Response to Intervention & Academic Intervention Services

    What is RtI? Response to Intervention is a three-tiered problem solving approach that identifies general education students struggling in academic areas early. It provides them with systematically applied strategies and targeted instruction at varying levels of intervention. RtI's goal os to close the achievement gaps for all students by addressing small learning problems before they become insurmountable. (NYSED 2008)
    The Berkshire Union Free School District uses an RTI model that is based on best practices and that is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our students. Since we are a primarily special education school our Tier model is somewhat different than a traditional school setting. It is our goal to provide all students with access to curriculum that meets New York State and Common Core Standards and prepares them for success in the work place and college.

    The mission of the Berkshire Union Free School District Academic Intervention providers is to provide all students with academic assistance necessary to achieve proficiency in the NYS Common Core Learning Standards and well as the Career Development and Occupational Studies standards.
    Academic Intervention Services for Special Education students are available on the same basis as non-disabled students provided that the AIS services are consistent with he student's individualized education program. These services must be in addition to mandated IEP services.
    All students entering the Berkshire Jr/Sr High school are screened using the Renaissance STAR Assessment in reading comprehension and mathematics to determine reading and math grade level equivalency. All students then take the Stanford assessment in Science and Social Studies to determine the students grade level performance in those subject areas. Since all of our students are placed with us from their respective counties of residence or their local school district we do not always have timely access to their past performance records and previous assessments. Students that perform three years below grade level and or below the 5th grade equivalency level in reading and math are further screened for specific skill deficits using the Woodcock Johnson assessment, Quality Reading Inventory assessment and or an Informal Reading Inventory. Students who have below a 70 average in any academic class are also reported on a bi-weekly basis for further review during Core treatment team reviews.

        TIER 1 Interventions
    All students at Berkshire Union Free School District receive Tier 1 Instruction that is aligned with NYS Common Core Learning Standards as well as NYS standards in the specific content area classes that are not part of the Common Core. The Berkshire Union Free School District is a literacy based school because we believe that to help students become more successful in their academic pursuits reading and writing skills are most important in call content areas. Universal strategies include but are not limited to, providing dynamic models of instruction, modeling, multiple exposures to new concepts, providing clear goals and objectives, and making learning as engaging as possible. All students in all content area classes are provided instruction in the elements of reading such as decoding words, reading fluency through practice, vocabulary instruction, reading comprehension strategies and an emphasis on writing. In mathematics students are provided opportunities to work on math fluency facts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts, work on real-life examples in fractions, decimals, and percents. All students are enrolled in Math, ELA, and Science Lab Classes. 
        TIER 2 Interventions
    When Tier 1 Universal interventions are not sufficient to meet the students academic needs the CORE team after their review will recommend the student be placed at Tier 2. Tier 2 instruction is provided in addition to, and not in place of, core instruction. Tier 2 interventions focus on the area(s) of student need that are identified through the screening process as well through classroom observation and assessment. Students in Tier 2 receive 40 minutes of instruction four days a week in an AIS class. The instruction and activities are provided by a certified special education teacher. Activities and instruction include reading practice, focus of fluency, comprehension strategies, vocabulary building, task analysis and chunking of content, study skills, mathematics fluency using FASTT Math and or Fraction Nation by Scholastic Learning enterprises, and other technology resources as they become available such as iPad applications, Khan academy, etc.  Success of interventions is measured by curriculum based assessments, student work samples reviewed by the CORE academic team, and student grades. Monitoring and reporting of data is the responsibility of the classroom teacher. If the student has made significant progress and the CORE instructional team feels that the student no longer needs these additional services the team will make the recommendation to discontinue. If the student however is not demonstrating significant progress with Tier 2 interventions then the team will make the recommendation to move the student to Tier 3. 
        TIER 3 Interventions
    Interventions in Tier 3 are more targeted and specific to the student's individual academic needs. These interventions are not a replacement of Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions but rather supplemental. When they are related to reading students are provided one to one or small group (two to three) reading instruction that focuses on decoding and reading comprehension. These services are typically provided on a weekly basis by our certified reading instructor. The reading interventionist will also push in to the student's classroom and work the classroom teacher to reinforce strategies and interventions that are proving to be successful. The same interventions are used for mathematics. These interventions are reviewed by the CORE instructional team every 5 week progress reporting schedule that applies to all students in our program.