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November 20, 2008 ACTION UPDATE

Tier 2 Mathematics Interventions

Although preventative tutoring at the Tier 2 level in mathematics has received less attention than in reading, several principles for designing such tutoring have emerged. Dr. Lynn Fuchs, the Nicholas Hobbs Professor of Special Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University, outlines these principles and describes how to actually implement them in the classroom in her article: "Mathematics Intervention at the Secondary Prevention Level of a Multi-Tier Prevention System: Six Key Principles."  

Voices From the Field

Faced with overwhelming special education numbers and students not proficient in reading, Principal Linda Dittmer of Northstar Elementary School in Knoxville, Iowa, initiated the RTI process so that data began driving instruction and leading to student improvement. Now recently retired, Ms. Dittmer details in the latest Voices From the Field story how her school starting implementing the RTI framework over six years ago as a way to meet the many needs of its students.

Upcoming RTI Talk: 
Amy L. Reschly on Family — School Partnerships and RTI
December 9, 2008 at 1 p.m. ET

Join Dr. Reschly, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology at the University of Georgia, during our next RTI Talk as she answers your questions about creating positive, engaged relationships that center around supporting student learning, sharing of data and decision making, interventions, and collaborative problem-solving. Dr. Reschly will also offer tips and suggestions for numerous ways schools and families may work together within a multi-tiered model.

Submit advance questions for the discussion now or simply join the chat live on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 1 p.m. ET.


Our district has been doing universal screening in reading for at least five years. We are moving our whole district toward the RTI model with the focus at K-1 this year. Should we try to implement a universal screening for math at this time? Or should we wait?

In her response to this question, Amanda VanDerHeyden, Ph.D., a private consultant and RTI researcher, outlines key questions a district should consider when deciding whether to initiate or expand their RTI efforts.  She also stresses that implementation is the linchpin of RTI and that it is better to implement on a smaller scale with quality.
Dr. VanDerHeyden suggests it is helpful to specify exactly what actions need to occur well for implementation to have the desired effect and offers suggestions for starting small.

RTI Update-boy reading

RTI Interview Series:
David Prasse on "What Teachers Need to Know about RTI"

In the latest video of the RTI Interview Series, Dr. David Prasse, Professor and Dean of the School of Education at Loyola University Chicago, identifies the knowledge base and skills sets associated with RTI that teachers must understand at both the classroom and building levels. He also indicates the value of educators understanding the why of RTI in deciding whether they will be on board with implementation.  


English Language Learners (ELLs) and RTI Webinar
Join the National Center on Response to Intervention on Tuesday, December 2 from 2-3 p.m. ET for its next webinar, "English Language Learners (ELLs) and RTI." Dr. Janette Klingner will discuss the challenges of incorporating ELLs in RTI and provide examples of how schools have addressed these challenges. 
8th Annual Inclusive Schools Week
The Inclusive Schools Network announced that the 8th Annual Inclusive Schools Week, "Together We Learn Better: Inclusive Schools Benefit All Children," will be held December 1-5. The annual event provides an opportunity to focus on the advantages of inclusive schools in promoting quality education and better educational outcomes for all students, including those who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors. For more information, please visit the Inclusive Schools Network website or send an email to inclusiveschools@edc.org.
RTI National Online Forum Webcast Available
On Wednesday, October 1, the RTI Action Network presented the second RTI National Online Forum: "The Role of RTI in LD Identification." Presenters included three nationally recognized experts on RTI and learning disabilities: Drs. Don Deshler, Jack Fletcher, and Rick Wagner. This 90-minute webcast, with questions from the audience, is an invaluable professional development tool, providing guidance on how to identify children with learning disabilities when RTI models are in place.


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