12. RTI Success

Anne Brown, writing for the Morning Sun (Michigan) in 2010, reports on the use of RTI in Isabella County Schools. Not all Michigan schools are required to use RTI but here it is already producing good results along several lines.

Principal Phyllis Hall reported an RTI-like program has been in place for five years: “Hall said four years ago, 17 students were held back. The following year there were 11, then four, and last year only one student had to repeat a grade.”

The three tier method is followed. “At Shepherd Middle School, RTI methods are used to keep as many students in tier I as possible.” Teachers observe and test to see if they are keeping up. Emphasis is placed on homework completion.

The theme of prevention of learning problems and special education placement comes through loud and clear. The goal is to keep struggling children in the classroom with adjustments to help them keep pace. Special education children also spend as much time in the regular classroom as possible.

“Assessments occur at all grade levels, and help faculty and staff to intervene immediately so the learning gap doesn’t get so big that the student qualifies for special education, when they may not have if the learning issues were caught and addressed earlier.”


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