RSU 57 Curriculum page for a view of visual representations of the process, which includes a copy of the pyramid above.
The process begins with the foundation of the pyramid, which is made of high quality instruction that focusses on the learner and her or his interaction with specific learning targets. The teacher is the guide in this process, sharing the journey with the learner and parents. The teacher establishes the targets to be addressed, the pace, and how the learner shows proficiency. Much of the learning process includes the very same strategies that have been used in classrooms for years. Many of these strategies are outlined in the research of Robert Marzano and reported in his recent work, The Art and Science of Teaching. You can hear Dr. Marzano explaining the tenants outlined in this text by clicking here.
"Intervention" begins when a gap begins to form between what is being taught and what a student is learning. These gaps show in differing ways. Gaps show when
a student falls behind in the established timeline for becoming proficient on the current learning targets or when a student scores below proficient on a common assessment such as DIBELS, NWEA, or DRA2. When a gap emerges, the teacher communicates with parents, the formal intervention process begins.
A student may be at different levels of the pyramid for any of the areas addressed by RTI (mathematics, reading, writing, social/emotional needs). He or she may identified for an intervention plan in one content area such as reading or mathematics and remain in the foundation stage in another area. Students are unique. Strengths and areas of need are different for everyone and rarely strong in all areas or weak in all areas for any one person.
The following are basic descriptions for each tier in the RSU 57 RTI process. The links to the left offer more specific information on times and types of interventions offered at each level.
Tier 1 of the RTI is based in the classroom. The teacher has identified the skill or process that needs added attention, has communicated with parents about the need and how they can assist, and has created individualized instruction and practice opportunities. Tier 1 intervention typically happens in the classroom and is meant to provide a boost. It can last from 4-6 weeks, but can last longer if necessary. Teachers pull from a number of resources to teach the target, taking the student's strengths into account.
Tier 2 begins when results from a student's work show that more intensive and focused instruction is needed. Tier 2 includes smaller groups typically led by led by Intervention staff. Resources for instruction are taken from research-based strategies and programs. Tier 2 instruction can last for 8-10 weeks, but can be more depending on how the learner is progressing through the process.
Tier 3 brings in a more inclusive and intensive stage of the process. Where tier 1 is driven by the teacher and parent, tier 2 is the teacher, parent and intervention staff; tier 3 moves to a larger group of resources that includes teachers, guidance, nurse, intervention staff and administration. Intervention from this process is even more individualized and specialized. The learning opportunities are led by trained staff such as the classroom teacher, Instructional Strategist, a specialist, or the guidance counselor. Tier 3 intervention can last for up to 12-16 weeks.
Tier 4 is a referral to special education. Given that the focused instruction in the first three tiers does not provide the desired boost in learning, a referral to special education is made by the team with the consent of the parents.
Parent Referral to Special Education
At any point in the process, parents have the right to make a written request for a referral to special education. A parent referral does not necessarily fast track a student to Tier 4. The process of special education referral is followed. A student remains in their current location in the RTI process, with all of the associated instruction and group size while working his or her way through the parent-initiated referral process.