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RTI/MTSS & COVID-19: 3 Steps to Regain Control
In mid-March 2020, schools across the nation closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This sudden and massive interruption of instruction is unprecedented and represents a cataclysm with no playbook on how schools should respond. And there is the further possibility that — even after schools reconvene — future instructional lockdowns may be ordered due to flareups of the virus.
4 Steps for Managing Trauma-Informed Classrooms
Take a random walk through any school on any day and you may see challenging behaviors. These surface behaviors are easily observed. However, what may remain hidden from the observer (and perhaps from the teachers of Sean, Alyssa and Ahmed, is that each of these students engage in these behaviors as a fight-flight-or-freeze survival response triggered by their unique history of complex trauma.Continue Reading
3-Step System to Identify Social, Emotional & Behavioral Issues Sooner
The primary purpose of schools is to educate. At times however, students display challenging behaviors or significant social-emotional concerns that interfere with their learning. In such cases, our goal as educators, counselors and service providers is to identify who those students are and match them to appropriate behavioral or social-emotional interventions.
8 Steps to Monitor Progress on Tier 2/3 Reading Interventions
Whenever I can, I like to visit the American southwest and hike in rocky desert terrain. I often find small piles of stones (cairns) placed at intervals as trail markers. Hikers are always on the lookout to spot the next cairn, moving from signpost to signpost to successfully navigate the trail. Trekkers who ignore the progress-monitoring information of these trail markers can quickly wander off the track and become lost.Continue Reading
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Quiz: Spring Cleaning Your RTI/MTSS Program
As many of your students start to catch “summer fever” (if they haven’t already…), you and your fellow district leaders head into a critical season for RTI/MTSS program implementation: the ramp up to the next school year. And with all there is to prepare, it can get overwhelming.Continue Reading
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7 Steps to Monitor Progress on Tier 1/Classroom Interventions
When I visit schools as an RTI/MTSS consultant and talk with teachers about Tier 1/classroom academic interventions, I often hear frustration over the difficulty of collecting and interpreting data to monitor student progress. Yet, the critical importance of data is that it ‘tells the story’ of the academic or behavioral intervention, revealing the answers to such central questions as:Continue Reading
Survey Results: How is RTI/MTSS Going in Your District?
ESSA requires districts to adopt a systematic approach for data-based decision-making to enable a rapid response to students’ needs. As a result, many district leaders are considering or re-validating RTI/MTSS models.Continue Reading
Do Approved ESSA Plans Meet the Multi-tiered Systems of Support Requirement?
Now that all 50 ESSA plans have been approved by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, we have a clearer window into each state's accountability roadmap and goals, including strategies to meet the requirement of providing struggling learners with evidence-based interventions.Continue Reading
Not Just for Academics: Expanding RTI/MTSS to Provide Behavioral and Social-Emotional Support
Building an RTI/MTSS model for behavior is not easy. It can require 3-5 years of sustained effort — an understandable timeline when one considers that schools often must make do with existing resources and can move forward only as quickly as their staff is able to assimilate changes to their professional practice.Continue Reading
School Psychologists, Juggling & Systems-Level Change
First, the juggling: when I was in high school, I discovered that my very talented younger sister had learned to juggle. I immediately believed that if she could do it, well, of course so could I. So, I embarked on a tortured process of self-instruction (conducted in an era before YouTube) marked by numerous setbacks that at last culminated in the modest accomplishment of being able to keep 3 balls in the air for a reasonable span of time.Continue Reading
Your RTI & MTSS Data Analysis Team: Nerve Center of Tier 2/3 Services
Student data tells a story. When schools administer building-wide academic screeners, screening data has the remarkable power to predict which students are at serious risk of academic failure and need targeted RTI and MTSS interventions.Continue Reading