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Tiered Instruction and Intervention - General Questions

What type of scheduling in a middle school setting has proven to work well with the RTI model for Tier 2 and 3 pull out groups. Example: 55 minute classes, 90 minute classes, etc. We run 55 minute classes and just started the model. I am finding, in Science, that pull out groups are not given enough time.


Response from Lori Smith, Principal, Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School, Colorado Springs, CO:

When evaluating a schedule for intervention, it must fit the goal of the intervention.

 

For example, in our building, we have 44 minute periods for all classes whether they are intervention or regular classes. Therefore, it is important to determine if the goal of the intervention is remediation of science concepts taught in class (a double-dip approach), in which case I believe 90 additional minutes is too much, or if the goal is to teach perhaps specific vocabulary related to science, which can be done in shorter more consistent intervals within 55 minutes. Either way, I think teachers and interventionists can work around time constraints by using elective times, PE, or other non-academic time. It's most important to have the buy-in of the parents to help support creative scheduling. However, that support cannot come without educating parents on the whys of the intervention goals for the student and sharing of regular progress monitoring data with the parents. I think you can make intervention time work in just about any setting, but you have to have parent support if it means giving up an elective or exploratory time. At our school, we don't really give parents a choice about giving up elective time, we simply send information home in a letter to parents stating the intervention their student will receive, its duration, and the rationale. If for some reason they refuse, that is a parent choice and we honor it. So, in essence, we tell the parents "the plan" and very few, when they read the rationale and goals for their student, refuse to participate. We also make it a point not to intervene with kids so much that they can't take an elective; it's more of an incentive plan or program...you will be in this intervention until you show adequate progress (usually a semester) and if you succeed, you get to take an elective in the spring. This approach seems to work well with our kids and parents.

 

Lastly, think outside the box; time constraints should not drive intervention—intervention purpose should drive schedule and time!


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