SLCSD’s “RTI” Plan

It’s time once again for teachers to begin thinking about the A.P.P.R. but luckily for students they don’t have to worry about the S.A.T.s until later in DEC (December) No, not the agency like the A.P.A. They help with the P.U.D.D. and keep an eye on the A.C.R., but not with the R.T.T.T. from the S.E.D. whose trying to help with the A.C.T.s but just making a mess of the C.C.S.C. and Luckily for some elementary kids P.B.I.S. can help if they don’t need the C.S.E. which uses the B.I.P. for the R.t.I. which leads to O.T. and P.T. and every once and a while an F.B.A. but it’s all on the Q.T., especially with the A.D. except when it comes to the N.C.L.B.  And so by the time the semester is over they’ll either have an AB. C. or D.  Oh and don’t forget there’s still room in the U.P.K. (Sorry, that one didn’t rhyme) 


Confused yet? If not, then you’re most likely an active participant in high school administration because, all of the above acronyms (except 4) are a regular part of a school week. The topic of Acronyms arose during the regular meeting of the School Board on Wednesday evening. During the Meeting, Nick Pepe, who is the S.L.C.S.D. D.o.P.P.S (Director of Pupil Personnel Services) reviewed the work his department has been doing to centralize policy and build a standardized Responses to Intervention plan.  R.t.I. is an education strategy designed to monitor student progress, identify those who are not making adequate gains and to provide appropriate, research-based supplemental instruction interventions for targeted needs.

R.t.I. achieves this by utilizing a multi-tiered system. This system combines quality teaching, assessments, and progress monitoring to not only implement various interventions, but adjust the frequency, duration and class ratio of the interventions to meet individual student needs.

The Saranac Lake Central School District’s Response to Intervention plan outlines this process for the following areas; Reading, Math, Behavioral / Emotional and Related Services. Pepe’s new plan outlines procedures, many of which have been in place on a building by building basis, but now with the help of most of the stakeholders in the process, outlines the procedures for the sharing of information from the R.t.I. process with the appropriate department as needed.

During his presentation in the Petrova Library on Wednesday night, Pepe outlined three tiers  of intervention;

Tier 1 : The Core Curriculum 

This tier is commonly identified as the core instructional program provided to all students by the general education teacher in the general education classroom. Research-Based Instruction and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports are part of the core program.

Tier 2 : Supplemental 

This intervention is small group (3-6 students) supplemental instruction and may take place in a classroom or another setting. This intervention is provided in addition to, and not in place of, the core instruction. These interventions focus on the areas of student need or weakness that are identified in the screening, assessment or progress monitoring reports from Tier 1. Students are often grouped here according to instructional need. About 5 to 15% of students will typically receive Tier 2 interventions at some point in the early education.

Tier 3 : Most Intensive

This intervention deals with the 1 to 5% of the population of students and is the most intensive level of supports and is provided in groups of no more than one or two students. This Tier is designed for students that have not demonstrated adequate progress in a previous Tier or who demonstrates significant needs that warrant intensive instruction or intervention.

The Plan includes Criteria for Determining Learning Disability, established for the Committee on Special Education (C.S.E.) to use when determining if a student has a learning disability. it also builds an R.t.I. team responsible for overseeing the process. and helping to identify the best Tier and/or form of Academic Intervention Services (A.I.S.)

The percentages year to year vary with the number of students exhibiting behavior requiring A.I.S. or R.t.I. Essentially – “Some sort of intervention” whether academic, such as needing help with reading, or math, or intervention designed to help a student with a behavioral / emotional issue. As a result, the percentage of a school’s budget focused on Intervention varies year to year. On average 5% of students will require the highest level of intervention. The related budget represents more than 35% of the budget. The entire “Response to Intervention” Plan is 29 pages and simply summarizes the requirements and policies for helping students to “Move Up” to General Education as opposed to receiving intervention. Most in Tier 1 or Tier 2 are at some point in their school career, able to exit the intervention program. The Students in Tier 3 typically will require individual one on one attention, which in some circumstances is why the budget for Special Education ranks right up their on the list of state mandates with Health Care and Retirement Funds.

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