We just finished the RTI training for the school staff and its interesting that all the teachers were asking the “right” questions. Some of the new innovations of the program this year is to focus on better logistics, planning, and implementation. For example, the school has assigned a learning specialist for each grade who is a Special Education provider as well as endorsed in sheltered English instructional strategies. In addition, the principal also organized for each grade to have a students teacher and paraprofessional at each grade level. The principal has the gift of organization and logistics in running the school to support the RTI model. The main goal is to be able to provide small group instruction and 1 to 1 when needed within the tired system.
One update from last year not posted in my August post, is that this school was in the “Needs Improvements” list the last couple of years because they didn't meet adequate yearly progress (AYP), but last year after the implementation of RTI the school met AYP for English language arts. Great news and very promising results to follow up this year. My main role this year is to develop a problem solving protocol in collaboration with a colleague trained in “Instructional Consultation” to implement the RTI model using both a problem solving model and fixed protocol.
Professor Claudia Rinaldi is the Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Her areas of research are the implementation of the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework in urban settings with English learners, teacher education in bilingual special education, and diversifying the teacher pipeline. Claudia has authored peer-reviewed publications and a book for educators called Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers. She lead and developed a graduate certificate program in Teaching Bilingual Students with Disabilities for general, ESL and special education teachers geared towards applying research-informed practices to the questions and processes of identifying whether it is a language difference or a learning disability. Claudia developed a college mentoring program called Pathways to Teacher Diversity for districts and teacher education programs to partner in identifying and supporting underrepresented high school students interested in teaching careers to successfully access and persist in college. She serves in various boards including the National Center for Learning Disabilities and serves as an expert for Understood.org and the National Center for Intensive Interventions.
Professor Claudia Rinaldi believes that it is critical to prepare teacher leaders who may serve as advocates and allies and who will respond to the belief that all students can learn and succeed beyond barriers like culture, language, disability poverty, and marginalization in our country and globally.