Introduction – Response to Intervention – Academic Intervention Services – District Procedures – Intensity of Support – Manner and Frequency for Progress Monitoring – Criteria for Exiting – Types of Support – Parent Notification – Social/Emotional/Behavioral Supports
Middleburgh Central School District provides a vast array of services to meet the unique and varied needs of students as they progress through their K-12 educational program. Middleburgh’s Response to Intervention/Academic Intervention Support is designed to be flexible and responsive, recognizing that students’ needs are often complex and students may benefit from overlapping services at various points in their development. Multi-level prevention system provide students access to increasingly intense levels of instruction and interventions. It includes three levels of intensity or prevention, primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. These levels are sometimes also called Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Screening is another system for identifying students at risk for poor learning outcomes. Progress monitoring is a system for monitoring student progress and the effectiveness of the supports provided to students. Data-based decision making occurs at all levels of RtI/ AIS and at all levels of instruction.
The Middleburgh Response to Intervention/ Academic Intervention Service Plan defined in this document serve to clarify how:
- AIS/RtI supports are determined
- Students are identified at Tier 2 and Tier 3
- Progress monitoring with fidelity
Response to Intervention (RtI)
In accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations, the Middleburgh Central School District has established administrative practices and procedures for implementing district wide initiatives that address a Response to Intervention (RtI) framework applicable to all students. Response to Intervention (RtI) is a multi-tiered early prevention and intervention system designed to improve outcomes for all students. In accordance with Commissioner’s regulations, the District has established administrative practices and procedures for implementing district wide initiatives that address an RtI framework applicable to all students. For students suspected of having a potential learning disability, the District will provide appropriate RtI services pursuant to Commissioner’s regulations prior to a referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for evaluation.
The District has established procedures for identifying students with learning disabilities that use a research-based RtI process prior to, or as part of, an individual evaluation to determine whether a student has a learning disability. An RtI framework is required for all students in grades kindergarten through grade 4 suspected of having a learning disability in the area of reading. RtI cannot be utilized as a strategy to delay or deny a timely initial evaluation of a student suspected of having a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
In accordance with New York State Part 100 regulations, the IDEA and Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, Middleburgh Central School District has established administrative practices and procedures for implementing district-wide initiatives that address a Response to Intervention (RtI) framework. RtI is a multi-tiered early prevention and intervention system designed to improve outcomes for all students. For students suspected of having a potential learning disability, the District will provide appropriate RtI services pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations prior to referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) evaluation. These services must be afforded to all students who are determined to be at risk of not achieving the State designated performance level in English, math, social studies or science, and to English Language Learners who do not achieve the annual Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154 performance standards.
Academic Intervention Services
Academic Intervention Services (AIS) are student support services, which supplement instruction provided in the general education setting, and are designed to assist students in meeting proficiency with the established learning standards. AIS are intended to assist students who have not met or who are at risk of not meeting the designated performance levels on State assessments in English language arts (grades 3-12), mathematics (grades 3-12), social studies (grade 10-12) science (grades 6-12), and English language development (NYSESLAT K-12).
There are two components of AIS:
- Additional instruction that supplements the general curriculum (regular classroom instruction) and/or
- Student support services needed to address barriers to improved academic performance.
The NYS Education Department defines additional instruction as the provision of extra time for focused instruction and/or increased student-teacher instructional contact time. The regulations also indicate that services may vary in intensity depending on the student’s needs, but must be designed to respond to student needs as indicated through State Assessment results and/or the District-adopted or District-approved procedure that is consistent throughout the District at each grade level.
AIS are available to students with disabilities on the same basis as non-disabled students. Students with disabilities who score below the designated cut scores on NYS and/or district common assessments should be reviewed by the Intervention Team (IT), including special education staff, to determine the need and appropriateness for AIS services. Students who are receiving special education services in a specific academic subject may not require additional services in that subject as the focus may not be appropriate to the student’s cognitive and academic development. AIS services may not replace special education services. The services for students with disabilities shall be provided consistent with the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
AIS are also available to English Language Learners (ELL) as deemed appropriate by the Intervention Team. ELL students should have equal access to any services afforded to all students; however it is important to use multiple measures to determine whether or not an ELL student is in need of AIS. By definition, ELL students do not perform at grade level until they begin to reach more advanced levels of English proficiency, and it is important to recognize if their needs are compensatory (in need of intervention) or developmental (appropriate for their level of language development). It is not always appropriate to intervene when students are still developing language, and when AIS is deemed appropriate, those interventions must be grounded in English as Native Language (ENL) methodology. Any AIS provided must be supplemental to ENL and may not replace ENL instruction.
The school-based Intervention Team (IT), facilitated by the principal (or designee), selects students for AIS/RtI support based on district-adopted criteria. The IT decides who will receive support by reviewing multiple data points that may include progress reports, major test results (NYS assessments, Benchmark Assessment, common assessments, final exams), and teacher recommendations. The principal can assign students to AIS at any time it is needed as advised by their building IT.
Once students are deemed eligible, the principal will send a letter to students’ parents informing them of the type, frequency, and duration of support their student will receive. Students may begin services in the fall based upon their performance from the previous school year. Additional students can be included based upon performance during the school year. The IT will determine this based upon the student’s performance relative to the district criteria. Regular progress monitoring is required for all students receiving support. Teachers then provide quarterly reports to parents on their child’s progress. When students demonstrate proficiency on grade level standards using multiple measures as evidence and reviewed by the IT, their parents are sent a letter informing them that their child has been recommended to exit, along with the reasons why the support will be discontinued. If a student requires an increase or a decrease in support, the parents will also be notified in writing of the change and the reason for the change. It is important to note that expectations associated with the Common Core Learning Standards are intended to be taught during primary instruction in the classroom setting, rather than through AIS /RtI support.
Intensity of Support
Eligibility is based on individual student performance on district and state assessments in accordance with specific performance scores recommended by the New York State Education Department. Students qualifying for AIS/RtI will exhibit varying levels of performance which requires a corresponding match in service allocation. Each student will receive services based on their performance on designated assessments and their individual assessment results. The RTI framework is followed to determine the appropriate level of intervention.
Tier One: Low Intensity AIS
Quality core instruction takes place in the general education classroom and includes all students. Instruction is aligned with the NYS Common Core Learning Standards. The components of core reading instruction are phonemic awareness, phonics instruction, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Tier One is provided to all students in the general education setting. The use of evidence based instruction in the areas of reading and math will be provided by the general education teacher and/or other qualified personnel as appropriate, and will emphasize proactive, preventative core instructional strategies in the classroom setting. Group and/or individualized instruction, assessment, and reinforcement activities will be provided as deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher. Differentiated learning activities (e.g., mixed instructional grouping, use of learning centers, peer tutoring) are utilized to address individual needs. The analysis of Tier One student performance data will be used to identify those students who need additional intervention at Tier Two. Progress is monitored at regular intervals through classroom, unit, and district assessments.
Tier Two: Students Receive Core Instruction plus more (moderate intensity AIS)
This supplemental instruction is provided in addition to, and not in place of, the core instruction provided in Tier One. Tier Two interventions focus on areas of student need or weakness that are determined from the results of the universal screening (NWEA- MAP Growth) in combination with the uniform grade level district assessments. In general, Tier Two will consist of small group, targeted interventions for those students identified as being “at risk” and who fail to make adequate progress in the general education classroom. Tier Two will include programs and intervention strategies designed to supplement Tier One provided to all students in the general education setting. Tier Two Interventions may be provided by specialized staff such as reading and math teachers, tutors, speech therapists, school psychologists, and/or school counselors as determined by the Intervention Team.
At the conclusion of Tier Two intervention, the IT will review the student’s progress and make a determination as to whether Tier Two interventions should be maintained, the student returned to the general education classroom if satisfactory progress is shown, or referred to Tier Three. Tier Two is a supplemental intervention intended for approximately 10 -15% of students who are not responding to core instruction at Tier One. The Intervention Teams additionally review Benchmark Assessments which may include:
- Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment
- DIBELS (reading and math)
- Informal reading measures such as running records, sight word list accuracy, etc.
- Grade level math fluency measures such as benchmarking assessments with multiplication facts to 10 X 10
Interventionists may include:
- Classroom Teachers
- AIS Teachers
- Speech/Language Teachers
- Other highly qualified support staff
The location of a Tier Two interventions may be the classroom or an alternate location to be determined by the school. Group size at the elementary level is approximately 5 – 7 students; at the secondary level group size is 12-15. Frequency of intervention provided varies; however, generally it is no less than three times per week for a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes per session. The duration of the intervention may vary, however, progress monitoring data is analyzed to determine if the intervention is successful and needs to continue, is not resulting in student growth and needs to be modified, or proficiency is exhibited and the intervention needs to be discontinued. Tier Two interventions are supported by research and vary by curriculum focus, group size, frequency, and duration based on individual student’s responsiveness. Progress is monitored no less than bi-weekly through curriculum-based assessments or probes/data that align with programs.
Tier Three: Students Receive Core Instruction plus Intensive Intervention (High Intensity AIS)
Tier Three is the provision of more intensive interventions, tailored to the needs of the individual student, and is provided to those students who do not achieve adequate progress after receiving interventions at Tier Two. Tier Three may include longer periods of intervention than those provided in the first two Tiers based upon the significant needs of the student. Tier Three will be provided by those specialists, as determined by the IT, best qualified to address the individual student’s targeted area(s) of need. If deemed appropriate by the Team, and in accordance with applicable law and regulation, a referral of the student may be made to the CSE.
Progress monitoring on a continuous basis is an integral part of Tier Three and the student’s response to the intervention will determine the need or level of further intervention services and/or educational placement.
Tier Three provides intensive intervention intended for about 1 – 5% of students who are not responding to instruction at Tiers One and Two and is designed to increase an individual student’s rate of progress. This Tier provides greater individualized instruction in an individualized or small group session. These services are considered supplemental instruction to Tier One and are not intended to replace Tier One core instruction. Individual diagnostic assessments are conducted to determine specific patterns of skills that the individual has and does not have for the purpose of designing effective instruction to remediate the student’s deficits.
The location of a Tier Three intervention is usually outside of the classroom. Group size and frequency of intervention provided varies, but it is more frequent and/or longer in duration than a Tier Two intervention. Progress is monitored no less than weekly through curriculum-based assessments or probes/data that align with programs. It is important to note that the goal at each level is to provide early intervention to students who are performing below grade-level expectations before insurmountable gaps develop. Tier Three interventions are not intended to result in a referral to the CSE, but rather to provide intensive remediation to enable the student to close gaps in learning and achieve grade level standards. If Tier Three interventions are implemented with fidelity and frequent progress monitoring indicates lack of progress the IT will determine the appropriateness of a referral to the CSE. Tier Three interventions for English Language Learner (ELL) students should be grounded in English as Native Language (ENL) methodology and research-based practices for ELLs. All interventionists work with the general education teacher to provide continuity and congruence of implementation of interventions.
Tier 1 Low Intensity
- Location: Classroom
- Who: All Students
- Frequency: Daily
- What: Core Instruction Differentiation
- Progress Monitoring: Classroom assessments
Tier 2 Moderate Intensity
- Location: Classroom (in addition to core) or separate location
- Who: Students not meeting grade-level benchmarks
- Frequency: 3-5x week up to 45 minute sessions
- What: Core Instruction Differentiation Targeted Intervention
- Progress Monitoring: Biweekly (minimum) based on individual goals
Tier 3 High Intensity
- Location: Separate location
- Who: Students not making progress with Tier 2 support
- Frequency: 5x week up to 90 minute sessions
- What: Core Instruction Differentiation Intensive Targeted Intervention
- Progress Monitoring: Weekly (minimum) based on individual goals
Manner and Frequency for Progress Monitoring
The Intervention Team will monitor the progress of those students receiving intervention services beyond that provided to all students in the general education classroom. The IT will meet with the student’s teacher(s) and determine if further adjustments must be made to the student’s current instructional program and/or a change made to the Tier Level of intervention provided. Monitoring of student progress will be ongoing, from the initial screening to completion of the RtI process as applicable. Parents may also request that the IT review their child’s progress.
Fidelity measures (e.g., an observational checklist of designated teaching behaviors in accordance with the RtI framework being implemented) will also be completed by Team members to assess whether the intervention was implemented as intended and uniformly applied. Clear benchmarks will be established for student performance and performance charts will be plotted at the completion of the instructional period or intervention process.
Criteria for Exiting
When a student demonstrates success on the state assessment and/or on district assessments (including unit tests, common assessments, and benchmark assessments), the Intervention Team can recommend exiting the student from AIS/RtI. The goal of the IT is to provide the targeted intervention necessary for students to achieve grade level benchmarks and state standards. Students should not be exited without the IT reviewing multiple achievement measures of the student’s performance.
Types of Support
Students who require AIS/RtI support are reviewed by the Intervention Team upon entrance and when moving between RtI Tiers. Specific supports are determined based on the student’s specific academic needs and individual achievement levels. Samples of service options in Middleburgh include:
- Scheduling options including extra class time or extended instructional time
- Small group instruction
- Monitoring of progress by classroom teacher
Communication with parents is essential in order to meet federal/state regulations and to achieve program goals/objectives. The following written procedures are conducted at various times throughout the year:
Parent Notification Letter
Parents or guardians will be notified by the principal during the month of September after the child’s school record, including district assessment criteria, has been studied in conjunction with new scores on NYS assessments and the need support is determined. Each school and/or department will be responsible for parental notification indicating the need for AIS/RtI. This notification will be made in writing and will include a summary of the supports being provided to the student including frequency. The reason(s) for AIS/RtI support will be reviewed, and the consequences of not achieving state standards will be explained.
Parents will be invited to attend one or more conferences each year to discuss their child’s academic progress with the classroom teacher. Parents will be invited to attend Open House at their child’s school, at which time Interventionists will be available.
An exit letter is sent home whenever a student is exited from AIS/RtI during the school year. Parent/Guardians will be notified in writing that intervention support will be ending, the criteria for exiting, the current performance level of the student and the assessments that were used in determining the student’s level of performance.
Ongoing progress monitoring, including research-based assessments when applicable, is critical to determine growth of skill areas. Progress reports are sent home quarterly to describe specific progress made by the student. Parents will be kept informed of their child’s progress through quarterly written reports and/or parent conferences. Quarterly goals should be clearly defined for both students and parents. Suggestions for working with the student at home may also be included as part of this quarterly contact. These communications must be maintained in the student’s intervention folder and/or within the student information system.
Parent involvement is considered critical to the success of our students. Parents are provided with informational resources throughout the year, including at Open House, to acquaint parents with the AIS/RtI framework and inform them of opportunities for their active involvement and participation.
Some students require support services because they are at risk of not meeting learning standards due to social, emotional or behavioral issues. The same process utilized for students with academic issues is implemented for students with other barriers to learning.
Students are identified for needing social/emotional/behavioral supports by their classroom teacher, counselor, principal or parent. Students may require these services if they have a difficult time engaging in appropriate social interactions, making friends, anxiety, self-regulation, attention/focus, attendance or other issues that impact overall social development. Like AIS/ RtI, students begin receiving supports through general classroom procedures (Tier One). If these supports are not adequate, the IT will meet to develop a targeted plan to improve the student’s skill deficits. As is the case with academic issues, if a student exhausts all general education supports including an individual behavior plan, the student may require a referral to the Committee on Special Education.
Types of Services
The intensity of service will be determined based upon individual need. Examples of service options in the District include:
- Classroom behavior planning
- Modifications to the learning environment (e.g., preferential seating, study carrels, quiet area)
- Modifications to the school day (e.g., scheduled breaks, daily check-ins)
- Behavior contracts
- Individual behavior plans
- Parent training
As a student progresses through the typical support systems and the student continues to demonstrate behaviors that impact his/her learning or the learning of others, a Functional Behavior Assessment must be completed. Parent consent is required to complete this assessment. Once the assessment is complete an individual behavioral intervention plan may need to be implemented (Tier Three).
Roles and Responsibilities
Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (CIA)
- Supervise district AIS/RTI framework
- Articulate analysis of district’s database to building leadership
- Collaborate with principals regarding the profile of AIS/RTI students, interventions, progress and results, including timely identification of students for AIS
- Annual update of the District Plan
- Meet with content areas teachers to align AIS/RTI support, and analyze student performance.
- Oversee the building level responsibility of providing AIS/RTI to students at risk of not meeting NYS standards
- Analyze assessment results for the identification of students at risk of not meeting CCLS and grade level benchmarks
- Provide the Director of CIA with accurate and timely lists of students receiving AIS interventions
- Meet with building ITs to discuss students, interventions, program and student performance
- Ensure timely correspondence to parents for initial identification, change in level of services and discontinuation
- Establish criteria for initial identification, change in level of services and for discontinuation
- Regularly assess program effectiveness
- Collaborate with building principals to make alterations to program delivery
- Meet regularly with AIS/RTI providers to study student progress and review program
- Participate in the annual update of the District RTI/AIS plan
- Supervise quarterly parent progress reports
- Collaborate regularly with AIS/RTI teachers to make changes as needed to instruction
- Regularly use multiple data points to inform instruction
- Regularly analyze individual student performance data to differentiate instruction for monitored students addressing targeted skill
- Collaborate with the IT to determine appropriate supports
- Complete quarterly reporting of student progress (for monitored students)
- Complete quarterly reporting of student progress
- Measure and document students’ progress weekly or biweekly
- Prepare and send parent notification letters for service schedules and definition of delivery model
- Regularly analyze individual student performance to better serve students
- Collaborate regularly with classroom teachers
- Make recommendations to the IT to continue, change level of service, or discontinue service
- Maintain accurate roster of students receiving RTI/AIS and notify the Principal of any changes in a timely manner
- Meet with administration regularly to review student progress, program delivery, and types of interventions