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February 15, 2011 ACTION UPDATE

Hello all,
There seems to be some misinformation related to RTI and the identification of students with disabilities. The information presented in this email comes from the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). As RTI is becoming more prevalent in schools, it is critical that folks involved in identifying students with disabilities in their professional lives receive accurate information. My guess is that a lot of people still do not understand that RTI is a general education initiative and not a special education initiative. As result of the way some are implementing RTI, a legal battle over Response to Intervention appears to be beginning. Certainly more on this will materialize in the future. I am sharing this as I am sure this group is interested in learning of this. Below is a brief synopsis of the memo. The full memo can be viewed using the link provided above.
The Director of the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued memo entitled "A Response to Intervention (RTI) Process Cannot Be Used to Delay-Deny an Evaluation for Eligibility under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)" notes the IDEA requirements that a State "identifies, locates, and evaluates all children with disabilities".
In unusually blunt language the OSEP memo states: "It is critical that this identification occur in a timely manner and that no procedures or practices result in delaying or denying this identification."
"States and LEAs have an obligation to ensure that evaluations of children suspected of having a disability are not delayed or denied because of implementation of an RTI strategy."
As some in the field have been noting, current RTI practices in some States and school districts violate Federal law and regulations. As OSEP states: "It would be inconsistent with the evaluation provisions at 34 CFR 300.301 through 300.111 for an LEA to reject a referral and delay provision of an initial evaluation on the basis that a child has not participated in an RTI framework."
NYS regulations as written are okay on RTI as the NYSED regulations still contain the option for a person (teacher, parent, administrator, etc.) to refer a student for special education evaluation, and the evaluation can go forward, no matter where a student may or may not be in an RTI process being implemented in a school.
It is apparent that many schools and districts are struggling to find a way to structure and find time to incorporate RTI within their daily school schedules. Plus, many teachers are not yet trained in RTI and they really do not know what it truly is. Additionally, the implementation of RTI practices is a real challenge for those whom it is a paradigm shift. Some administrators and teachers get especially confused when the conversation includes discussion about AIS as AIS is not RTI. Depending on how AIS is done in a school, AIS services can be considered an option within an RTI structure but AIS does not equate to RTI. RTI is far more comprehensive and involved than AIS.
Dr. Kevin J. Miller
Associate Professor, Chair
Exceptional Education Department
Integrating Academic and Behavior Supports Within an RTI Framework, Part 4: Tertiary Supports
In this article series, Drs. Hank Bohanon, Steve Goodman, and Kent McIntosh provide a framework for the integration of academic and behavior supports for each tier of intervention in an RTI model. The fourth and final article includes an overview of how to identify strategies for intervention and how to establish progress monitoring for students with the most intensive needs.
Implementing a Combined RTI/PBIS Model: When is it Considered Tier 2?
At what point is instruction considered Tier 2? In their latest post, bloggers Evelyn Johnson, Deborah Carter and Juli Pool argue that because Tier 2 is now a required component for documenting the presence of a specific learning disability (SLD), it is important to define what the student is supposed to respond to, and what is adequate response. Read more to learn why asking these questions-and working toward obtaining answers-matters.
Upcoming RTI Talk: RTI and LD Identification March 11, 2011 at  10:30 a.m. ET
RTI models hold the promise of advancing identification of and intervention for learning disabilities by linking these two domains.  Join Dawn Miller and Erin Lolich during our next RTI Talk as they answer your questions about the use of RTI for identifying specific learning disabilities. They will also offer tips based on lessons learned working with local schools on how RTI can ensure accurate and timely LD identification.
Submit advance questions now or simply join the chat live on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
If a student has been identified with a language disability and is currently receiving IEP services but a new concern has come up regarding the student's math ability, must the school reconvene the RTI process to provide math supports or should the concerns be addressed solely by the IEP team?  Dr. David Allsopp, Professor of Special Education in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, points out that data and then the particular special education regulations in the state/district are the keys to making this determination. While Dr. Allsopp emphasizes that the intent of RTI is to allow flexible movement of students back and forth among instruction tiers regardless of disability identification, he believes that such movement has to be based on data collected specific to the identification.
Voices from the Field: Implementing RTI in an Urban School District-New York City
Linda Wernikoff, the Former Executive Director of Special Education for NYC Public Schools, discusses the challenges and successes that the NYC Public Schools experienced in implementing RTI in an urban school district in the latest
Voices from the Field story.
As part of a District Leadership Team that decided to initiate an RTI model to address early grade literacy, Ms. Wernikoff helped oversee a decrease in the number of kindergarten and first graders "at risk" for literacy in the two demonstration school sites, which eventually expanded to include an additional 14 schools.
Support for the Voices From the Field provided by Cambium Learning Group.
RTI Action Network on TeacherTube
The RTI Action Network now has a channel on TeacherTube. Because YouTube is blocked by several school districts, our TeacherTube channel gives teachers and district leaders an opportunity to use our video resources during the work day.
NCRTI Resource: Response to Intervention (RTI): 
Funding Questions and Answers
The National Center on Response to Intervention is pleased to announce a new resource, Response to Intervention (RTI): Funding Questions and Answers. This document provides written responses from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) on the use of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds for the implementation of RTI and answers eight commonly asked questions on funding RTI. For additional information from the U.S. Department of Education on RTI, Title I, Title III and CEIS funds, see the talking presentation, "Implementing RTI Using Title I, Title III, and CEIS Funds: Key Issues for Decision-Makers."
NASSP 2011 Annual Convention
The National Association of Secondary School Principals's (NASSP) 2011 Annual Convention & Exposition is taking place from February 24-27, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The goal is to develop strategies for building leadership capacity, enhancing school culture, and improving student performance. Visit the RTI Action Network in Booth #223. For more information, visit the NASSP 2011 Annual Convention Web site.
NCRTI Webinar: The Essential Components: Data-based Decision Making
In this National Center on Response to Intervention (NCRTI) webinar, "The Essential Components of RTI: Data-based Decision Making," Dr. Amy Elledge provides an overview of the process of data-based decision making and the different types of decisions that can be made with screening and progress monitoring data in order to identify students
in need of additional instruction and assessment. View this webinar from the Web site or download it to your MP3 or other mobile device to watch on the go. After watching, e-mail your questions to A live online chat will take place on February 24th from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET. At this time, Dr. Elledge will answer the questions submitted via e-mail as well as any additional questions that come up during the online chat.  To participate, go to the NCRTI Web site and click on "Join our Live Chat." Note that this will not be available until 15 minutes prior to the beginning of
the chat.
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Response to Intervention (RTI)

Jim Wright Workshop June 4, 2009

Jim Wright Workshop Information

Jim Wright Handout:  RTI General Academic Interventions for Difficult-to-Teach Students

Jim Wright Handout:  Teaching the Tornado


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RTI PowerPoint by Matthew Gugino


PDS Retreat  September 26, 2008

PowerPoint Presentation by Theresa Janczak

 RTI Anticipation Guide by Theresa Janczak

 RTI Websites collected by Theresa Janczak