Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated 4/22/2015
RTI and General Considerations | RTI and Use of Current Programs | Universal Screeners / Data | Universal Screening Scoring Questions | Interventions | Progress Monitoring | RTI and English Language Learners | Path Driver Tips

RTI and General Considerations

1. How does RTI impact the 504 and/or S-Team process?

RTI should help make identification for 504 and SPED more efficient, as data will already exist to assist teams in making informed data-based decisions. For 504, if a student is in Tier II or III and they have a known impairment, a referral for a 504 evaluation should be triggered. Tier placement is not a prerequisite to determine eligibility, but it is definitely a trigger to screen for a referral.

For students suspected of any disability other than Specific Learning Disability (SLD), the S-Team process will continue as is at all levels. However, referrals for students suspected of SLD will be handled through RTI teams based on responsiveness to intervention which is reviewed at each data chat. Although referrals for Specific Learning Disabilities will continue to be included on the S-Team monitoring log, the RTI team will process the referral and accompanying paperwork.

Please refer to your building level 504 and/or S-Team chairperson for additional information.

2. What if a parent requests testing for special education eligibility during the intervention process?

See section RTI and Special Education.

3. How do we address students requiring enrichment through the tiers?

This will be an area we address through the RTI PLCs, as we are currently researching and developing the process. For now, address students needing enrichment based on your building’s capacity and trust that we will develop additional guidance as we work through all the facets of RTI implementation.

4. How does RTI impact the course codes that are used for scheduling intervention in middle and high school?

The state has already started adding course codes to their list for intervention classes. More information will be shared as the codes are released. Course Codes are linked here.

5. Can after school tutoring time count as a tiered intervention within the RTI framework?

Although an excellent way to extend educational opportunities outside of the typical school day, after school tutoring does not count as a tiered intervention. Intervention within the tiers occurs during the school day, in order for all students to have free and appropriate access to the general education curriculum.

6. What type of faculty and staff can be used during intervention and enrichment periods?

All staff members can and should be utilized for intervention periods. Ideally, the higher the Tier, the more qualified the instructor should be.

7. What does "recommended" time for ELA and Math core instruction and intervention/enrichment mean?

Recommended means the state would like to see the times they have listed in the RTI Manual being applied to intervention schedules. With that being said, they also recognize that some flexibility is needed during initial implementation phases, so the times are guidelines/recommendations.
For detailed information regarding instruction and intervention times at all tiers and grade levels, please refer to the RTI wikispace (__

8. Can students skip Tier II if they need more intense instruction and we have data to prove it?

Yes. Keep in mind that Tier III should be for the lowest performing students who are significantly/far below grade level. Although students may go straight to Tier III, their total time in that tier is not exclusive of the time they would have spent in Tier II (e.g., instead of 10 weeks in Tier III, students will spend 20 weeks). The purpose of moving to Tier III is to provide the most intensive intervention, not to shorten the intervention period.

9. What happens to students transferring between pilot and non-pilot high schools?

Students who are in a pilot school and transfer to a non-pilot will still have after school programs available and differentiated core instruction; however, tiered intervention at the non-pilot high schools will not be provided until the 2016-17 school year. Students who have an IEP and move will continue to receive services outlined in the IEP. A review meeting will be held to make any adjustments to the plan in the same way as if a student moved from another district or state.

10. Is it possible we will go to a 6 period day to accommodate intervention times?

At this time, the district is leaving schedule decisions at the elementary level up to the schools, as long as schedules optimize the minimum recommended tier instruction and intervention times provided in the RTI Manual. At the high school level, we will maintain a seven period day.

11. Will elementary report cards be modified to combine Reading / Social Studies content and Math / Science content?

There is no plan to modify report cards at any level.

12. How will grades be figured in Science and Social Studies for students in Tier II and III intervention?

Students in Tier intervention should not miss core instruction. Science and Social Studies content may be taught as a unit or integrated into ELA and Math, or a combination of both. Grades will be taken in all subject areas the same as they have always been taken.

13. Will we take Unit (non-ELA & Math subjects) out of the schedule?

No. See question above.

14. Question about the CMCSS RTI Fidelity Record. Do I need to fill out the paper copy if I scored all of the students in a Google Doc? The school psychologist said that we need to fill out the Direct Observation Date/Score on all the paper forms. Do we need to fill out the paper copy date and score if we put it into a google doc?

Yes, you need to take the electronic information (score, date and initials of observer) from the Google Doc and document the results on the Fidelity Record. Only administrators and their designees have the ability to see the information on the google doc and all observation data is viewed on a single document; thus, each student’s score must be placed on his/her individual record to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and allow the school psychologist to verify criteria have been meet for intervention implementation.

15. Would you be able to provide examples of completed forms for the RTI folders? (Also provide Intervention keys on the S-team paper). We would like to maintain consistency across the county in order to be able to correctly identify data and tier needs when a new student enrolls in our school.

Samples of the completed forms, along with explicit directions have been posted to the wiki.
As for intervention keys, it is impossible to list every possible intervention and an associated coded key, which is why there is a way for schools to derive their own codes within the building.

16. If you have a student in tiered intervention with high absenteeism, will they always be in the tiers based on the issues with fidelity (i.e., not meeting the 80% guideline for participation)?

Yes, a student who is unable to reliably participate in intervention (evidence of implementation at 80% or greater) will continue in tiered intervention until fidelity can be reliably established and his/her data indicates a skill deficit is present. However, the team should also focus on the reasons for the absenteeism and work with the family and attendance supervisor/student services to solve the issue underlying why the absences are occurring. The lack of attendance is an issue that could also be referred to the S-team to assist in the problem-solving process.

17. When you hold your second set of data chats where you consider entrance, exit and movement between the tiers, how do you assign students to each skill/level?

Your second set of data chats will include much more information than your first set, where teams considered only what students to initially place based on level of need and skill deficit. With the second set of chats, you will be considering the rate of improvement (ROI) for students already in intervention, as well as the new data from the winter/spring (M/EOY) universal screener. It is recommended you first discuss students already in intervention – discuss their ROI and determine if any of these students need to move up or down in tier level and place them in a “holding” group based on the ROI data. Next, consider the M/EOY screening data and discuss students who demonstrate a need for intervention who are not already participating in an existing intervention group. With all these students placed in a “holding” pattern, the team will then need to make decisions based on the data and determine plans for all students.

For students who will continue with Tier I instruction but be removed from Tier II, teams should clearly define the type of differentiation that should occur during small group instruction in order for students to generalize their skills and continue making growth. For students continuing in or being added to a tiered intervention group, discussion should occur relative to if there should be realignment of groups, shifting of interventionists, etc., to optimize building resources and provide the best match for intervention needs. For students who will be moving up in tiers (Tier 2 to 3), discussion should occur as to what changes need to be made in order to intensify the intervention – do we need survey level assessment in order to target the skill more specifically? Do we need to change the intervention itself?

When we are presented with more students requiring intervention than our capacity will allow, it is a sign of a Tier I instruction issue and grade levels must work toward improving this level of instruction for all students. When we are successful with delivering effective Tier I instruction, our intervention numbers will be more in line with building capacity.

See also RTI sample agendas from RTI Training Notebooks (from May training session – also posted to //wiki//).
A modeled data chat including tier movement and integration of EOY universal screening data may also be viewed via PLAN session (5485.14249) RTI: MODELED DATA CHAT PROCESS (2015-2016 RESOURCE).

RTI and Use of Current Programs

18. How does RTI impact Read 180 regular education students in middle and high school?

Read 180 is a Tier II intervention. Students in Read 180 also participate in core RLA instruction.

19. Will regular education students in RTI be able to participate in Read Well small groups with identified (special education) students or will they be separate pull outs?

Tier III interventions can be taught by special or general education teachers to special education and general education students at the same time or separately. This model works as long as Read Well does not replace Tier I core instruction. Also, if Read Well is utilized as Tier III intervention, then Special Education services must be more intensive. The same intervention can only be used in both Tier III and SPED if there is a change in intensity for the special education services.

20. Can Read Well be used for non-identified SPED students who may be in Tier III? If so, who will provide the necessary materials?

Read Well may be used for Tier III intervention, as long as there is a special education service that is more intensive, as there must be a difference in intensity between Tier III and SPED intervention.
Schools may use surplus materials or purchase additional materials if needed from their budget.

21. How do Title I services figure into the Tiers?

School-based teams will need to determine if title-based services qualify as tiered intervention. Remember, intervention must be skill-specific, intensive and follow the recommended intervention time and ratios. If this can be done through your Title services, then that is an additional scheduling opportunity for your school to consider.

Universal Screeners / Data

22. What does the district use as a universal screening measure?

The district has decided on the universal screener, Path Driver (EPS). Path Driver was chosen based on evidence of its effectiveness, easy administration and scoring, availability of reliable data that is skill specific, and direct linkage to intervention. Path Driver and its component intervention programs (Academy of Reading, Academy of Math) will allow for increased instructional time, implementation integrity and content skill-building.
For additional information on this measure, please visit the EPS (//

23. How frequently will the Universal Screener be used?

The Universal Screener is administered three times a year (fall, winter, spring). The beginning of the year screening is used to determine intervention groups, while winter and spring benchmarks are given to gauge grade level progress. Please refer to the CMCSS Assessment Calendar for specific testing windows.

24. Will all students participate in the Universal Screening?

All students who can meaningfully participate in the universal screening process should participate. However, we realize there may be certain students who are unable to access the screening measure, such as students already identified for an alternative assessment (lowest 1%; often nonverbal) or ELL students who are at a Level 1 or 2. Teams must consider all available data to determine when screening may be appropriate and must consider both areas of screening. For example, although a nonverbal or Level 1 / 2 ELL student may not be able to participate in the ORF probes, they would be able to participate in the math screening.

25. Should students be assessed at their instructional level or grade level for the universal screening?
For universal screening, students are assessed at grade level. The purpose of the universal screening is to determine students whose skill level is below grade level expectations – those that have a ‘fever.’ This is different than intervention and progress monitoring, which occurs at instructional level to determine the effectiveness of the intervention(s).

26. How will using a universal screener inpact the use of Learning Links as a district benchmarking tool in ELA and Math?

The universal screener replaces learning links at all levels.

27. Will we administer the ORF and Maze to students in the 6th - 9th grades?

For 6th - 8th grades, we will administer both ORF and Maze in the fall. To make the most efficient use of student time, the district believes both probes should be administered at the same time; otherwise, we would need to universally screen one area (MAZE) for all students, then come back and schedule a second screening (ORF) for students requiring the ORF probes. Based on current schedules, this is inefficient and disruptive to instructional time. ORF will only be scored for students whom the data team needs additional information on to make the best tier placement decision. The district will analyze data from this first year and determine if changes should be made based on the data set.

For students in 9th-12th grades, the district will use the Early Warning System to identify students whose risk status suggests the need for further intervention in order to be successful in high school and to be college and career ready.

28. Should students take both the Path Driver for Reading and Path Driver for Math during the same testing session?

This is a building-based decision. Administrators will discuss this with their RTI teams to determine the most efficient method of screening. There is nothing to prohibit students from completing both sections during the same administration. Consider the existing embedded practice; the same schedule you have utilized in the past with Learning Links will likely work with Path Driver.

29. Is Maze truly a measure of comprehension? There is some concern that it may not accurately reflect reading comprehension.

Maze is a multiple-choice cloze task that students complete while reading silently. Maze assessments are research-based, curriculum independent and meet professional standards for reliability and validity. The purpose of Maze reading assessments is to identify students with reading difficulties who are unable to comprehend well enough to choose words based on semantic and syntactic accuracy. Keep in mind the Maze probes are for progress monitoring and take 3-minutes to administer and score. With that in mind, Maze is the most efficient choice for a reading comprehension probe.

30. Will we calculate Rate of Improvement (ROI) for every student in Tiers II and III?

Yes, a ROI will be calculated for each intervention student in order to determine the effectiveness of the intervention, the growth of the student and the effect the intervention is having on gap closure. Path Driver includes ROI/Gap in the Reading program and is working on including these measures as part of the Path Driver Math program, so we will hopefully not be computing each calculation by hand.

31. Will the Universal Screener replace DIBELS Next?

Yes. However, DIBELS Next may be an additional tool schools use as a diagnostic or progress monitoring tool.

32. Will we get the same information from Path Driver Reading as we did from DIBELS Next (e.g., retell fluency)?

We will get much the same information; for K-1 Early Literacy probes, there are measures for letter identification, letter-sound identification, phoneme segmentation, word identification and nonsense word fluencies. Retell fluency is similar to the Maze probes in Path Driver Reading. Administration of Maze begins in second grade, when students have developed the basic reading skills necessary to independently read the passages and complete the missing word.

33. What is the difference in School Administrator, School Coordinator, and Teacher permissions in Path Driver?

Administrator permissions include view only, so administrators cannot make changes within the Path Driver system. Coordinators can see all data for their assigned school and make changes within the system. Teachers have view and change permission for their assigned students only.
To learn more about the process the district utilized in choosing a measure, please refer to the RTI wiki (//

34. Please explain “box and whiskers” data.

Box and Whiskers charts divide data into equal quartiles, so there is exactly 25% of your tested population within each section of the chart. The dark middle line that divides the two ‘boxes’ is the median -- 50% of your population is above that mark and 50% below that mark. The bottom ‘whisker’ is the bottom 25%, the bottom box is 26-50%, the top box is 51-75% and the top ‘whisker’ is the top 25%. So, if you have 20 students, 5 would be in the score range of the bottom whisker, 5 in the bottom box, 5 in the top box and 5 in the top whisker. Do not be fooled by the ‘spread’ of scores within each quartile; you may a very elongated bottom whisker, but you still only have 25% of students in that whisker -- the reason for the length of the whisker is the spread of scores.

Universal Screening Scoring Questions

35. If a student misreads the same word multiple times (e.g., ‘read’ is called ‘red’ each time or called ‘red’, ‘ride’ and ‘reads’), does it count as a single error or multiple?

It would be counted as multiple errors; each time an error occurs it is counted, regardless of repetition.

36. What if the student mispronounces a proper noun (e.g., Oprah)?

If the student reads a proper noun with correct pronunciation or with any reasonable phonetic pronunciation, it is counted as correct. Reasonable phonetic pronunciation includes, but is not limited to, left/right sequential decoding, and accurate number of phonemes, and errors that represent knowledge of probable phonetic decoding based upon English orthography. (ex: Riva could be pronounced “REEVA” or any other phonetically correct way.)

37. If student self-corrects (e.g, initially calls ‘read’ as ‘red’, but then self-corrects to ‘read’) , does it count as an error?

If the student self-corrects within three seconds, it is not counted as an error. If the self-correction takes longer than 3 seconds, it is an error.

38. What if the student skips lines during the ORF administration - are the skipped words counted as errors?

Due to the scoring nature of the ORF program in Path Driver Reading, all skipped words/lines are counted as errors. However, in order for others to understand how the score was affected, documentation of how many words were skipped should be included in the comments section of Path Driver Reading.

39. What if a student has an elongated pause at the beginning of an ORF probe, can you adjust the time (i.e., reading for 50 seconds instead of 1 minute)?

You can adjust the total time the student read within the scoring section of ORF in Path Driver Reading. You will need to time the pause and subtract those seconds from the total time (60 seconds) the program allowed the student to access the page. As with the response above, you would want to document in the comments section why the time was altered.

40. With the new Macs, there are not two jacks to plug the mic headsets into. When you allow the external mic to pick up a student’s voice, you also hear extraneous sound from other readers. How can we prevent this?

Please remember the guidelines the trainers mentioned for administration of the ORF probes; students should be separated by one empty seat (skip every other seat) and should speak directly in their mic in a lowered tone. With these guidelines, any extraneous noise picked up by the mic will be minimal and should be easily disregarded during the scoring process.

41. Are there different scoring guidelines for students who are ELL and/or who have speech issues?

No; all students will be scored with the same guidelines. If language and/or speech issues had a significant effect on scores, this should be documented in the comments section of Path Driver Reading.

42. Can accommodations/modifications (calculator, extended time) be used during the universal screening / progress monitoring administration?

No, accommodations and modifications are not to be used during the screening process. The purpose of the screening measure is to obtain a true reflection of specific skills the student has mastered independent of any type of accommodation or modification.The screening measure was normed on students without the use of any accommodation/modification. Remember, performance on the screening measure allows us to see where students fall in relation to national percentiles, thereby assessing the need for intervention.
Please keep in mind that 6th - 12th grade may use paper and pencil during the computation probes of the universal screener. Because some of the problems will require written work, these prompts have been extended to 90 seconds; all other prompts time out at 10 seconds.

43. Can educational assistants be trained to score the ORF probes?

This is a building-based decision. Administrators will identify appropriate scoring teams within their building to address scoring issues using the resources available. It is important to remember the focus of scoring is on ensuring accuracy and consistency of scoring methods, regardless of the role of the person selected to score the probes. The embedded process used with administration and scoring of DIBELS Next materials would be an appropriate model to follow.


44. If a student shows a deficiency in reading comprehension, how can we tell whether the skill deficit is comprehension or lack of vocabulary? In the RTI Menu document, there are activities for comprehension and vocabulary.

To determine the correct skill deficit, the team may need to administer survey-level assessments. Examples of survey level assessments may be accessed //here//. The only way to determine the correct skill deficit is to assess and analyze the performance data.

45. Should skills be targeted at student needs based on teacher observation?

Yes. Teacher observation and survey-level, diagnostic assessment are essential to identifying the correct skill deficit and providing appropriate intervention.

46. What can we do differently for students moving from Tier II to Tier III?

Tier III is the most intensive level of intervention offered in general education. Remember that students in need of Tier III intervention have the greatest skill deficits (3-5% of population scoring below the 10th percentile or 1.5-2 grade levels behind) and require the most intensive, strategic work.
Changes from Tier II to III include the following:

47. Can educational assistants provide intervention?

Interventions should be provided by “highly trained personnel.” Best practice suggests the most skilled teachers should provide intervention for the most at-risk students. As interventions require application of rigorous, systematic and objective procedures, teachers are the most natural fit for this role. However, each building knows its resources best and should optimize those resources to gain the best educational outcomes.

If educational assistants are providing intervention, explicit training should occur to ensure the EA can implement the intervention with integrity.

48. Please provide additional intervention resources that are teacher-directed and not based on computer implementation.

There are many intervention resources provided on the S-Team and RTI wikispaces that are teacher-directed. Examples include the RTI Menu by Dr. Santos Dobbs, the CMCSS Intervention Database (there may be references to material on the computer, but there are many interventions designed to be teacher-driven as well), resources from and, as well as resources on the TN Core and AR Personnel Grant websites. Academic coaches have a wealth of knowledge related to this area and should also be considered as a resource for information.
See also the //S-Team// (intervention resources section on left column) and //RTI// (resources section on right column) wikispaces for interventions.

Progress Monitoring

49. What type of Progress Monitoring will be used?

The type of progress monitoring used will depend on the intervention and the progress monitoring tool that best measures the skill associated with the intervention. Within the Path Driver and Academy programs, probes targeting the skill area of deficit can be administered periodically and the results are recorded to show the rate of improvement. You may also use progress monitoring probes associated with EasyCBM, intervention central, or the RTI Menu, as long as the following requirements are met:

“national percentiles, allow for repeated measures, sensitive to change, and specific to an area of deficit including basic reading skill(s), reading fluency, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, mathematics problem solving and written expression). In addition, it must plot or give information so that rate of improvement (ROI) can be transferred to graph form”

Progress monitoring within Special Education intervention will follow instructionally appropriate IEP guidelines. Please consult with your Lead Teacher or SPED Level Coordinator for additional information. *Please note: at this time, AIMSweb is a possible progress monitoring tool to be utilized for identified students only.

50. Does the parent receive a copy of the PM data sheet every three weeks, or just the Progress letter?
Parents should receive copies of their student’s progress in both written and graphic form every 4-4.5 weeks. Section 1.6 of the RTI manual states:

a. “… must contact parents for each of the following reasons: before initiating or discontinuing tiered interventions, to communicate progress monitoring data in writing every 4.5 weeks for students receiving tiered interventions, in the event there is a referral to special education, and regarding the dates and duration of universal screenings.”
b. “In addition, it must plot or give information so that rate of improvement (ROI) can be transferred to graph form.”

51. For those students who have the potential to be referred for an evaluation for possible identification as Intellectually Gifted, is there a district-wide, consistent method for progress monitoring?

There is not a district-wide method for progress monitoring students suspected of being Intellectually Gifted, but we do realize this is a concern and are devoting needed resources to its resolution. In the meantime, consider using the same types of methods you use with other students who are receiving intervention and/or are being monitored for growth. Examples may include use of Path Driver Reading/Math, use of EasyCBM, use of a rubric to gauge growth during differentiated instruction or use of the existing General Education Documentation of Classroom Interventions – Forms A or B and make this existing checklist into a data sheet.

Teams must keep in mind there are two prongs to SPED eligibility; the first pertains to testing scores and if standards are met, while the second pertains to if “the disability adversely impacts educational performance in his/her learning environment.”Thus, in addition to meeting assessment criteria, a student must demonstrate a need for services beyond what is provided in the general education curriculum. In order to document this need, teams must rely on data.

52. Can we progress monitor non tier kids for data purposes for S Team and/or Retention Packets?

Buildings can determine what students are appropriate to progress monitor and for what purposes. Keep in mind that students suspected of having a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) may only be referred and identified through the RTI tiered process and do not go through S-Team. If you have students referred to S-Team for other possible identifications, the question would be if monitoring academic skills is central to the referral question, and does the progress monitoring directly tie into the interventions being implemented. Keep in mind that there should always be a direct link between deficit area – intervention – progress monitoring. For example, if a student with attention issues has been referred, intervention should be centered on developing this skill – strategies to promote planning, organization and focus. To assess the effectiveness of these interventions, you would need to PM with a tool measuring those skills; PM academic areas would not be appropriate.

53. Are we supposed to be Progress Monitoring non tier kids between screeners?

Students not participating in tiered intervention continue to be served through Tier I instruction. All students at Tier I are progress monitored three times a year through the universal screening process. There is no need to PM them more frequently.

54. Although there is a national percentile to go by in order to see where the student ranks, is there a recommended grade level ORF or Maze score that we could use as a goal? For example, a third grade student should be at 95 for ORF Fall test, 110 for ORF Winter test, and 125 ORF Spring test or 30/35 for Maze Fall test, 32/35 for Maze Winter test, and 34/35 Maze Spring test.

Yes, we have recommended scores to use as goals (scores associated with 50th percentile); however, keep in mind a specific student’s goal will be individualized based on his/her baseline, rate of improvement and gap data. Students will be progress monitored on instructional level, and the goal we set for a 5th grade student to read 2nd grade materials is different than that for reading grade level (5th) materials. Refer to the //Rate of Improvement graphs//(bottom of page) for growth rates at reasonable and ambitious levels, and to the //Tindal and Hasbrouck// and //maze// norms for a general idea of grade level expectations (i.e., 50th percentile).

55. What is the Reading and Math Percentile Score? (Is this National, Class, or something else?) -the one that is listed on the RTI Record.

The Reading/Math percentile scores listed on the RTI record should reflect the student’s ranking compared to the national norm sample. Comparing student’s to the national norms enables us to have a more representative view of student performance; using the class or district percentiles limits the sample size, which introduces more variability in the score sets.

56. Would you suggest progress monitoring all subtest areas for kindergarten and first grade? Or should concentration be in one area? Or is that a building decision?

This is a team decision, but best practice would be to progress monitor only those areas for which intervention is being provided. Focusing on one skill deficit at a time is recommended, although a previous skill can be inserted into intervention time as a warm-up activity (e.g., review letter identification for 2 minutes before moving on to letter sounds).

57. RTI students were scheduled for PM on grade level instead of instructional level. Is there any way we can go in and delete the PM tests that were on grade level?

No, this data cannot be deleted. To combat this issue, EPS will be releasing a new update where instructional and grade level PM is separated into different graphs and can be scheduled simultaneously (e.g., weekly ORF at instructional level and monthly ORF at grade level).

58. Since we have to still assign PM when it needs to be taken at grade level and then go back and schedule at instructional level, some students each time I assign them have to take it 3 times instead of 1. I know they have to take it 3 times when it is the first time.

EPS will be releasing a new update that will improve the functionality of the PM scheduling. For now, please only progress monitor at instructional level and allow the MOY screener to be your grade level prompt for this round of data chats. As a district, we do have rapid baseline set, so the first time a student takes the test at any given instructional level, it will give him/her three passages so a baseline can be immediately set. Once the baseline is established, the student will only be presented with one passage. A new baseline will need to be set as new instructional levels are reached.

59. What can we do if a student misses progress monitoring for the week?

Unfortunately, we can do nothing retroactively (such as make up the prompt), but we can plan for this occurrence and make proactive decisions to avoid this circumstance in the future. Many schools originally planned for progress monitoring to occur on Fridays; however, if students are absent on this day or if we have a holiday, we miss collecting data for that week. To avoid this, teams may want to consider planning for PM to occur on Wednesdays, so that there are 3 opportunities for PM that week (Wed., Thurs. and Friday). Also, it is important for the school-based RTI team to plan ahead in the schedule for any weeks where substantial breaks will be taken, such as Thanksgiving, so the decision can be made to either not progress monitor that week or to make sure it is scheduled for a day students are in session.

RTI and English Language Learners

60. Will students who are English Language Learners participate in the Universal Screening process?
RTI is a process focused on prevention and early intervention and designed to ensure success for all students, including English Learners (ELs). All ESL students will participate in the math universal screening. Students who are ESL Level 1 or 2 will not participate in universal screenings for reading, unless they meet the guidance factors for students remaining at a Level1/2 for more than two years. For specific guidelines, please refer to the document located here.

61. How does RTI impact intervention services for English Language Learners? If a student cannot “test out” of ESL level 1 or 2 because of learning deficits, can we refer to the tiers for intervention?
For students designated ESL scoring below the 25th percentile, participation in tiered interventions is dependent on their performance on the English Language Proficiency Assessment. Students who have not acquired Intermediate Fluency (ELDA 1 or 2; W-APT 3.2 or below for Grades 1-12 and below 20 for Kindergarten/1st Semester 1st Grade) should continue to be served with ESL instruction and are not eligible for tiered intervention unless they meet the guidelines in the document located here.

However, students who have acquired Intermediate Fluency (ELDA 3 or 4; W-APT 3.3 – 5.0 for Grades 1-12 and above 20 for Kindergarten/1st Semester 1st Grade) should receive tiered interventions, in addition to their ESL instruction. Students at this level of fluency can access the language of academic intervention and will benefit from the intervention. Please note that due to their limited English proficiency, students in ESL may need to participate in tiered interventions for longer periods of time.

An ESL teacher should be present during discussions where ESL students are recommended to be placed in or moved out of an intervention, as well as any time progress monitoring data is presented to parents.

62. How does RTI impact ESL services for English Language Learners?
ESL services should continue for all students. Students who have not acquired Intermediate Fluency (ELDA 1 or 2; W-APT 3.2 or below for Grades 1-12 and below 20 for Kindergarten/1st Semester 1st Grade) should continue to be served with ESL instruction for 60 minutes per day.

However, students who have acquired Intermediate Fluency (ELDA 3 or 4; W-APT 3.3 – 5.0 for Grades 1-12 and above 20 for Kindergarten/1st Semester 1st Grade) should continue to receive the recommended 30 minutes of daily ESL instruction.

The instruction provided by ESL teachers will enrich core instruction and are focused on TN State Standards and World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA). This instruction is in addition to participation in Tier I instruction that is appropriately scaffolded and differentiated.

RTI and Special Education
63. What if a parent requests testing for special education eligibility during the intervention process?
Regulations regarding parental request for evaluation remain unchanged; parents may request an evaluation at any time during the intervention process. However, if the student has not been involved in a skills-based intervention prior to the request, and/or if there is not enough data for an identification decision, the team may proceed in one of two ways: (1) request a timeline extension waiver from the state in order to gather the necessary data for decision-making, or (2) hold an eligibility meeting where the student is determined ineligible. If the second option is chosen, interventions would continue based on the student’s data until such time that an evaluation is appropriate.

64. How does RTI impact services for current special education students?
Students currently identified for SPED services will continue to receive those services in addition to the general education curriculum (Tier I reading/math blocks). ALL students will participate in Tier I instruction to the greatest extent possible and receive intervention as a supplement to the reading/math blocks.

Students’ continuation in special education programming will be dependent on their rate of improvement (ROI), the gap between their skill level and grade level expectations (gap analysis) and evidence of meeting IEP goals. All decisions will be based on progress monitoring data.

65. How does RTI change the process for identification of special education students?
Specific Learning Disability is the only identification category that requires identification via the RTI framework; all other identification categories will continue to be supported by evidence outlined in the //SPED Framework manual// (e.g., evidence of health impairment, documentation of emotional impairment affecting learning and or social progress, etc.). Students who demonstrate academic deficits will proceed through tiered intervention to determine if a referral to SPED is warranted, regardless of suspected area of deficit. However, for all areas other than SLD, a referral for evaluation may be made at any time the team deems it appropriate.

66. How does RTI change the testing accommodations special education students will receive for testing?
Testing accommodations should not change due to RTI implementation. Information pertaining to testing accommodations and guiding questions to assist teams with determining appropriate use for specific students can be found on the //TNSDE accessibility website//.

67. How does RTI change the process for identification of students suspected of being Intellectually Gifted?
Students whose needs are not being met with core instruction provided in Tier I (including differentiated instruction and flexible grouping) will move into the next tier and progress through the levels, whether they need remediation or enrichment. Data collection (intervention implementation and progress monitoring) and evaluation of the data will be conducted the same way for all students. In order to be eligible for specialized services, the team must determine if needs cannot be met through tiered intervention, making special education services the least restrictive environment in which enrichment can occur.

68. How does RTI impact services for current Gifted students?
Students who are identified as Intellectually Gifted will still require intervention, just as any other student who is identified for Special Education services. When appropriate, the intervention they receive will be in place of tiered intervention. RTI will have an effect on how we monitor the effectiveness of the intervention programs; refer to question 64 above.

69. Can special education teachers and programs be used to intervene and enrich general education students?
Yes, particularly at Tier III. This would typically occur as a result of established special education instruction developed for special education students and incidentally delivered to general education students.

70. For students who are currently identified and receiving special education services, how do the new RTI laws impact their current IEPs?
See question 64 above. The state and district have provided trainings on Instructionally Appropriate IEPs (IAIEPs), which included information on how to develop the plans, appropriate descriptions of Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEPs), how to write Measurable Annual Goals (MAGs) and how to analyze progress monitoring to gauge effectiveness of SPED intervention. Changes to IEPs will be based on the data collected during the interventions offered through SPED programming/services.

Guidance documents related to PLEPs and MAGs are located on the main page of EdPlan for your reference. Please refer to these documents as you begin to develop IEPs for the coming academic year.

71. Once a student has been identified, is RTI part of the re-evaluation process?
For students identified as having a Specific Learning Disability (SLD), yes, RTI is part of the instructional and re-evaluation process. Students receiving special education services will continue to receive Tier I instruction in ELA and Math in addition to the intervention deemed necessary by the IEP team. Progress monitoring will occur at least every other week to determine if the intervention is successful and continuation in special education programming will be dependent upon the progress monitoring data, rate of improvement, and gap analysis.

72.Will the students performing significantly below grade level assigned to PM & IM spend the required time for reading & math in the general education classroom, then receive special education services in a special ed setting for intervention? Or will their tier I instruction be provided in a special education setting?
Special education is a level of service and not a ‘place.’ All students should receive core instruction in some form; how it is delivered is determined at the building and team level, keeping in mind all students should receive instruction in the Least Restrictive Environment and necessary accommodations and/or modifications to instruction should be considered when planning instruction (see also //universal design for learning//). Instruction at all Tiers must meet state guidelines, but the implementation of those guidelines can look different in each building. The RTI framework is a standardized process for intervening with students, but the implementation of RTI should be customized to fit the needs of students being served.

73. How does RTI change the role of psychologists and special education teachers?
RTI allows for greater collaboration among general and special education teachers and school psychologists. Special Education teachers will continue to deliver instruction, develop/manage IEP’s, and monitor progress, but they may also deliver Tier III intervention to small groups as deemed necessary by their building administrator.

School Psychologists will continue in an evaluation role to identify student under other identification categories (non SLD), such as Intellectual Disability, Autism, OHI, or Functional Delay. School psychologists will also participate in eligibility meetings, data team discussions, and performance of systematic observations.

74. Does RTI affect the way students will be identified as SPED (SLD) in the pilot high schools?
No. Because we are on a waiver for phased-in implementation for high school, we must continue to identify students by the discrepancy model. That being said, the process leading up to a referral will be based on tiered intervention and the progress monitoring data; however, identification will follow discrepancy. The waiver process is an all-or-none; pilot schools are included in the waiver.

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