Parents of children with special needs know how crucial it is that their child receives proper instruction in school, to ensure a beneficial experience and the likelihood of future success. Most schools use the response to intervention model to identify students that may be struggling with their classroom work or not progressing appropriately.
The response to intervention process begins early, so children needing additional help can receive the resources they need to succeed as soon as possible. All students are subject to a response to intervention screening, which is an assessment designed to measure a child’s expected progression for their grade level. The assessment focuses on all subjects, with an emphasis on math and reading.
If the screening determines a child needs additional support, the child’s parents must be notified. A targeted intervention plan is then established, consisting of a teaching strategy uniquely designed for that child and increased intensity of instruction.
A team of individuals, including of the child’s parents, teacher and staff members, meets to create the plan. The plan should include specific information on the type of additional instruction provided, the length of time it will last and how the child’s progress will be monitored.
Targeted intervention plans consist of tiers. The first tier is the basic screening assessment provided to all children. A child who is determined to need additional support is moved into a tier 2 intervention plan. Examples of targeted intervention activities in a tier 2 plan can include different teaching methods, small group work or more instruction time. These can take place in the same classroom or a different room, depending on the situation.
If a child is not progressing as expected with the additional or modified instruction, they may be moved to a tier 3 intervention plan. A tier 3 plan generally involves increasing the length of time the child spends on each activity or increasing the level of instruction.
Although each school will monitor a child’s progress differently, progress should be monitored rather frequently, even up to once per week. It can be helpful to have chart to monitor the child’s progress, to clearly identify any areas of need and develop strategies for improvement.
It is important for New York parents who want the best educational experience for their special needs child to understand the response to intervention model and what to expect. There are many valuable resources available for parents with questions or concerns about their child’s progression in school.