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RTI: A Data-Based Tool that Supports the Art of Teaching

January 23, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Response to Intervention: A General Overview

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a 3-tiered assessment, identification, intervention, and monitoring framework that provides information about student academic and behavioral success. The impetus behind RTI is to identify struggling learners before they fail, and to provide them with appropriate, scientifically research-based interventions, in order to accelerate their learning. Identification, scientifically research-based interventions, and progress monitoring provide educators with information related to the effectiveness of instruction, specific and targeted areas in need of more intense or frequent instruction, reduced referrals to special education, and individual student data for the creation of measurable goals and objectives.

The RTI process utilizes data-based decision making for the early identification of struggling students and monitoring of student progress. Universal screenings of students are usually conducted three times during the school year and provide educators with baseline data (fall screening) and student progress data (winter and spring screenings). These screenings typically focus on those foundational areas that research has shown to best predict success. For example, reading screenings often focus on accuracy, rate, and comprehension while math screenings focus on computation and concepts. Educators analyze screening results, along with other available data, to determine if students require more intense and more frequent instruction than what is provided in the regular classroom. Students are then placed on a tier depending upon the data analysis results.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Dyslexia: Hear Us Roar

December 11, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

A recent IEP meeting began the same way they always do, “Jake is a great kid. He has a lot of friends and he tries really hard. We really like him and enjoy having him on campus.” Much to my surprise and my utter joy, Jake’s dad took off his glasses, leaned forward and said, “I know my kid is great. I know he has a lot of friends. But that is not why we are here. My kid can’t read, so let’s talk about that.” I beamed with pride and wished this could be said at every IEP/school meeting. Guess what? It can – just do it.

The niceties are over. The pleasantries are done. Dyslexia affects up to one in five children in this country, and it is still laughed off, brushed off, ignored and scoffed at in almost every IEP/SST meeting I attend. The word is not getting to the frontline staff and administrators, and I think it is because we are whispering. Well, now it is time to roar. I usually advocate for a win-win relationship and a healthy relationship between the school and the parents, but my tune is beginning to change. Niceties and pleasantries are not working, so the gloves are off, and we are asking schools the tough, relevant questions. It’s time for the dyslexia community to take control of the situation and ask the questions that require the districts to justify their responses and create some positive, meaningful change. Read the rest of this entry →

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Don’t be worn down by the School District’s IEP Delay Strategy

March 16, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is excruciatingly SLOW, but then again I can’t think of any Federal law that acts quickly!!!  The problem is IDEA was written to make sure things like assessments and services were done accurately and with much thought but many School Districts are breaking the spirit of the law.  They are using the vague language of the law to delay parents from getting the help their child needs to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).  Delay is defined as: To cause to be later or slower than expected or desired or to act or move slowly by putting off an action or a decision.  I can’t go more than two hours without receiving a call from a frustrated parent who either, 1) can’t get their child assessed for special education, or 2) can’t get the proper amount of services in their child’s IEP, or 3) can’t get the proper amount of support in their child’s IEP.  The number one reason for these parents frustration is the delay tactics that the school district’s use.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Toolbelt Theory, TEST, and RTI – the universally designed technology effort

February 9, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Karen Janowski asked on Twitter, "have you helped your students optimize their performance using tech?-color choices, font sizes, text-to-speech, readability..." and when I re-tweeted her, she added, "we'll keep preaching it until it's unnecessary. Think that will ever happen?" Read the rest of this entry →

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Do you still need to open an IEP for your Child…What are you waiting for?

January 4, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

It’s 2011 and some school districts are already back in session, it’s time to address your child’s academic struggles and find out why they are not doing well in school.  It is now second semester and before you know it, the school year will be over.  Remember, school districts do not conduct IEP’s during the summer and with all the budget cuts you might not be able to resolve any disputes until the next school year begins.  I’m bringing this up now because recently I’ve been told by some parents that they plan on opening an IEP for their child sometime this year.  I’m glad to hear it, however, there are few details you should be aware of before waiting too long to request an IEP.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Cognitive Skills’ Outcome-Based Intervention Revealed the Latency Effect for Struggling Learners

October 27, 2010 in Special Education Articles by Jess

What are the learning pathways?  Research tells us that learners absorb new information through the primary sensory visual, auditory, kinesthetic-tactile (VAKT) [1] pathways, and these entrances must be in working order.  They also should optimally function together, or integrate. One or two pathways may be stronger than the others, and can compete with the weaker ones, creating an out-of-sync learning input structure. Visual processing speed may be faster than a lagging auditory (listening) processing speed, creating a conflict between the two. [2] Without auditory-visual integration, [3] the result is a “slow, inattentive learner” although the student is highly intelligent. [4] Read the rest of this entry →

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Response to Intervention (RTI) in determining a Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

August 27, 2010 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

In the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) the process for determining which children have a specific learning disability (SLD) was altered to include response to intervention (RTI).  This change stemmed from criticism of how children were tested for an SLD, which was primarily looking at the discrepancy between a child’s intellect (IQ) and ability. Read the rest of this entry →

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Response to instruction and intervention (RtI2) in LAUSD: Reading and the special needs student

June 22, 2010 in Special Education Articles by Jess

In 2004, the federal government set new guidelines for effective instruction in core disciplines, including reading.  IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, strengthened the requirements for identifying and educating students with disabilities.   Read the rest of this entry →

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