“Students should be included in the full life of school”

Bluff City EdMemphis blog Bluff City Ed has continued its series on Response to Instruction and Intervention, or RTI2. RTI2 is a framework where school leaders build in time for differentiating instruction when students need extra help. In his second post (read the first post here), James Aycock, director of scholar support at Grizzlies Prep, explains how RTI2 changes the layout of general and special education services.

Take Chris (not his real name), a 6th grader with a diagnosed learning disability. Chris came to Grizzlies Prep this year without even a basic grasp of the alphabet. His previous school had placed him in a special education classroom several years ago, presumably to get extra support, but he still left elementary school without the most basic of literacy skills.

RTI² calls for a different type of support for scholars like Chris.

Instead of removing him from the general education classroom, we believe strongly that Chris should be included in the full life of the school, be held to rigorous grade-level expectations, and have access to the same challenging curriculum as his non-disabled peers. That high-level instruction from a great core content teacher is a big piece of the first “I” (Instruction) in RTI²…

But here’s the brilliance of RTI². Kids don’t have to be diagnosed with a disability to receive extra support to help them catch up. Intervention classes are part of the general education program, so all kids who need remediation should get it, and special education services can focus on helping students with disabilities meet grade-level expectations. As a general rule, special education services focus on supporting needs that are directly related to a disability, while intervention services help kids catch up in areas where they are behind.

Read the full post on Bluff City Ed to find out how student’s like Chris receive the Tier 1,Tier 2, and Tier 3 interventions they need to be successful.