What exactly are the new roles of the School Psychologist and Social Worker?

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1 Personnel What exactly are the new roles of the School Psychologist and Social Worker? While these aren t new roles, School Psychologists and Social Workers will continue to work in schools by gathering and analyzing data, problem solving with staff and parents, and helping develop building plans and individual plans as needed. According to the District RtI Plan (page 6), School Social Workers and Psychologists will: Communicate and collaborate with teachers and administrators to disaggregate student data Function as a resource for student interventions at all levels Participate in Tier 3 problem solving, determining & providing interventions for students, and progress monitoring as appropriate Assist with staff development to support the RtI process as needed Communicate & collaborate with all appropriate stakeholders Within these parameters each building, including the Psychologist & Social Worker, will decide how to best utilize the resources available from these professionals. Is there a plan for compensating teachers for additional responsibilities? Despite having limited resources, District #205 has found ways to compensate teachers when work outside of the contract is required (and usually when it is voluntary). This compensation comes in the form or committee pay (currently $18.50/hour) and even as per diem when resources allow ( The Initiative ). Even though many districts do not compensate teachers in this manner, we will continue to look for resources to compensate staff for extra duties. Given the current status of the State s education budget, this will be increasingly more difficult. We must use time which is already allocated (grade level meetings, cooperative work time, early dismissals, department meetings, extended plan times) more efficiently to meet the needs of our students. What can we do when a classroom teacher will not/refuses to change the core curriculum or differentiate? The Collective Bargaining Agreement specifically and comprehensively addresses this question in Article 12: Evaluation Procedures and in Appendix C: Professional Development Program. Teachers who do not differentiate should be evaluated as such, up to and including Awareness, Assistance, and Remediation Plans. 1

2 Should Principals be a part of the RtI process? Can they give an intervention? Building principals are an essential part of the process. They are the ones who have the authority to commit resources on behalf of the district and alter the course of study for students. Buildings should consider all human resources when considering interventions. Can we get a Reading Interventionist/Specialist at each school? We are in an era of diminishing resources. We already tap all of our Title I resources at the elementary level for teachers, aides, summer school, tutoring, etc. Reading Interventionist/Specialists are tough to come by and expensive when you find them. The District has looked at trying to do this but when considering cutting out teachers or aides to afford them we stopped looking. Remember, D205 is at the low end of the resources per pupil spectrum in the State of Illinois (Illinois ranks 49 th or 50 th nationally in funding equity). Can Reading Recovery teachers provide Title support for struggling readers in the upper grades? Depending on the needs of the building, this is already done. It s a balancing act. Reading Recovery teachers are required to tutor individual struggling 1 st grade readers half of their time. The other half of their time is discretionary to the identified needs of the building. That being said, Reading Recovery teachers are Literacy experts. The more time we can use them in working with the whole building s needs, the better off our students will be. Who can model reading interventions for us to observe/become more proficient in delivering? A variety of teachers in the District are available to help. At the elementary level, a number of our primary teachers are endorsed in Reading, these include Reading Recovery teachers. For the past two summers the District has made Wilson Training available to elementary teachers. At the secondary level, we have fewer Reading-endorsed teachers. Specific companies that provide interventions have trainers who will model, for a price. There are also experienced personnel available through Knox-Warren Special Education District who can model interventions at a variety of levels. Can Outreach workers work with students rather than cover for Principals? Outreach workers should have duties prioritized for student services first. 2

3 How do non-core teachers (art, PE, music, and other areas) help with interventions? This should be a building by building decision, however the more people that are involved in providing interventions, the more success students will have. Process Can RtI override IEP (Individual Education Plan) and placement? Are the special education students included in the RtI process? No, RtI cannot override an IEP and placement decisions made through IEP process, but the two processes can work together. If students are experiencing skill deficits in areas in which they are not receiving special education services these deficits should be addressed through the RtI process. For example, if a student has a Learning Disability (LD) in math and is experiencing skill deficits in reading, the student will need to be in the RtI process for reading. However, if a student already has an IEP for a specific learning area and is placed, the student may participate in the RtI Tier 2 or Tier 3 process in that area. RtI can supplement, but not replace, the provisions of an IEP. The IEP team must make this decision. Why do we have all the RtI sheets to fill out when we could use Skyward and AIMSweb and fill out 1 or 2 sheets? Currently we are using district-approved forms that will lend themselves to facilitating entitlement if the process leads the team that way. These forms can be used at all levels of problem solving when documenting for individual students. As for using AIMSweb or Skyward, the capability exists in AIMSweb and is being developed in Skyward. If a student goes on to special education eligibility the interventions and data collection become part of the case study and therefore become legal documents. Intervention and data collection must demonstrate integrity in the process. The district-approved forms provide the legal documentation of the process implemented for the student. The District will continue to explore the use of computer-based data management for RtI as it becomes available. These questions will be addressed further when District/KWSED staff visit staff meetings in the fall. 3

4 How do I fill out the RtI forms? This process will be explained when District/KWSED staff visits staff meetings in the fall. There are handouts outlining the uses of each form, which are available in the District Plan. Sample documents will be developed as necessary. The review of forms can be done upon request by the building team assigned to the requesting site. We have learned that it takes time to look over data (more than 45 minutes per grade level). Will the district be providing adequate time to go over data? The district has scheduled early outs in the first 12 days of school and now once per semester for grade level/department meetings. This will be excellent time for us to collaborate and look at student data. Additionally, the elementary schools will have monthly grade level meetings, the middle schools have cooperative plan time daily, and the high school gets 85 minutes of prep time daily, as well as monthly department meetings. Mobility interferes with consistent interventions across schools and Special Education programs. Why can t we have attendance centers? Attendance centers were investigated during the Boundary Study in We don t have the facilities to support such a move. Having attendance centers increases the number of transitions for all students. Some school districts have even seen a drop in achievement with attendance centers. How can the interventions, used the previous year, help the RtI process for the next teacher? Communication between grade levels and buildings will be important. Skyward has been set up to show students who are receiving Tier 2 or 3 interventions. (Refer to Communicating a Student s Intervention Status, in the District RtI Plan, Page 27.) The intervention information will be transferred between buildings and grade levels for staff review via each student s cumulative file. Getting RtI data to the new team will be critical for several reasons. If interventions were implemented and found to be effective, the new teacher needs to know what has worked for that child or group of children so that the plan can be continued. Since data has been collected, it is important for the new teacher/team to receive that data in order to continue the process that has been started rather than start from scratch. The better we become at gathering data 4

5 and using the data to drive decisions, the less work each team will need to do from scratch. Can grade level teams get together across the District? At the elementary level, we will be doing this at Institute in the spring of Tentatively, we have plans for some elementary summer grade level work in Some grade levels are talking about getting together on their own. Elementary grade level groups have been set up within Outlook to facilitate grade level communication. Can Matt J or someone do a building in-service on using excel/spreadsheet/graph making for progress monitoring? Yes, building principals can arrange this. There is often concern with communicating what we are doing to help kids. Many can quickly begin an intervention, but many have also experienced sitting in a meeting and being told that doesn t count as an intervention because certain paperwork wasn t filled out, or turned in, etc. Can there be discussions about the communication piece so that interventions are meaningful? The RtI process is a team process, with on-going discussions between classroom teachers and special education staff, as early as possible, to support one another in the best interest of the child. Classroom teachers input on preliminary interventions needs to be heard and valued. Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions should be developed in consideration of what has already been tried in the classroom. The key concept that must be addressed is that RtI requires an intervention plan that is implemented using research-based interventions with progress monitoring data to demonstrate progress or lack of progress. Accommodations and modifications are often identified as an intervention when in fact they do not meet the standard for RtI. RtI is based on a problem-solving process that requires a team to work together. If the student is to be considered for eligibility for special education the process used for that student must meet the eligibility criteria delineated by ISBE regulations. The most important thing the team can do is document, document, document!! Do I need to fill out problem solving paper work before I start a Tier 2 intervention? District approved forms should be utilized beginning in Tier 2. A referral to KWSED should be initiated at Tier 3. (see Problem Solving Referral Procedures) The reason that formal documentation needs to begin when small group 5

6 instruction starts is to ensure that if and when a child needs more intensive instruction, data has been gathered and documented in order for the building problem solving team to be more effective in the process. How many Tier 2 interventions do I try before I fill out the official problem solving paperwork? There is not a set number of interventions needed at any level. Data gathered measuring the student s response to the intervention(s) will help guide the amount of time or number of interventions needed before changes are made, including making a referral for Tier 3 problem solving. Where do we find the time to identify problems, analyze, develop plan, implement, data collect, and record and evaluate each student with a problem? Teachers in D205 have been doing this for a long time. We will be calling what we do different names. We need to remember that no other large school district in Illinois with our demographics has done more for all students and achieved at our levels. Is it correct that teachers are not allowed to give AIMSWeb tests? Does it have to be given by aides? There has never been a rule that teachers could not give the AIMSWeb. Kdg. 2 nd grade teachers may administer the AIMSWeb, if they think it s beneficial. It is expected that 3 rd 8 th grade teachers continue to give the AIMSWeb Maze test. They may score and enter the data into AIMSweb and/or ask their building principals for assistance from the instructional aides for the school year. Should gifted students be brought to RtI just as struggling students are? Yes, when analyzing school-wide data, it will be important to determine how to meet the needs of all learners, including those performing well above our expectations. We still identify gifted students in the 4 th grade. The State of Illinois stopped supporting gifted education five years ago, but it is still our responsibility to support these students. They fit well into an RtI model. 6

7 Will there be AIMSWeb training for aides if we give additional assessments or when we hire new aides? Yes. Buildings are welcome to request training at any time. Can the Title teachers be trained in reading strategies and RtI methods? All personnel involved in the instruction of students in the area of literacy should be trained in reading strategies and RtI methods. How can we get consistency of administrators attending RtI meetings? All building principals were involved in the Summer Initiative Training. They have a vested interest in continuing their involvement in the RtI process as time allows. Can a district-wide RtI form be developed to document interventions that are currently being used or that didn t work to follow the child if they move to a different school? This information is reflected in the Intervention Plan form that has been developed and will be used district wide this school year. This plan will travel in cumulative files with a student year-to-year as necessary via school records and/or KWSED records as requested and appropriate. How do we deal with the mobility issue within RtI if each building has the latitude to address RtI in what fits best for them? It is important to have consistency across the district so that when a student moves from one building to another the intervention plan can be implemented in the new site. The District Plan identifies the process to be used by all 205 sites. Data What if data is not complete, not sufficient, or conflicts? More assessment will need to be conducted. This assessment may include recycling through problem solving, reviewing data, observing, interviewing or actually testing/screening a child. (Review, Interview, Observe, and Test, or RIOT ) 7

8 How useful is the Integrated Theme Test (ITT)? Will we continue to use it? The ITT is an authentic assessment that measures a variety of different literacy skills. While it is no longer used for the Reading Improvement Grant, a number of teachers still find it a useful tool for assessing students in their classrooms. Given the number of questions surrounding the ITT, we will conduct a survey in to determine staff opinion. If a significant portion of teachers question its relevance we will re-evaluate its use in Is there a way for Reading Recovery/Title teachers to enter their progress monitoring data to make charts without interfering with classroom teachers data? Yes, all staff can enter any student for progress monitoring without interfering with others data. Training can be provided as necessary. Is there a component in AIMSweb for Preschool or something similar available? Get it, Got it, Go! will be the tool preschool teachers use as the universal screener for 4 year olds. GGG data can be entered into AIMSweb or a spreadsheet for analysis. GGG is a measure of early literacy skills. Beyond the Universal Screener (3x year), how many assessments are to be done with the whole class for Progress Monitoring? Whole class progress monitoring should not be happening. Progress monitoring is intended for students who are in Tiers 2 and 3, and only for the targeted area of concern. Can we use the AIMSweb website to input ISAT data to help us prioritize and predict success? While AIMSweb does have this capability, this is not an option in District #205. Individual student scores are now posted on IIRC. Prioritization and prediction can be accomplished by using the information there. Building principals have the ability to access this information for their buildings. 8

9 How do you get measurable data with Social-Emotional Learning Standards (SEL) interventions? We currently don t have a universal measure for SEL, so the district will have to continue exploring solid measures of SEL. AIMSweb is developing a screener for social/emotional/behavior skills that is ready for use this fall, so it will be important to review this measure and determine its use in our schools. Currently, we do not have access to this measure, but we will explore its use and develop implementation plans in the future. Interventions Can we get a binder of interventions or some other resource to use? The CORE book, provided for every initiative participant, is an excellent starting point. There is no one size fits all and interventions will still need to be decided on a student-by-student and school-by-school basis. Interventions are determined based on the hypothesis or reason for the breakdown rather than tied to the problem identified. A committee of District educators will identify currently utilized and research-based interventions for elementary and secondary students. It is important to have consistency across the district so when a student moves from one building to another the intervention plan can be implemented in the new site. The District will work to develop consistency across all schools. What defines trained professional in Tier 2 on page 15 of the District RtI Plan? The Initiative training has enhanced the ability of our district teachers to be considered trained professionals. The language in the RtI plan was meant to discount the use of volunteers, untrained non-certified staff, and support personnel. This doesn t mean that someone without training can t be trained to deliver a specific intervention, but indicates that a team needs to ensure that interventionists have the training and materials needed to implement an intervention with integrity. 9

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