Preschool RTI

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Young Children and RtI

This section is dedicated to providing guidelines on how to apply RtI practices to young children, not yet school-aged (3-5 years of age), who are referred to GCSS for Child Find Services.

Why should GCSS be concerned with children that are not school-aged?
Under The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), as well as GaDOE regulations, school districts are required to find children who are disabled, to evaluate them, and to determine eligibility of special education services by the child's 3rd birthday.

GaDOE regulations typically address children in grades PK-12. Are there regulations that support applying "RtI practices" for preschool-aged children?
Yes, there are two specific state regulations that apply to all children suspected of having a disability (ages 3-21 years). These two regulations are:
* The child find rule (160-4-7-.03) requires that student referrals be preceded by evidence-based academic or behavioral interventions.
* The eligibility rule (160-4-7-.05) requires that students not be determined to be a child with a disability if the primary factor is lack of of appropriate instruction...

When should a school district determine if a child has received "appropriate instruction"?
Determining whether the student received appropriate instruction should be addressed before or during the evaluation process. If it is determined that the child has not received "appropriate instruction", the instruction must be provided before eligibility determination.

Will determining "appropriate instruction" delay the evaluation process or deny parental request for an evaluation?
No, it should never delay the evaluation process (60 day timeline) nor shall it deny a parental request for an evaluation.

What are typical examples of documentation of "appropriate instruction" that should be considered for young children:
* Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) from Babies Can't Wait (BCW)
* Speech, OT, PT reports from private providers
* Medical Consultations from the child's physician
* Regular early childhood provider report on child's academic, behavioral, and developmental progress as it relates to GA Early Learning & Development Standards (GELDS)
* Pre K and Head Start reports on child's academic, behavioral, and developmental progress as it relates to GELDS and Head Start Outcomes.
* Work samples, behavior logs/charts
* Lesson plans, observational reports
* Parent report
* Vision/Hearing checklist

Many of the typical examples of "appropriate instruction" appear to be geared toward children in regular and early childhool environments like GA Pre-K, Head Start, or child development centers. If the child has been at home and is being referred by parent/guardian, how is "appropriate instruction" documented?
* School districts should consider obtaining information about 'appropriate instruction" and "previous interventions", by interviewing the referring parents/guardian on "what they have done or tried".
* If the parents has not provided any instruction or interventions, then the school district should provide "appropriate" instruction and/or interventions during the (60 day) evaluation process by providing the parent with instructions, materials, and examples or providing the interventions themselves. Note: Parents/guardian typically will assist in providing the prescribed interventions/instructions, but they are not required. The Parent/Guardian always reserves the right not to participate.

Are regular early childhood environments like GA Pre-K, Head Start, Private Preschool or Daycare required to conduct RtI before referring a child to the school district for Child Find?
No, they are not required; however, both GA Department of Early Care and Learning/Bright from the Start (DECAL) and GA Head Start Association support GaDOE's RTI initiative. Additionally, both have provided guidance to their constituents on best practices for providing Response to Intervention. GA Pre-K and Head Start classes housed within school districts should refer to their respective agencies to obtain this guidance.

Is there a GaDOE pyramid model of RtI specifically for young children?
No. School districts should follow the current model that was developed for grades K-12 as guidance for provided tiered intervention strategies. Districts should always remember that use of the pyramid model will vary according to the child's needs.

Source: Response to Intervention: The GA Student Achievement Pyramid of Interventions, GA Department of Education, October 22, 2008 * All Rights Reserved

Helpful References:





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