RTI, Special Education Process, Key Legislation

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RTI, Special Education Process, Key Legislation

The special education process, State/Federal special education laws/regulations, and Response to Intervention (RTI) by Lisa Kulka LAI 574 Professor Colon

SUMMARY: Within this glog, the topics discussed, including Special Education Process (top left), Response to Intervention (right), and Education Policy as related to Special Education (bottom left) build a comprehensive overview of the foundations upon which services are founded, enacted and implemented for students across the country. The Special Education Process section details the necessary three steps that precede the implementation of services, while the key laws listed in the Education Policy section (IDEA and The Education For All Handicapped Children Act) establish a legal basis for schools to reach multiple standards for the education of disabled students. The RTI section covers a widely-used framework for identifying and serving students in need.

RTI Resources Websitehttp://www.pavilioncsd.org/webpages/mnoble/index.cfm

Includes multiple steps:Step 1: Pre-Referral-Students may be identified as potentially having a handicap (difficulties imposed by the environment on a person with a disability), a developmental delay (a term defined by individual states referring to children ages 3 to 9 who perform significant below developmental norms) or other disability (an inability or incapacity to perform a task or activity in a normative fashion). -Interventions are designed by a support team and implemented in the classroom -Many school districts have systems in place to identify and address disabilities, and Response to Intervention (RTI) can be one of those systems. -students are expected to make adequate progress towards academic goals by the receipt of prereferral interventions, which are strategies that occur prior to initiating a referral to special education services.Step 2: Referral-Students who are not making adequate progress are given a referral (formal request by a teacher or parent that a student be evaluated for special education services) to a specialist. -Typically begins with the student’s general teacher, and arise from specific deficits that a student exhibits in the classroom that do not improve with prescribed interventions. -Teachers must provide comprehensive referral reports, for a committee of school members (usually including an administrator, school psychologist, teachers and specialists) to review-The IDEA does not require parental consent for referrals, but does for assessment.Step 3: Assessment-Assessment (the process of gathering information and identifying a student’s strengths and needs through a variety of instruments and products; data used in making decisions) is taken -Disciplinary teams (including a teacher) evaluate broad developmental domains (cognitive, academic achievement) to address areas identified in the referral report. Depending on the student’s challenges, a norm-referenced (standardized test on which a student’s performance is compared to peers), or criterion-referenced (test in which a student’s performance is compared to a particular level of mastery) will be given. Under the IDEA, parents have a right to an independent evaluation.The team must put together a comprehensive overview of the student’s school performance to determine services. (Gargiulo, 2014)

Response to Intervention (RTI)

-A multitiered (generally three-tiered) approach to proactive, early behavioral interventions for students of varying populations and risk factors.-Components should include high-quality, research-based classroom instruction; continuous student assessment via universal screening and progress monitoring; tiered instruction that differentiates learning for all students; parent involvement through effective communication and data provided by the school around students’ progress-Different schools approach implementation of RIT in different ways, including problem-solving, functional assessment, standard protocol, and hybrid approaches. RTI framework will be dependent upon school resources, climate and specific objectives for improving student outcomes.-Each tier includes specific procedures and criteria: Tier 1: Core, Research-based Classroom Instruction; Universal Screening; Group InterventionsIn Tier 1, the general student population receives high-quality, research-based instruction. All students are screened to ensure that any academic and behavioral issues are identified. Students identified as “at risk” through screenings including universal screenings, district testing, standardized testing, and/or other testing are flagged for additional interventions and monitored throughout a set period of time. At the end of this period, students showing significant progress are transitioned back to the regular classroom, and those who do not are addressed in Tier 2. Tier 2: Targeted, Small-Group InterventionsIn Tier 2, identified students receive intensive instruction based on their needs and progress in addition to the general curriculum. Interventions generally occur in small-group settings, and frequency and intensity of the interventions depend on students’ needs. Students in this tier who continue to demonstrate insufficient progress within a prescribed period of time are then assigned to Tier 3.Tier 3: Intensive Interventions; Comprehensive AssessmentIn Tier 3, students receive individualized, intensive interventions that address the students’ specific behavioral and academic challenges. Using the data collected in Tier 1 and Tier 2, interventions are customized to the student and extend for a prescribed period of time. Students who do not make adequate progress, a referral for comprehensive evaluation and consideration for IDEA special education services eligibility is made. At any time, however, parents can request a formal evaluation to determine eligibility for special education, as per the IDEA, and RTI evaluation and interventions cannot replace special education services. (RTI International)

Special Education Process

KEY LEGISLATION1) Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (including Amendments in 1986 )- incentivized states to implement policies that would support the needs of disabled students - achieved the following aims for students: Zero Reject and a Free and Appropriate Public Education; Nondiscriminatory Identification and Evaluation; Individualized Education Programs; The Least Restrictive Environment; Due Process; Parental Participation 2) Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (including Amendments in 1997) -designed to give disabled students equitable experiences in public education environments-included the six principles of Free and appropriate public education; Evaluations; Individualized education program maintained by multidisciplinary teams with specific requirements; Least restrictive environment; Parent and student participation; Safeguards3)Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004-under the Bush Administration, it kept much of the original legislation, and outlines several new requirements, including or highly qualified special education teachers, assistance and services for children with disabilities, and infants and toddlers with disabilities, in addition to national grant monies to improve educational services (Gargiulo, 2014; IDEA, 2004)

Education Policy

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