Response to Intervention Pyramid
Sofia is an eager to learn eight year old. Despite her struggles in first grade she was promoted at her parents' request, and now her reading skills lag far behind her second-grade classmates.
In mid-October all of the second graders were administered the AIMSweb® Reading CBM benchmark assessments. Sofia scored in the bottom ten percent of second graders when asked to read grade-level passages aloud. Her teacher, Mrs. Young, provided an additional 15 minutes of phonics-based instruction to Sofia in a group with four other at-risk students until the mid-year benchmarking period. Sofia's scores revealed only a small gain, demonstrating minimal progress and a widening achievement gap in spite of classroom-based intervention.
Sofia was referred to the campus Student Intervention Team (SIT) to consider more intensive intervention. After they reviewed benchmark data and running records, and consulted Mrs. Young and Sofia's parents, the SIT recommended afterschool tutoring, twice weekly for 30–minutes sessions. The campus reading specialist, Ms. Washington, placed Sofia in a small group of four students, and provided intervention using a Guided Reading approach. She also monitored student progress weekly using the one-minute AIMSweb CBM prompts. Sofia's growth was 50 percent less than others in her intervention group. Tutoring was increased from 60 to 90 minutes per week. The team also requested diagnostic testing using an individually administered measure of basic reading skills to obtain direction in providing more differentiated instruction. Test scores placed her in an early transitional stage, significantly below where she should have been at that point in the school year. After identifying Sofia's instructional reading level, Ms. Washington was able to provide explicit instruction related to her oral reading fluency and comprehension deficits. Weekly progress monitoring continues and there is a marked increase in the rate of improvement now that Sofia's instruction is both strategic and systematic.
Learning math has always been a challenge for Noah, a seventh grader, who has attended four different schools in the past three years. Although he is a good reader and makes Bs and Cs in his other subjects, he is currently failing his math class. His teacher, Mr. Maxwell, describes Noah as a poorly motivated student who was careless when doing his homework, often off-task, forgetful, and unresponsive to efforts to help him. He is concerned that Noah will do poorly on the spring state math exam.
After the first reporting period, Mr. Maxwell recommended Noah for afterschool tutoring, which is provided by another math teacher on campus. Tutoring is voluntary, available every day after school on a walk-in basis. In the next six-week period, Noah went once weekly for approximately 45 minutes, and received help in doing his homework assignments. His tutor, Mrs. Luna, indicated that Noah often asked for assistance because he had difficulty setting up and solving multi-step word problems and performing calculations when using multi-digit numbers. Unfortunately, Noah's grades did not improve. Following a parent-teacher-student conference Mr. Maxwell made a referral to the campus Student Assistance Team (SAT).
The SAT determined that Noah required more intensive intervention and arranged for him to work with the math interventionist, Mr. Clark, for 20 minutes daily during his math class along with three other students. Students receiving this level of intervention are evaluated to identify their specific math skill deficits so that targeted instruction can be provided. When Mr. Clark administered the KeyMath™-3, a diagnostic inventory of math concepts and applications, he discovered that Noah had numerous deficits going back to third grade. He was able to use ASSIST™ software for the Key Math-3 to create a remediation plan that pinpointed prerequisite skills that Noah needed to master to support learning grade level math. He then utilized specific lessons from KeyMath-3 Essential Resources (ER) to target deficits and monitored Noah's progress bi-weekly using AIMSweb Math Computation (M-COMP) and Math Concepts and Applications (M-CAP) prompts. After 12 weeks of intensive remediation, Noah's classroom behaviors had significantly improved. However, his math progress continued to be well below grade level.
In February, Noah was referred for an individual comprehensive evaluation. The school psychologist plans to include the KABC-II, KTEA-II, PAL™- II Diagnostic Assessment for Math, and select subtests from the NEPSY®-II to determine why he has not responded to intervention efforts, and if he might be a student with a learning disability in math.
When Alex was evaluated as a four-year-old, numerous articulation errors were identified, and he received 30 minutes of speech therapy per week for six months. He was dismissed prior to beginning school. His kindergarten teacher, Miss Logan, became concerned about his behavior. She reported that he is more active than classmates, was frequently aggressive with peers and adults, and refused to participate in class activities when upset. Mid-year, Alex was not meeting instructional objectives and his parents had similar concerns regarding his behavior at home.
Miss Logan consulted with the school psychologist, Dr. Harris, to identify how she might help Alex alter his behavior so he could benefit from instructional and social opportunities. She implemented classroom management strategies, but after three weeks, Alex's inappropriate behaviors actually increased to the point that he was unable to participate in most classroom activities. Concurrently, Alex was included in the district's universal screening using AIMSweb Behavior (BEH), where he scored in the bottom 10 percent of kindergarteners.
Miss Logan referred Alex to the campus Pupil Intervention Team (PIT) in October, after consulting with his previous speech-language pathologist, Miss Lee. The team requested that Dr. Harris and Miss Lee develop a Behavior Intervention Plan that identified target behaviors and set specific, measurable goals for Alex. Miss Lee provided guidance on ways to meet his language needs in the classroom. Progress monitoring was conducted weekly with AIMSweb BEH and over the next six weeks, Alex's disruptive behaviors decreased somewhat. On the mid-year benchmark, however, he continued to be in the bottom 10 percent, and the PIT determined that a more in-depth evaluation was needed.
Dr. Harris plans to begin his assessment of Alex with the BASC™-2 by using the teacher and parent rating forms to identify specific behavioral strengths and weaknesses. Miss Lee will update his language assessment to determine if Alex might be a student with a Specific Language Disorder. Information from their evaluations will be used for eligibility determination and to design a more intensive intervention plan for Alex.