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 RTI and Learning Disabilities(12/08/2009) 
2:59
Edweek Producer: Jennifer: 
Today's chat, RTI and Learning Disabilities, is open for questions. Please start submitting them now.

The chat itself will begin at 4 p.m. Eastern time. Thank you for joining us.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 2:59 Edweek Producer: Jennifer
4:00
Edweek Producer: Jennifer: 
Today's chat is sponsored by Core, and will begin shortly.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:00 Edweek Producer: Jennifer
4:01
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Hi, this is the chat's moderator, Elizabeth Rich. We're having a minor technical difficulty. We'll be up and ready with our stellar guests soon.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:01 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:03
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
We're just getting our chat guests ready. THanks for you patience!
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:03 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:05
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Hi, this is Kathleen Whitmire. I'm glad to be part of this chat today.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:05 Kathleen Whitmire
4:05
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Great, Kathleen. GLad you've joined us!
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:05 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:06
Jack Fletcher: 
Hi, this is Jack Fletcher from the university of Houston. I'm glad to get "here."
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:06 Jack Fletcher
4:06
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 

Welcome to our RTI chat, a topic that draws a lot of interest from our readers. Today’s chat will focus on the process of identifying children with learning disabilities with the use of the RTI framework.

We are delighted to be joined by two nationally respected leaders in the RTI field: Kathleen Whitmire is the Director of the National Center for Learning Disabilities RTI Action Network. Jack M. Fletcher is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston. Both have done extensive research and work in the area of LD identification and the use of the RTI framework. This should be an excellent discussion on the topic.

We have a lot of questions already. Let’s get started.

Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:06 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:07
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
i'd actually like to ask the first question. Not sure which of you would like to take it first. So here goes:
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:07 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:07
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 

Once a student is determined to have a learning disability, where does that student fit in the RTI framework?

Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:07 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:08
Kathleen Whitmire: 
All students are part of the RTI work in a school. That means that students with LD need quality instruction in the classroom, and tier 1 and/or tier 3 supports as appropriate.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:08 Kathleen Whitmire
4:09
Jack Fletcher: 
I agree
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:09 Jack Fletcher
4:09
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Oops, that should have bveen tier 1, not tier 1, in my response.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:09 Kathleen Whitmire
4:09
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Ok. we got off to a bumpy start, but ready for the next question. Kathleen meant tier 2, not tier 1.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:09 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:09
[Comment From JeffJeff: ] 
Can you suggest a model program for RTI implementation in middle school grades (5-8)?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:09 Jeff
4:09
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Can one of you take the question from Jeff.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:09 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:10
Jack Fletcher: 
RTI principles are universal. Look at implementations in places like long Beach, heartland, and elsewhere.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:10 Jack Fletcher
4:10
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Great. Thanks, Jack.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:10 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:10
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
I believe KAthleen is going to add her comments, here too.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:10 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:10
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Yes, the essential components remain the same regardless of grade level. The focus of skill building or strategy instruction may change.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:10 Kathleen Whitmire
4:10
[Comment From DonnaDonna: ] 
Is the RTI model to be used before a student actually begins failing or is it to be used when a student begins to struggle with the curriculum?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:10 Donna
4:11
Kathleen Whitmire: 
RTI starts with quality instruction in the general ed classroom for all students. Those students identified through screening as struggling then receive additional support.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:11 Kathleen Whitmire
4:11
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Great. thanks.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:11 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:12
Jack Fletcher: 
So RTI is a surveilance system that covers all students before they fail and provides support if they struggle.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:12 Jack Fletcher
4:12
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
SOmeone is looking for clarification on the tiers.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:12 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:12
[Comment From georgegeorge: ] 
what is tier 1 or tier 3??
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:12 george
4:13
Jack Fletcher: 
Tier 1 is geneerally general education, tier 2 is general education plus some for of supplemental instruction. Tier 3 is usally general education and a more intensive intervention for students who do not respond adequately to Tier 1.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:13 Jack Fletcher
4:13
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
That's great. A lot of folks do have confusion in this area. Kathleen did you want to add anything.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:13 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:14
Kathleen Whitmire: 

So tier 1 is for all students, tier 2 for some, and tier 3 for a few.

Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:14 Kathleen Whitmire
4:14
[Comment From Paul HenleyPaul Henley: ] 
Do you see this as another form of paperwork placed on special education teachers? It seems LD teachers differentiate pretty heavily already?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:14 Paul Henley
4:15
Are you currently using a RTI framework to identify LDs?
Yes
 ( 48% )
No
 ( 52% )

Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:15 
4:15
Kathleen Whitmire: 
I actually see this as a reduction in paperwork. Many of the students who went through the labor-intensive process of special ed in the past now get help in the general ed classroom, reducing the paperwork load and ultimately the cost in resources and staff time.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:15 Kathleen Whitmire
4:15
Jack Fletcher: 
RTI models are not just about special education teachers. All teachers are involved in RTI.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:15 Jack Fletcher
4:16
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Someone asked about executive functioning skills. i'm looking for their question. any thoughts on that?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:16 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:17
Kathleen Whitmire: 
The supports offered at all tiers certainly can address the need for compensatory strategies.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:17 Kathleen Whitmire
4:17
Jack Fletcher: 
Instructional supports involving executive function skills are an essential part of any effective intervention
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:17 Jack Fletcher
4:17
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Great. thanks, Kathleen.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:17 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:17
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
And Jack.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:17 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:17
[Comment From Linda DLinda D: ] 
Where does the mild cognitively impaired student fit?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:17 Linda D
4:18
Kathleen Whitmire: 
These are good questions. As mentioned earlier, all students get good classroom instruction followed by supplemental or intensive services as needed.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:18 Kathleen Whitmire
4:18
Jack Fletcher: 
What do you mean by mild cognitive impairment- children who meet formal crtieria for mild intellectual disability or just lower IQs?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:18 Jack Fletcher
4:19
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
LEt's see if she can get back to us. in the meantime, here's another question.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:19 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:19
[Comment From Mary CummingsMary Cummings: ] 
Can kids receive services through RTI instead of going on an IEP? That would save lots of paperwork.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:19 Mary Cummings
4:19
Jack Fletcher: 
That's the whole point- to treat and test, not test and treat!
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:19 Jack Fletcher
4:20
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Good observation. Evidence from school districts that have impelmented RTI effectively shows that many kids get supports outside of special education. They were instructionally disabled, not truly disabled.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:20 Kathleen Whitmire
4:20
[Comment From Amy WillsAmy Wills: ] 
Besides differentiated instruction, what are some other Tier 1 classroom strategies?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:20 Amy Wills
4:21
Jack Fletcher: 
Much of what we do in Tier 1 involves classroom management- how to group, when to work with large groups and small groups, and how to manage behavior- as well as content instruction in the academic domain
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:21 Jack Fletcher
4:21
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
here's a question from Sheryl.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:21 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:21
[Comment From SherrySherry: ] 
We are struggling with the question of "who" keeps the files and paperwork on these students. What do we do with students who are receiving Tier 3 services for one area and Tier 2 services for another area? Does the Sped teacher keep the file? Do we have two files? Does the teacher keep it? Any tips?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:21 Sherry
4:22
Jack Fletcher: 
Keep all your records on individual students together in a central location so that the decision making team can review progress
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:22 Jack Fletcher
4:22
Kathleen Whitmire: 
I suggest that the building team discuss the best process customized for your particular setting.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:22 Kathleen Whitmire
4:23
[Comment From Mary CummingsMary Cummings: ] 
ADHD is a true disability. Does it have to be on an IEP?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:23 Mary Cummings
4:23
Is the RTI framework helping you or are you struggling with it?
IT's helping.
 ( 61% )
I'm struggling.
 ( 39% )

Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:23 
4:24
Jack Fletcher: 
ADHD can be identified in the Other health Impaired category if (as always) there is evidence of a disorder and educational need. But a student with ADHD would be part of the RTI process.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:24 Jack Fletcher
4:24
Kathleen Whitmire: 
It's not unusual for supports for kids with ADHD to be provided under 504 as well.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:24 Kathleen Whitmire
4:24
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
We have someone looking for further clarification.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:24 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:24
[Comment From YvonneYvonne: ] 
Re: Jack's point at 4:21: "Much of what we do in Tier 1 involves classroom management...as well as content instruction. How does this differ from what teachers already do?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:24 Yvonne
4:25
Jack Fletcher: 
It shouldn't differ from what teachers do. But many teachers are not well prepared to provide this kind of instruction.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:25 Jack Fletcher
4:26
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Traditionally kids with special needs have been served outside of gen ed. Now the classroom teacher is more of a partner sharing in the support to that sutdnet. It's a subtle shift in responsibility and partnering.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:26 Kathleen Whitmire
4:26
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Jack, can you suggest ways that teachers can be better prepared?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:26 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:26
Jack Fletcher: 
RTI models tell teachers who is at risk and how much progress they make. But good core instruction is good in any service delivery model.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:26 Jack Fletcher
4:27
Kathleen Whitmire: 
We're also working on supporting the training in RTI into teacher prep programs, and of course supporting the need for ongoing professional development.,
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:27 Kathleen Whitmire
4:27
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Any advice for school administrators? I've heard that teachers are struggling with the framework. ANy thoughts on what principals or teacher leaders can do? Resources?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:27 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:28
Jack Fletcher: 
The Sacramento Office of Education has a terrific set of videps for administrtors that are available online.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:28 Jack Fletcher
4:29
Edweek Producer: Jennifer: 
Link to Sacramento Office of Ed. http://www.scoe.net/
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:29 Edweek Producer: Jennifer
4:29
Kathleen Whitmire: 

Administrators are key to making RTI work. They need to develop consensus among educators, build the infrastructure, and create the structure to support this. Good advice is given in the "Get Started" section of www.rtinetwork.org.

Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:29 Kathleen Whitmire
4:29
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
We also will include a few links at the end of the chat.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:29 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:29
[Comment From Kari McWhirterKari McWhirter: ] 
What is the role of the "regular" and "special" education teacher? How does RtI not become difficult for a general ed teacher to implement with a full class size?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:29 Kari McWhirter
4:29
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
While Kathleen is answering that question, someone offered a thought.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:29 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:29
[Comment From Jennifer from FloridaJennifer from Florida: ] 
designate a building RtI facilitator
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:29 Jennifer from Florida
4:30
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Yes, roles certainlly shift under RTI. The goal is to break down the silos and focus on partnerships and collaboration that tap the range of expertise. Each professional brings knowledge to the table for each kid.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:30 Kathleen Whitmire
4:30
Jack Fletcher: 
We realy focus on helping teachers form and manage groups of different sizes in the classroom. The role of the special ed teacher depends on the RTI model that is implemented.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:30 Jack Fletcher
4:30
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
We have a question from Evangeline.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:30 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:30
[Comment From Evangeline BEvangeline B: ] 
How many interventions should be done before a student can be referred to special education?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:30 Evangeline B
4:31
Kathleen Whitmire: 
It's important for the building team to make decisions for individual students based on their data. Rigid numbers will get in the way.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:31 Kathleen Whitmire
4:32
DO you feel you have adequate support for using RTI?
Yes.
 ( 34% )
No.
 ( 66% )

Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:32 
4:32
Jack Fletcher: 
I agree. Any rigid approach to implementation won't help individual students. However, the amount of time should be sufficient to determine adequacy of instructional respons, and that really depends in part on the data.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:32 Jack Fletcher
4:33
[Comment From Dr. Donna BergmanDr. Donna Bergman: ] 
If we use RTI to indicate that a student has a learning disability, do we need to do a psychological evaluation? If so what will it include. If not, do we need any specific documentation beyond the data showing that the student did not respond to interventions?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:33 Dr. Donna Bergman
4:34
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Remember, no ONE measure is adequate for detemining a disability. That includes RTI. The RTI data are a very important part of the comprehensive eval, but not the sole source.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:34 Kathleen Whitmire
4:35
Jack Fletcher: 
IDEA requires a comprehensive evaluation and the evaluation of tx response generated by a RTI model is general not sufficicient to identify LD. Although exactly what is done is up to the interdisciplinary team, I reccommend some norm referenced achievement testing and an evaluation for other disabilities and contextual factors depending on what the team believes is the basis for inadequate response.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:35 Jack Fletcher
4:36
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
We want to encourage our audience to continue asking questions on the LD topic. We know there are so many general RTI questions, but we'd love to have some more specifically on LD.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:36 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:36
[Comment From VirginiaVirginia: ] 
Since the "discrepancy model is dead" for identifying students with a learning disablity, what is the current method for identifying students who have a learning diability?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:36 Virginia
4:37
Jack Fletcher: 
IDEA permits districts to select from different models that could include IQ- discrepancy, low achievement, and a model that includes RTI. A districts capacity for choosing depends on what the state adopts in its rule making process.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:37 Jack Fletcher
4:38
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Additional testing to rule out other disabilities that may be causing the learning problems would also be helpful.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:38 Kathleen Whitmire
4:38
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
OK. thanks. We have another Question about students with LD using RTI.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:38 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:38
[Comment From Dawn FargoDawn Fargo: ] 
How can we plan effective RTI for students with learning disabilities in a small school setting?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:38 Dawn Fargo
4:39
Jack Fletcher: 
RTI is not just for students with LD. Its for all students and the size is not relevant.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:39 Jack Fletcher
4:39
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Maybe their question is about limited resources? would that make sense?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:39 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:40
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Focus on quality classroom instruction, differentiated as needed for that student, then the appropriate intensity of additional supports that can be identified and/or offered by specialists.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:40 Kathleen Whitmire
4:40
[Comment From ChipChip: ] 
Do you have a Math model for RTI that you can recommend?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:40 Chip
4:41
Jack Fletcher: 
Look at the work by Amanda vanderheyden and implementations in Vail Colorado. Lynn Fuchs has wonderful work on multilevel instruction in math.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:41 Jack Fletcher
4:42
Kathleen Whitmire: 
There is information on RTI and math at www.rtinetwork.org. This is a good queasion, as most of the work has been done in the area of reading.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:42 Kathleen Whitmire
4:42
[Comment From Agnes ShineAgnes Shine: ] 
So, students who are classified as SLD should be given tier 2 accomodations? Why not tier 3 accomodations
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:42 Agnes Shine
4:42
[Comment From Jennifer from FloridaJennifer from Florida: ] 
checkout www.RtITLC.org for math interventions
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:42 Jennifer from Florida
4:43
Kathleen Whitmire: 
What the student receives is decided by the building team depending upon the student's areas of needs and the match to the supports being offered at the different tiers.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:43 Kathleen Whitmire
4:43
Jack Fletcher: 
They could be given any level of intervention depending on the IEP.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:43 Jack Fletcher
4:43
[Comment From ColleenColleen: ] 
How does RTI fit in with students already identified with a disability and have an IEP?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:43 Colleen
4:44
Jack Fletcher: 
In a RTI model, students with an IEP should continue progress monitoring. Any interventions should be part of the service continuum that characterizes RTI.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:44 Jack Fletcher
4:44
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Remember, they need quality instruction in the general ed classroom, so they need to be considered in tier 1. Then they can be placed in other tiers as appropriate depending on the match between student need and instruction.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:44 Kathleen Whitmire
4:44
[Comment From Margaret BoudreauMargaret Boudreau: ] 
What role does technology play in RTI for students with LDs?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:44 Margaret Boudreau
4:45
Jack Fletcher: 
Technology is especially useful for collecting and tabulatingscreening and progress monitoring data.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:45 Jack Fletcher
4:45
Kathleen Whitmire: 
It could also be used for accommodations as needed, particularly around reading disabilities or written language problems.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:45 Kathleen Whitmire
4:45
[Comment From RobertRobert: ] 
In identifying students with Learning Disabilities if a child is moving from Tier I to Tier II can a parent request an evaluation? Should the RTI process continue?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:45 Robert
4:46
Kathleen Whitmire: 
IDEA protects a parent's right to request a comprehensive eval at any time. RTI cannot delay or deny services.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:46 Kathleen Whitmire
4:46
[Comment From Amy WillsAmy Wills: ] 
I think one point all the moderators are trying to make here is that RTI focuses both on student need and the ways teachers deliver their instruction. If teachers effectively utilized differentitated instructional strategies everyday in their classrooms, the need to ultimately label a child LD would decrease.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:46 Amy Wills
4:46
Jack Fletcher: 
Wonderful coment!
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:46 Jack Fletcher
4:47
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Great point, Amy! Thank you for adding that.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:47 Kathleen Whitmire
4:47
[Comment From Linda DLinda D: ] 
Isn't RTI a general education intiative?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:47 Linda D
4:47
Jack Fletcher: 
Yes- but it involves breaking down the silos and integrating service delivery
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:47 Jack Fletcher
4:47
Kathleen Whitmire: 
yes, yes, and yes. Well, actually, it involves ALL educators from administrators to support staff. it's not gen ed or special ed, it's ALL ed.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:47 Kathleen Whitmire
4:48
[Comment From BethannBethann: ] 
it is my understanding that the discrepancy model can still be used. Is that wrong?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:48 Bethann
4:48
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Under IDEA, states cannot mandate use of the discrepancy model, and must permit other approached, i.e. RTI. Be sure to check your state's requirements.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:48 Kathleen Whitmire
4:48
[Comment From MaryMary: ] 
I appreciate your comments about how these tough decisions need to be made locally based on individual student needs and data. That's the hard work and we find that many schools struggle and tend to seek answers from outside experts.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:48 Mary
4:49
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Yes, with change this deep and broad, it would be much easier to have pat answers. But that's not what this is about. Any district that has implemented RTI will say it's work, but well worth it.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:49 Kathleen Whitmire
4:50
[Comment From Jose RamirezJose Ramirez: ] 
is Rti an initiative to save money in terms of the costly process of LD indentification via the traditional model?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:50 Jose Ramirez
4:50
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Its purpose is not to save money. One of its many benefits is cost reduction.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:50 Kathleen Whitmire
4:51
Jack Fletcher: 
NO, that has never been a motivating factor, although districts that utilize RTI have found reductions in referrals for LD. In addition, comprehensive evaluations tend to be more focused and require less testing.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:51 Jack Fletcher
4:51
[Comment From Mary CummingsMary Cummings: ] 
Why is the focus on identification rather than providing necessary support?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:51 Mary Cummings
4:52
Jack Fletcher: 
A major problem is this interpretation. Districts get bogged down on identification issues. If the focus was on instruction, many of the identification issues would take care of themselve.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:52 Jack Fletcher
4:52
Jack Fletcher: 
Sorry for the poor grammar and typing.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:52 Jack Fletcher
4:52
[Comment From JillJill: ] 
Can you speak to the need for parent/family participation? It seems like such an underdeveloped portion of RTI.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:52 Jill
4:53
Kathleen Whitmire: 
The two are intertwined. The focus is on providing needed instruction and intervention matched to student needs. This relates to realizing that many students who had previously been identified as disabled in order to get services are now getting what they need via good instruction.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:53 Kathleen Whitmire
4:53
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
Apologies. I jumped the gun.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:53 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
4:54
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Now to families ... a very good point to bring up. Yes, families need to be partners in RTI. Schools need to take the initiative on this, as there are no requirements for parent involvement as there is under IDEA.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:54 Kathleen Whitmire
4:54
Jack Fletcher: 
In RTI models, parents are required by IDEA to be involved at the beginning of the RTI process. This means the parent is informed that their child is at risk and what is being done to help the child. In well- established RTI models, this is automatic and many disctricts experience a significant decline in mediations and disputes over special education eligibility.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:54 Jack Fletcher
4:54
[Comment From MattMatt: ] 
In our school, most special ed. students are pulled out of the classroom to receive more individualized instruction based on their IEP. How will students on IEP's be in the classroom enough to receive good tier 1 instruction if they are pulled out for intervention. I guess the question is when can intervention happen so students don't miss out on Tier 1 instruction?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:54 Matt
4:56
Kathleen Whitmire: 
The additional instruction can happen in the other tiers as well as during a special time. In fact, time in special ed intervention may be able to be reduced with the introduction of solid classroom instruction and additional supplemental instruction.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:56 Kathleen Whitmire
4:56
Jack Fletcher: 
If a student has an IEP in a RTI model, that usually means they have not responded adequately to intensive intervention. So increasing instructional time is aa priority even if some areas have to be de-emphaiszed to make sure the student can read, write, and do math. We always look t o add to time in Tier 1 regardless of the level of intervention.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:56 Jack Fletcher
4:57
[Comment From PHILIP COOPERPHILIP COOPER: ] 
If true Ld's are neurologically based, do you see a significant number of missed labling of LD's
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:57 PHILIP COOPER
4:58
Jack Fletcher: 
LDs are an interaction of neurological and environmental factors. Without an evaluation of intervention response, its hard to know that an environmental component is not involved.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:58 Jack Fletcher
4:58
Kathleen Whitmire: 
Data from schools that have implemented RTI for awhile indicate a reduction in identification of students as having LD, as many needed appropriate instruction.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:58 Kathleen Whitmire
4:58
[Comment From CarolCarol: ] 
In the literature, we have seen tier 3 used only for students with LD. Here in Massachusetts, we think that students identified for LD services can be in all three tiers. In fact, tiers 2 and 3 should be helping them to access core classroom instruction. What is the thinking out there?
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:58 Carol
4:59
Jack Fletcher: 
Good thinking
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:59 Jack Fletcher
4:59
Kathleen Whitmire: 
I like the way you're thinking. The point of RTI is to focus on getting the needed instruction to kids, not sending them into a place or program.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:59 Kathleen Whitmire
4:59
[Comment From AbrahamAbraham: ] 
Is there a set number of times students with learning disabilities receive RTI in a given school day? We are doubling interventions at my school, and RTI has been very effective for my Tier III learning disabled students who are not in special education according to their MAP and Dibel scores. These students have moved up to Tier II.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 4:59 Abraham
5:00
Jack Fletcher: 
It depends on the student and the response, not the label.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:00 Jack Fletcher
5:00
Kathleen Whitmire: 
It''s important not to think of "set numbers" for anything. Instead, focus on individual student needs.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:00 Kathleen Whitmire
5:02
Kathleen Whitmire: 
I have to sign off. It was a pleasure chatting with you all. Good luck! And be sure to check out the resources that will be listed.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:02 Kathleen Whitmire
5:02
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
THanks, kathleen. Jack i'll throw you one more. thanks for sticking around.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:02 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
5:02
[Comment From TiffanyTiffany: ] 
Please comment on the use of the RTI model to screen for LD at the pre-k level
Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:02 Tiffany
5:03
Jack Fletcher: 
Screening can occur with and without a RTI model, esp. in preschool. Look at the work by the CIRCLE group at the University of texas-Houston.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:03 Jack Fletcher
5:04
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 
That's great, Jack. thanks.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:04 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
5:04
Moderator Elizabeth Rich: 

That is all the time we have, unfortunately. It’s been a great discussion. Look for our in depth coverage of RTI in the upcoming Spring 2010 issue of the Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook.

I want to thank our guests, Jack and Kathleen. Our producer, Jennifer Neidenberg, and our sponsor, Core.

If you wish to continue the discussion online, please visit our forums page where we have started a discussion to follow the chat. Follow this link: http://bit.ly/7EdIys

Link to Jack Fletcher’s Web site: www.texasldcenter.org

Link to Kathleen Whitmire’s Web site: http://www.rtinetwork.org/

Other helpful resources:

Article by Jack Fletcher http://www.rtinetwork.org/Learn/LD/ar/HybridModel

Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:04 Moderator Elizabeth Rich
5:04
Edweek Producer: Jennifer: 
Thanks for joining us for today's chat, RTI and Learning Disabilities. For more information on this topic, please visit our sponsor, CORE.

A transcript of this chat will be available here shortly.
Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:04 Edweek Producer: Jennifer
5:05
Jack Fletcher: 
http://www.uth.tmc.edu/circle/
Tuesday December 8, 2009 5:05 Jack Fletcher
5:05
 

 
 
 

Chat: RTI and Learning Disabilities

Tuesday, December 8, 4 p.m. Eastern time

Response to Intervention, an outgrowth of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is a tiered instructional model used to help support struggling students and identify those with learning disabilities. Although mandated in many districts, the RTI model has become an implementation challenge for administrators and teachers. We took a closer look at best practices for using RTI and for identifying learning disabilities.

Guests:
Jack M. Fletcher, distinguished university professor, University of Houston
Kathleen A. Whitmire, director, National Center for Learning Disabilities RTI Action Network
Elizabeth Rich, online editor, Education Week Teacher and the Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook, moderated this chat.

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