Response to Intervention - Elementary Level

Norwell Public Schools operates a fully-developed RTI program in grades K-5.

All students, Kindergarten through grade five are screened three times per year in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Based on the results of this screening and the student's response to intervention provided they will be placed in progressively more focused and intense intervention groups.

Tier 1 intervention reflects a strong general education curriculum. Students who are not making adequate grade level progress will be targeted for more specific intense intervention in Tier 2. General education instruction will be taught by the classroom teacher. Universal screening will be administered by the Classroom Teacher and the RTI Instructional Tutors. Progress monitoring will also be their responsibility.

Tier 2 represents those students who need more intensive and specific instruction in order to be successful in school. As depicted in the graphic above, these students should represent the bottom one third of all students participating in the Universal screening. They will be provided with small group instruction in addition to the general curriculum. These services will be provided either in the classroom or at the learning lab by instructional personnel. Progress will be monitored closely with research base interventions provided by the RTI Instructional Tutors.

Tier 3 represents those students who do not adequately respond to the targeted interventions in Tier 2 and should represent approximately one third of those students initially receiving Tier 2 intervention. Additional screening will be provided and these students will receive intensive interventions targeted to the skills at risk.  Student/Teacher ratio will be smaller and more intensive instruction will be provided by the RTI Instructional Tutors and appropriate academic specialists.

General education is the door to learning through which all students are expected to enter. It is the goal of the Norwell Public School District to make the general education environment the appropriate placement for all students. The adoption and implementation of a Response to Intervention (RTI) program assists school staff in ensuring that all efforts have been made to meet students' needs in the general education environment. The Instructional Support Team (IST) is a part of this effort to develop an educational environment that enhances student learning. A strong instructional support intervention system enables school practitioners to identify which aspects of the students' educational environment must be changed to ensure learning and success in general education.

The Instructional Support Team (IST) is a multi-disciplinary team of school professionals who meet on a regular basis to address teacher's concerns about struggling students and to help design intervention plans. The purpose of this team is to be an effective problem solving group that assesses teacher concerns about student academic difficulties. This group will work together to identify student strengths, interests, and talents and review baseline data that has been collected. Discussions will focus on student placement and movement along the tiers of the RTI model. This will allow the IST to set projected outcomes and methods for measuring progress and design specific intervention plans. They will continue to review and monitor intervention plans and develop a plan to communicate plan/results with student's parents.

The Instructional Support Team meetings are chaired by the assistant principal in each of the four school sites. Core membership also includes guidance counselor, instructional tutors, general education teacher, special education building liaison, and school psychologist. The following disciplines may also be represented on an as-needed basis: reading specialist, special educator, nurse, and selected specialists (occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists). Discussion and decision making should be time efficient and data driven.

Process/Steps:

The IST will meet on a regular basis with predetermined time slots on a rotating cycle according to grade level. The IST discussions should focus on students who are not responding to their current level of intervention as according to the RTI model. The IST will discuss different research based instructional approaches that may prove productive for promoting growth in student skills at all Tiers. After discussion, the IST may recommend continuing with a given student's current tier or progressing them to the next tier as according to the RTI model. If a student does not respond to the general education interventions (Tier I, Tier II, Tier III), then the IST will refer the student to be assessed in order to determine qualification for special education services.

In keeping with the underlying principles of a Response to Intervention Approach, the RTI Taskforce has established the following components to be essential to the successful implementation of the model at all grade levels:

  • High quality instruction
  • Research-Based Instruction
  • Universal Screening
  • Continuous Progress Monitoring
  • Early Intervention
  • Progress Monitoring during intervention

At a foundation level, all students (K-5) enrolled in the Norwell Public Schools are to be screened three times a year (Fall, Winter, Spring). Various instructional staff assists in administering the universal screenings. To facilitate this process, each classroom teacher has been provided with an RTI manual containing instructions, student response forms, and scoring keys. Based upon the results of the Universal Screening students requiring additional support will be identified and placed, in consultation with the IST, into instructional groupings.

Every week during the course of the school year the IST meets to discuss student performance, progress monitoring data, and to make decisions regarding individual student Tier movement. Through the IST, information gathered from the universal screenings is used as the basis for Tier placement. The IST discusses the information that was gathered, prioritizes the concerns, reviews interventions previously tried, develops goals and interventions, and monitors progress. Classroom coverage during this meeting time is arranged by the school principal.

The screening procedures were developed by the Task Force based on the Norwell Public Schools Benchmarks, which align with state standards. The screenings are designed to reflect the secure concepts and skills for that time of year.