Response to Intervention
Both RTI and AIS are mandated supports for students who qualify.
AIS (Academic Intervention Services) preceeded RTI (Response to Intervention) as a mandate. For many years schools have been required to provide support beyond the classroom in reading, math, science and/or social studies. At the elementary level, we focus this support on reading and math as they are the foundation skills for success in science and social studies. Essentially, if a K-4 student is not meeting the DRA level expected, they qualify for support for reading /writing services. If a K-4 student has greater than 50% of the expected math benchmarks rated as beginning or developing, they qualify for math support. Additionally, grade 3 & 4 students may qualify for literacy and/or math support if they do not reach a level 3 or 4 on the New York State ELA and/or Math assessment.
AIS takes a variety of forms. It can be indirect, including monitoring, or direct, including reading specialist or teacher support within or beyond the school day. Duration varies, as well as the approach to intervention. If your child qualifies for AIS, a letter is sent alerting you. Quarterly reports are completed by the AIS provider to keep you current on the program and your child's progress.
RTI (Response to Intervention) has expanded the requirement to include a hierarchical approach to support. One can use the RTI Model of intervention for both academic support and behavioral support. (See PBIS for our approach to the behavioral side of the RTI triangle.)
The first level (Tier 1) in the hierarchy involves all children. It is the core instruction all students receive at a given grade level using common curriculum and expectations (known as the Common Core Learning Standards and the aligned district adopted curricula). For most, the work of the classroom teacher is the right amount and type of instruction needed for student success. Typically about 80% of students need only this instruction to meet the standards. We know what percent is meeting the standards by benchmarking all students three times a year using a universal screening tool.
What about the remaining 20%? The next 15% will continue to grow and meet the standards with small group, research-based intervention strategies and programs provided several times a week. This is referred to as Tier 2 or secondary intervention.
However, the final 5% may require Tier 3 support, a more individualized or intense approach to intervention. Since we believe that all children can learn, the challenge is to find an instructional match for each child and continue to monitor the student's response to the intervention. This helps to determine whether to continue with the current plan or modify and adjust the instruction.
At Dodge we have set aside a 30 minute block (daily in most cases) to free students who require intervention without missing new instruction. Our intervention specialists as well as the classroom teachers, after reviewing the benchmark data, collaborate to create intervention plans for those who qualify for them. The plan can be implemented during the RTI block by a reading specialist or classroom teacher. Groups are flexible and may change over time in composition, approach or interventionist.
Students receiving additional supports are progress monitored well beyond the three benchmarks a year. While some are progress monitored monthly, others are monitored weekly.
Students who continue to meet the benchmarks with just Tier 1 instruction are provided supervision and appropriate educationally relevant tasks to complete during this time. Students who require the support of Gifted Programming Services, may be pulled during the RTI block to work with that specialist on extension or accelerated lessons.
Feel free to call Mr. Smilinich or your child's teacher for additional information or clarification.