What work or research is currently being done around secondary RTI that we will see in the future?
Question: What work or research is currently being done around secondary RTI that we will see in the future?
Don Deshler: To move our understanding of adolescents and secondary schools ahead, it’s important that we do some baseline work to gain an understanding of what kinds of programs and services under the RTI rubric have been put in place that have been found to be successful. And there are some nice efforts going on in isolated places around the country, and it’s important that these be identified and that we not only understand technically what are they doing, in other words, what constitutes universal screening? How do they do progress monitoring? What does a tier two intervention, or set of interventions, look like? And so on. It’s important that we understand those things, but it is equally as important that we understand what kind of conditions were in place to enable teachers and administrators to be successful in the implementation of RTI. For example, what kinds of sustained support was available for professional development? What kinds of changes did they make to the school schedule and the structure of the school to allow students to move fluidly from one tier of instruction to another? That’s a challenge that we need to face and overcome in secondary schools, the period structure. In elementary school we have students together for an extended period throughout the day. What kinds of changes needed to take place for teachers to come together for co-planning and for data-based decision making? The way in which those things play out in middle school or high school are often different because of the demands of the setting and the unique structures presented to us in secondary schools. We needs to learn from those places that have been successful, and based on what we learned there, then we can articulate what questions we need to address after that to further refine the way we conceptualize and put in place RTI models.