Insights & ideas for K-12 education leaders.
Why Use Baseline Data to Drive Decisions in K-12 Education?
Believe it or not, data wasn’t always a factor in decision-making in schools. A lot of decisions were made subjectively. Lacking efficient digital records, educators didn’t have the data needed to make objective decisions. Fortunately, teaching has evolved into a science based on facts.
Recommitting to RTI/MTSS After COVID-19 School Closures
Lately, in my conversations with schools, I have noted that educators in my own state of New York and other parts of the country are breathing a deep sigh of relief. The COVID-19 interruption to public education, which began over a year ago, appears finally to be ending. There is every likelihood that schools will return to full-time, in-person learning in the fall of 2021.Continue Reading
Q & A: How to Manage RTI/MTSS During School Closures and Reentry
As the fall approaches, you probably have countless questions about every aspect of reentry, including learning loss among struggling learners. We explored those questions, focusing on RTI/MTSS during school closures and reentry in this recent webinar with Jim Wright, a presenter, trainer, and author who has worked in public education as a school psychologist and school administrator for over 17 years.
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.Continue Reading
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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.Continue Reading
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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
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