAPROFESSIONALS ARE TAKING THE STUDENTS ON RECESS OR IN TRANSITION TO A SUBJECT.

* How often and for how long does this team meet? THEY USUALLY MEET BETWEEN 45 MINUTES TO 1 HOUR THE EQUIVALENT TO A PERIOD IN THE US. THIS TIME ALSO ALLOWS, ONCE THE STRUCTURE IS IN PLACE, FOR THE TEAM TO GO OVER TIER 2 AND 3 STUDENTS (ABOUT 4-5 PER MEETING) ON THE RECOMMENDED PROGRESS MONITORING SCHEDULE OR TIER 2 MONTHLLY AND TIER 3 WEEKLY OR TWICE PER MONTH (MORE REALISTIC)– OF COURSE FOLLOWING THE PROTOCOLS IDENTIFEID IN THE ARTICLE IN TEC

* Can you tell me any strategies that schools use to provide additional planning time for grade level teachers and the special education teacher? THE SCHOOLS INTEGRATED A BLOCK SCHEDULE TO ALLOW FOR PERSONELL AND MEETING TIME SO THAT THERE WAS ONLY TWO GRADE LEVEL AT A TIME DOING READING INSTRUCTION. I DON’T’ KNOW MUCH MORE BUT NONE OF THE PRINCIPALS HAD PROBLEMS INSITUTING THIS ASPECT- OF INDIVIDUAL AND GRADED LEVEL PLANNING TIME.

When students are identified as needing Tier 2 supports, is it the original grade-level team that determines the intervention plan or is there a different team that addresses these needs? THE IDENTIFICATION IS DONE THREE TIMES A YEAR (FALL, WINTER, AND SPRING) AT THIS POINT WE DO THE UNIVERSAL SCREENING USING THE DIBELS INDICATORS AND USE THE EXISTING DISTRICT REQUIREMENT OF USING A CRITERION-REFERNCE READING COMPREHENSION TEST. AT THAT POINT BOTH SCORES ARE USE TO MAKE A “FORMULA” WHERE IF THE STUDENT IS IN HIGH RISK IN DIBELS AND AT LEAST TWO GUIDED READING LEVELS BEHIND THAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED A TIER 3 STUDENT. IF THE DIBLES INDICATORS IS AT SOME RISK AND THE COMPREHENSION LEVEL IS JUST BELOW GRADE LEVEL THAT WOULD BE A TIER 2 STUDENT OR IF ONE, DIBLES INDICATOR OR ORF OR COMPREHENSION IS SIGNIFICANT BELOW BUT NOT THE OTHER THEN THE STUDENT WOULD BE CONSIDERED A TIER 2 STUDENT. ONCE THE TEACHERS GO OVER THE LIST THEN ADDITIONAL TEACHER JUDGEMENT CAN HELP MAKE THAT DECISION AS WELL BUT SUPPORTED WITH THE DATA FROM ORF AND COMPREHENSION. THE SAME PROCESS IS FOLLOWING 3 TO 4 MOTNTHS LATER DURING THE WINTER AND WE COMPARED PROGRESS MONITORING AND THE BENCHMARK ASSESSMENTS AGAIN AND RE-TIERED USING THE SAME PROCESS DISCUSSED ABOVE.

* When a student requires Tier 3 supports, is this a different team from the original team or the same one?

IN THE PARTICULAR SCHOOLS WE ARE WORKING WITH TIER 3 IS DELIVERED BY THE SAME GRADE LEVEL TEAM BUT CERTAIN CONSIDERATIONS ARE TAKEN— WE LOOK AT WHO, WHEN, INTENSITY OF THE INTERVENTION AND THEN ASSESS WHAT CAN OR NEEDS TO BE CHANGED PERHAPS FROM THE SUPPORT PERSONNEL OR CLASSROOM TEACHER TO THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER DELIVERING THE TIER 3 NOW OR PERHAPS MORE INTENSITY FROM 3 DAYS TO POTENTIALLY 4 OR 5 DAYS OR A COMBINATION OF BOTH. ALL THRE ASPECTS ARE CONSIDERED WHILE PROBLEM SOLVING.
* Does the same team plan for supports for the academic areas as well as the social-behavioural areas?
WE HAVE NOT BEGAN TO IMPLEMENT POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL SUPPORTS SCHOOL WIDE. HOWEVER NOW THAT THE TEACHERS HAVE THE FRAMEWORK WORKING IN READING THEY ARE EVALUATING TOOLS FOR RUNNING IT FOR MATH AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR NEEDS.

I HOPE THESE RESPONSES HELP. Please feel free to visit my project webpage for additional documents and links that have supported the schools implementing the RTI models in reading. If I can be of any further assistance please let me know and thank you for your readership of my work.

CLAUDIA

Claudia Rinaldi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Lynch School of Education
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Ave
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 552-4195
email: rinaldic@bc.edu
Edublog: http://www.bilingualspecialed.com
RTI Project website: http://groups.google.com/group/BC-RTI

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