Tag Archives: special education

#RTI: Not Just for Students in #SpecialEducation. A Parent Must-Read

If you have children, you need to know about RTI, especially if they receive special education services.

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a framework for delivering academic intervention to every individual student. It is a part of special education law that puts the focus on instruction and whether it has enabled the student to meet his full potential.

RTI is relevant for all parents because all students are evaluated based on RTI. It is especially relevant if you or your child’s teacher has concerns about your child’s performance and functioning in school.

RTI is a tiered system that helps educators identify students who are struggling and how to meet their individual needs.  Informed decisions are made by the team of educators in your school regarding the progress of individual students.  The tiers of RTI are as follows.

Tier 1  In the general education classroom, evidence-based instruction is delivered by well-trained teachers, and under-performing students are identified through class or school-wide “benchmark” assessments. Students meeting benchmarks do not require Tier 2 interventions.

Tier 2 Identified students are delivered more intense evidence-based instruction targeting the problem subject area. Often in small groups.  Progress is monitored in six to eight weeks.

Tier 3 Students who did not respond to the intervention, according to progress monitoring, receive evidence-based instruction that may be individualized or delivered in much smaller groups, more basic curriculum, or more frequent instruction.  Progress may be monitored more frequently.  Or the child may be referred to the CSE, after which a Special Education program may be integrated into the model.

RTI gives us the documentation necessary to support referral to the CSE.

The Psyhologist’s Role in RTI

As a member of the Child Study Team, the psychologist helps make decisions on interventions used for each student, helps monitor students progress, and arranges meetings to discuss progress.  The psychologist helps meet the social-emotional needs of students in Tier 1 by developing and implementing school-wide social-emotional programs like bullying prevention, in Tier 2 by providing group or individual counseling, and in Tier 3 by overseeing the referral, evaluation, and IEP development process for students referred to the CSE and creating behavior intervention plans (BIPs).

If you have questions about RTI implementation in your school, ask the school psychologist or principal.

What Is a School Psychologist?

A school psychologist has earned a masters or doctoral degree and is certified and/or licensed by the state. The school psychologist has completed internships in school or clinical settings and may practice in a school, hospital, clinic, or private practice, with the appropriate credentials. Training in school psychology includes intelligence testing and learning disability identification, research design and statistics, therapeutic techniques, and special education law and procedures.

The school psychologist is different from the school counselor or guidance counselor in their training and role. Like the school psychologist, the guidance counselor helps students succeed academically and socially by meeting with them for counseling; but, they refer students with serious psychological, emotional, or intellectual problems to the psychologist. The guidance counselor also gives advice and is in charge of course selection, internships, post-secondary vocation, and college applications.

All students who are classified as requiring the services of special education, whether due to a physical, intellectual, or emotional disability, will be served by the psychologist. The school psychologist is always a member and often the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education, the team of individuals who create, maintain, and implement the Individualized Education Program (IEP) of every student in special education.

Check out the National Association of School Psychologists for more info.