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DPS to implement academic, behavioral intervention

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Stock photo.

As previously reported by The Press, Dickinson Public Schools will implement the academic and behavioral intervention program Response to Intervention (RTI) at Work.

"The principles of RTI, the ideas of RTI, they’ve been in our district for a long time, but the reality is we kind of have a knowing/doing gap. We kind of know what we should be doing; we just haven’t had the opportunity to implement it with fidelity," Keith Harris, assistant superintendent, said.

RTI is a three-tiered program that uses three teams to provide targeted intervention to students who need it.

"Each of those teams have specific responsibilities that provide and support one another to provide a collective responsibility for the education of every kiddo ... The whole point of it is that nobody ever gets to say, ‘That’s somebody else’s problem,’" Harris said.

The collaborative team is made up mostly of classroom teachers who create tier 1, which RTI at Work defines as "a coherent and viable core curriculum that embeds ongoing monitoring for all students."

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"The responsibility of those classroom teachers is to identify what are the academic essential knowledge and skills that every kiddo should know and be able to do," Harris said. "Then it falls to those classroom teachers to come up with an effective instructional approach to ensure that every one of those kiddos master that identified essential."

When students demonstrate that they haven't yet mastered the essentials, the collaborative team provides tier 2 support, which RTI at work defines as "immediate and targeted interventions systematically applied and monitored for any students not achieving."

The same thing happens with students struggling with behavioral skills, although it is the leadership team that takes the tier 1 and 2 tasks.

"The building leadership team is responsible for working with teachers in determining and identifying those essential behaviors that every kid needs to know and be able to do, and how are we going to teach those kids and communicate those behaviors to every single kid," Harris said. "When we have kiddos who demonstrate that they can't quite do it ... that building leadership team is responsible for identifying those interventions ... to help those kids develop those behavioral skills."

When more intensive supports are needed, the school's intervention team steps in with tier 3 supports which are more intensive and focused on closing gaps.

"With an academic side, that intervention team would be looking at kiddos who are maybe two or three grade levels below where they should be on their academics. What type of intensive interventions can we provide to support the teachers of those kiddos?" Harris said.

Harris said the building intervention team has every resource of the school district at its disposal, including counselors.

Harris said the goal is to have RTI implemented fully by the end of the school year.

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"What that would look like is each of the buildings have clearly identified the three teams that make up that RTI at work framework and then really giving those teams a clear understanding of what their roles and responsibilities are so that are we go into next year, we’re up and rolling," he said.

Related Topics: EDUCATIONDICKINSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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