West Genesee Central School District
The West Genesee Central School District is committed to providing the highest quality of education for every learner. Response to Intervention (RtI) is the practice of providing high-quality instruction and intervention matched to learner needs, using learning rate over time and level of performance to make important educational decisions about each student (NASDSE, 2006).
The Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework takes the RtI framework to the next level by providing multiple levels of support for all learners. MTSS requires teachers, administrators, district personnel, and student support specialists to move toward a more intensive degree of working together collaboratively and cohesively for learner success.
West Genesee Central School District, Strategic Plan for Educational Improvement 2018 – 2019, Strategic Focus: Provide all students with the additional time and support to learn at high levels utilizing a Multi-Tiered System of Support, with an added emphasis on English Language Learners.
A critical component of this framework is the use of multiple tiers of instruction and intervention. The first step in establishing effective multiple levels of instructional support is ensuring all students have access to grade-level core instruction as well as additional targeted support necessary to learn at high levels (referred to as core and more).
Effective core instruction provides high quality, research based instruction to all students in the general education class provided by qualified teachers. Core instruction includes a literacy block and a math block with differentiated instruction to meet the range of student needs. The core math and literacy curriculum is aligned to the NY state learning standards. Students are assessed on targeted skills using ongoing formative assessments. In alignment with the mission of the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL), West Genesee will ensure that all students, including English Language Learners (ELLs), attain the highest level of academic success and language proficiency. We strive to ensure that all students’ individual educational paths and socio-emotional needs are met in multiple languages leading them to college and career readiness. West Genesee believes that all teachers are teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs).
Targeted Academic Instruction
Student data will be reviewed for all students and subgroups of students across the essential standard(s) to evaluate progress. During the instructional day an additional block of time is designated where all students are given targeted instruction in both math and reading based on their needs. All students will be supported in an intervention, instruction, practice or extension group based on performance on the evaluated essential standard(s).
Intensive Academic Intervention
The focus of intensive interventions is to develop specific skills and concepts to address areas of identified weakness building on students’ strengths. Interventions will focus on the areas of student need or weaknesses that have been identified. Interventions will be supported by research and vary by curriculum focus, group size, frequency, location, and duration. Intervention services at this level are delivered to students who have significant achievement gaps based on assessment results.
These services are supplemental to core instruction delivered in the classroom setting, but differ in frequency, intensity, and duration from services at the targeted level. The progress of students receiving intensive intervention services will be monitored regularly. Students not responding to intensive academic interventions will be brought to the Data Inquiry Team. The Data Inquiry Team will analyze and evaluate relevant information and plan and implement strategies that support student outcomes. The problem solving process will encompass defining the problem, analyzing the problem, brainstorming an intervention plan and discussing ways to evaluate the intervention. The Data Inquiry Team may discuss the potential referral of the student to the Committee for Special Education.
Rate of progress over time is used to make important educational decisions. Interventions must be targeted to a student’s academic need using research-based practices. The instruction and interventions encompassing the MTSS model may involve many different levels of intensity and individualization.
Multi-tiered System of Supports for behavior are a set of strategies for preventing problem behaviors that utilize evidence-based research in applied behavior analysis and the field of systems change. Appropriate behavioral expectations, supports, common vocabulary, and interventions are evident in a school wide positive behavioral system. This reflects a systematic approach to discipline that reflect schools’ positive climate and culture, emphasizes prevention and uses data-based decision-making to both reduce problem behavior and improve academic performance.
At the individual student level, research supports the fact that teaching students the social skills that are intended to replace problem behavior with more appropriate responses is one of the most effective interventions used in schools today. All students benefit from these research-based behavioral interventions.
All students in grades K-5 will participate in universal screening which is an assessment procedure characterized by efficient, repeatable testing of age-appropriate academic skills or behaviors.
Valid and reliable universal screenings are conducted at multiple key points of the year for the purposes of monitoring students’ academic progress more closely. Screening measures in place will ensure compliance with Section 117.3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, which requires that students with low test scores be monitored periodically through screenings and ongoing assessments of the students’ reading and mathematics abilities and skills.
Universal screening results will be used in conjunction with other measures to determine student growth through the use of core literacy and math instruction and assessment. Our school district’s process to determine if a student responds to scientific, research-based instruction shall include the following: (a) instruction matched to student need with increasingly intensive levels of targeted intervention and, (b) instruction for students who do not make satisfactory progress in their levels of performance and/or in their rate of learning to meet age or grade level standards [8NYCRR §100.2(ii)(1)(iii)]. In addition, grade level performance indicators will be assessed using an ongoing formative assessment process. Student data will be reviewed for all students across the essential standard to evaluate progress and determine individual interventions.
The communication between school and parent/guardian is an essential component to all students’ learning. All parents will receive written notification regarding the Multi-tiered System of Support Framework.
It is important to West Genesee to keep parent/guardians informed of the student’s progress based on all academic instruction progress. Parents/Guardians will be informed of their student’s progress through report cards, phone calls, emails, and/or conferences.
In accordance with [8NYCRR §100.2(ii)(1)(vi)] of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, when a student requires intensive interventions, parents will be notified in writing. The written notification includes:
Student is receiving intensive intervention designed to promote academic growth
The nature of student performance data
Strategies for increasing the student’s rate of learning
In addition this written notification includes the parents’/guardians’ right to request an evaluation for special education programs and/or services.
To ensure fidelity of implementation West Genesee is dedicated to making sure all staff receive appropriate and sustained professional development relative to all components of a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework. In accordance with [8 NYCRR §100.2(ii)(3)] of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, effective implementation of a data-based decision making process like MTSS requires specific sets of skills and knowledge that are central to the different roles and responsibilities of teachers and other school personnel involved in the process. Therefore, high-quality professional development will be provided to all stakeholders.
An effective MTSS framework requires knowledge and skill in the provision of instruction; monitoring progress, including collecting and displaying performance data for evaluation, and evaluating
students’ trajectories of learning to determine the need for intervention. It also requires designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions in support of students whose trajectories of learning will not result in grade level achievement. All staff will receive basic instruction in the underlying concepts in order to support the process.
Administrators will receive professional development to acquire an appropriate level of knowledge of the core instructional programs and the MTSS framework, including effective scope and sequence of
instruction, instructional strategies, monitoring procedures, effective use of data, problem solving and decision making, and the identification and implementation of interventions appropriate to individual student needs. It is the responsibility of school leadership to create collaborative structures and processes within a building. Leadership must build in required time for teachers to collaborate as well as encourage a vernacular that supports the responsibility of all students.
Parents and family members are an essential part of an effective MTSS framework. Therefore, West Genesee will ensure that opportunities are available to provide parents with an overview of the MTSS framework and its benefits, including an introduction of the model, the process by which decisions about interventions will be made, the process for communication with families about student progress, their rights to refer their children to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) at any point, and how data from an MTSS framework can be used as part of the process to determine if the student has a learning disability.
RtI represents an important educational strategy to close achievement gaps for all students, including students at risk, students with disabilities and English language learners, by preventing smaller learning problems from becoming insurmountable gaps. The goal of the RtI process is to help schools effectively collect, organize and interpret data to support the learning of all students. The RTI process falls under the umbrella of a Multi-Tiered System of Support. It is important for all stakeholders to remember that the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is an instructional framework as opposed to an additional instructional method. Communication with parents/guardians and the school is a driving factor for successful implementation of the MTSS plan.