Response to Instruction and Intervention Is Personalizing Learning for MNPS Students
Children learn in different ways, and some need more help or direct instruction than others. On the other hand, some children need extra enrichment and greater challenges.
In Metro Schools, we want to personalize learning for our students so they are each getting the kind and level of instruction they need to reach their full potential. In order to do that, we want to know the levels of each child’s knowledge so that we can tailor instruction to his or her specific needs. We are expanding our focus on continuous improvement by implementing the state model called Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) for students in Kindergarten through Grade Eight.
The process starts with a simple and brief skills check, including both oral and written questions, when a teacher measures a student’s basic reading, written expression, and math skills. This will happen for every K-8 student in Metro Schools three times a year: at the start and end of the first semester and again at the end of the school year. MNPS will use Aimsweb, a universal screening tool, to measure these levels of knowledge.
After the skills check, the teacher knows more about a student’s understanding, identifies any strengths or areas for improvement and can take concrete steps to provide the support each child needs. These next steps include multiple levels of instruction that will be provided by educators in the school.
High-quality classroom instruction – This is normal class time. All students participate in this together every day for reading, writing, and math instruction. You may hear this called “Tier I” instruction, meaning it is the primary time for learning our TN State Standards.
Personalized learning time – This is when the student has additional learning experiences for 30-60 minutes every day which support his or her identified academic needs as indicated by the Aimsweb screening checks and other information about each child.
Enrichment – Students in the top ten percent will participate in at least 30 minutes of higher level learning every day.
Grade Level Enhancement- Students working near grade level expectations will take part in learning activities that reinforce grade level instruction for 30-60 minutes every day.
Targeted Intervention – Students between the eighth and 15th percentiles will get at least 30 minutes of intervention focusing on identified skills every day. That means small group instruction focused on specific skills in reading, writing, or math to help students close learning gaps.
Intensive Intervention – Students working below the eighth percentile will participate in 45-60 minutes of intervention in basic skills each day. These students are two or more years behind in mastering and applying basic skills, and they need highly focused strategies to catch up.
The intervention skills students will work on are:
If your child will be participating in skill level intervention, you will:
be informed about the intervention planned for your child
receive progress monitoring reports on a regular schedule about how your child responds to the interventions provided (The progress monitoring checks measure the effectiveness of the supports and will provide data to inform decisions in determining if a child has a specific learning disability.)
see levels of support that increase or decrease in intensity depending on your child’s needs
Adults in the home have a very important role to play in this. The more adults in the home are involved in student learning, the more likely students will be successful in school.
You can support your child by speaking with his or her teacher and asking questions about progress. These conversations will allow you to reinforce any strategies or activities at home. You can also review and help with your child’s homework and celebrate your child’s success.
When we identify and support each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses early, together we can build a strong foundation so all of our students will be ready for higher levels of achievement.
If you would like to know more about how RTI2 will support your child, talk with your school’s administrators and teachers.
You can also contact Dr. Dottie Critchlow for other questions or to provide feedback on your experiences with RTI2. This is our first venture – your feedback will help us improve our work for students.