Schools across the country are creating intervention plans for students. However, most of these plans fall short and are just mere shells of what they could and should be. Schools are spending thousands of dollars and wasting precious time implementing plans that simply do not work, further frustrating students, teachers and parents. Students are still falling through the cracks both academically and behaviorally.
Here are the five must-haves of every response to intervention plan.
- A Comprehensive School Success Team
Every school needs to employ a comprehensive SST. Student Success Teams should comprise of the child’s teacher(s), school counselor, psychologist, nurse, speech pathologist, and administration. This team needs to meet once per week to review student assessment scores and other progress monitors. Both student academics and behavior must be addressed in order to find the best way to support students. The team must look for practical, reasonable solutions and not treat the process as a funnel to Special Education testing.
- On-going Formative Assessments
Having a culture of on-going assessment doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Formative assessments should be given at least once every three weeks to ensure that students are progressing. By utilizing formative assessments, teachers and administrators can quickly address learning concerns utilizing Tier One support structures. These assessments can also inform teachers if interventions are working. Never wait longer than three weeks to determine if your plan is working. It is always better to be proactive rather than reactive.
- A Growth Mindset
A successful intervention plan begins with a growth mindset. The entire staff must believe that all students are capable of learning. This includes office staff, teachers, custodians, and administration. However, they must believe this with the caveat that not all students will learn in the same way or in the same time. Learning time is individualized.
- Data Analysis Protocols
Schools need to have a systematic way of looking at data. The results of the formative assessments mentioned above need to be broken down by student, domain, and standard to determine who is moving forward and who is still struggling. This analysis needs to be conducted among the entire SST team and not in private. A stakeholders need to be aware of how instruction is being digested.
- Designated Instructional Intervention Time
Intervention time need to be scheduled during the school day. It is vital that struggling students are reached during the school day. Research suggests that providing students with intervention supports before and after school will not work as well as during the school day support. Students are tired before and after school or have other commitments. These commitments include a job, taking care of a sibling, and extra-curricular activities.
Dr. David Franklin is an experienced school administrator, education professor, curriculum designer, and presenter. Dr. Franklin has presented at national and international education conferences as is available for school and district professional development sessions.