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January 21, 2008 ACTION UPDATE

Universal Screening within an RTI Model

In the context of an RTI prevention model, universal screening is the first step in identifying students at risk for learning difficulties. Consequently, Dr. Charles Hughes and Douglas Dexter of Penn State University want to help educators to make informed decisions about the nature of universal screening measures for reading, writing, math and behavior. Their article, "Universal Screening Within A Response-To-Intervention Model," addresses elements of effective measures, types of performance measured, identification of at-risk students, and much more. 

Screening for Reading Problems

What is the primary purpose of screening for reading problems in an RTI framework? In this article, Drs. Evelyn Johnson, Juli Pool, and Deborah Carter of Boise State University, answer this question and discuss the factors that can make accurate screening for reading problems challenging. In three forthcoming related articles, they will review existing screening measures targeted at different grade levels; Pre-K—K, Grades 1—3, and Grades 4—12.

Be S.M.A.R.T. about RTI in Your School

How can an RTI team benchmark its success as it works to improve overall student achievement? In his latest blog, Principal Bob Heimbaugh explores how educators can apply the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals to drive their RTI initiative and evaluate instructional effectiveness.


Can Occupational Therapists provide direct services under RTI or does there need to be an IEP in place for a child to receive OT services?

Sandra Schefkind, MS, OTR/L, answers this question in the context of occupational therapists' "workload" vs. their "caseload." Workload expands the role of an OT beyond a direct service model and is reflective of IDEA law, which mandates that services support access and progress in the general curriculum.

Voices from the Field

In the latest Voices from the Field story, Nicole Power, speech-language pathologist and RTI Coordinator for an Oklahoma public school district, details how her RTI team tackled challenges such as providing useful professional development and training on effective interventions. She works directly with Earl Harris Elementary School, which was one of the first in Oklahoma to implement an RTI model, and now provides interventions for up to 150 students per year. 


Request for Proposals (RFP): RTI for Reading in Grades 1 and 2
SRI International and MDRC are leading a multi-year evaluation of RTI strategies in reading for grades 1 and 2. The evaluation, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), examines the impact of different RTI frameworks on student reading performance and eligibility for special education. This evaluation will examine the impacts of different Tier 2 RTI models on student reading performance and identification for special education. The study is seeking products and services for Tier 2 reading measurement and intervention in grades 1 and 2 for a 2-1/2 year period beginning in early 2010. To view the RFP, visit the SRI International web site.
RTI Talks
RTI Talks are monthly, live, web-based discussions on issues related to the effective implementation of Response to Intervention. If you aren’t available to join the live Talk, we archive the transcript so you can visit this online resource as often as you like. The past 13 Talks have explored the connection between RTI and topics such as school-wide positive behavior support, family-school partnerships, universal screening, data-based decision making, and much more. To read archived transcripts visit RTI Talks and click on the highlighted Talk topic you wish to review.


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