February 2012

School-wide Implementation Review Results (2011-2012)

As of January 20, 2012, over 300 Wisconsin RtI School-Wide Implementation Reviews (SIR) had been completed with over 10 percent of Wisconsin’s schools and 20 percent of districts participating. The overall results include nearly all school types, sizes, and geographies painting a nice picture of the current status of RtI implementation statewide. Although the SIR has been taken most frequently by elementary schools (n=148), middle and high schools have participated in nearly proportional amounts (n=51 and n=56, respectively). Also, schools from all twelve CESAs are represented.

Schools choose to take a SIR focusing either on mathematics or reading. Currently, 102 schools have taken a review focusing on mathematics, 204 on reading, and 67 have done both. The results show that differences do exist between schools’ math and reading RtI implementation (see below).


Math results (n=102): Not in Place: 25.00%, Purpose Building: 23.81%, Infrastructure: 25.00%, Initial Implementation: 19.05%, Full Implementation: 7.14%. 

Reading results (n=204): Not in Place: 10.86%, Purpose Building: 23.43%, Infrastructure: 36.57%, Initial Implementation: 22.29%, Full Implementation: 6.86%.  

(For information about the levels of implementation — not in place, purpose building, infrastructure, initial implementation, and full implementation — and other details about the SIR, see the SIR FAQ.) What is most noticeable about the results is that over 66 percent of schools in reading are at least at the infrastructure level of implementation, whereas only 51 percent of schools in math are at or beyond that level.

Many more schools are completing SIRs every week and are using the results to develop action plans to ensure comprehensive RtI implementation in their schools. Nearly one-third of all Wisconsin schools are expected to be participating by the end of the school year. Please contact Alan Schnebly, coordinator for statewide RtI evaluation and research at the Wisconsin RtI Center with any questions.

Opportunities for Secondary Implementation

“Peers in Implementing at the Secondary Level” is a group of middle school and high school leaders from across the state who are implementing RtI at their school. This group receives relevant resources from the Wisconsin RtI Center, and participants collaborate with each other around resources being used and implemented in their schools.

A session is planned for March 26 in Stevens Point. This session will provide specific examples from U.S. secondary schools implementing RtI. In addition, the session will allow school teams to collaborate around the essential elements of the Wisconsin RtI Framework.

If you are interested in participating in this group, please contact your Wisconsin RtI Center regional technical assistance coordinator (RTAC) for more information.

Early Warning System Tool

The National High School Center released an Early Warning System tool in fall 2011. This FREE tool can be downloaded at www.betterhighschools.org. The EWS works with your student information system to analyze data that has already been collected — e.g. attendance, grades, and behavior — to determine which students may be at risk. This tool can allow schools to screen all students, select appropriate interventions, and monitor the progress of students in interventions. There is a middle school and high school tool available.

Please contact your RTAC for more information or to discuss your school’s specific needs.

Systems Coaching Training Series

Research has long shown that coaching significantly increases the likelihood that new strategies and practices will be implemented with mastery and fidelity (Joyce and Showers, Knight). The Wisconsin RtI Center’s new training, Systems Coaching in an RtI Framework, teaches participants the coaching skills and processes that support the implementation of all aspects of the Wisconsin RtI Framework – high quality instruction, balanced assessment, collaboration, and culturally responsive practices in a multi-level system of support.

Nearly 100 participants are attending two pilot cohorts of the training, offered in Wausau and Wisconsin Dells. The group includes principals, central office leaders, classroom teachers, school psychologists, reading specialists, special education teachers, CESA staff, and RTACs. The participants are learning coaching skills, habits and dispositions aligned with the coaching competencies of the International Coach Federation, and a coaching format and process leading to commitment to action and change. These participants will work with individuals and teams in their schools and districts to implement changes leading to improved student learning.

New cohorts of the training will be offered beginning in early fall 2012 in several locations around the state. Contact Heidi Laabs, coaching coordinator, for more information.

Success Story

Clintonville — Longfellow Elementary

Every student’s daily schedule at Longfellow Elementary includes a 40 minute block called “Reading Rocks.” This is in addition to the regular reading and writing classroom time.  If you ask students about Reading Rocks, they will tell you that it is one of their favorite times of the day. Today, during his grade level’s Reading Rocks time, Adam and two of his classmates go to an LLI group in the classroom next door. Ben goes to an enrichment room with 30 students. Carlie goes to a Reading Specialist for tier 3 intervention all by herself. Juan goes to bilingual education, and Jenny goes to special education. No one misses any of their regular curriculum, and all of these students receive extra reading.

Reading Rocks was implemented at the start of the 2010–11 school year. Teachers and administrators on the school’s RtI committee came up with the idea after facing huge numbers of students in need of intervention. The committee, members, thanks to previous training in RtI, knew that the best possible solution for students and teachers would be to provide time, training, and materials for exemplary interventions for all students who need it, while further enriching tier I instruction. They presented staff with a preliminary outline and prepared them for a change in thinking. A culture of shared responsibility was born.

Teams discussed who among them had the desire/strengths to conduct literacy interventions and who would be better with large numbers for literacy enrichment. Two or three interventionists per grade level committed to Leveled Literacy Intervention training through a CESA. Three or four teachers per grade level began to plan for larger group enrichment in phonics and comprehension.

Administrators worked to find funding and rescheduled the building so that each grade level could have a common reading intervention time. When students arrived that fall, staff began to “build the airplane while flying.” Teachers administered universal screeners and conducted formative assessments. At grade level meetings, they grouped students by needs using the data from these tests and continued to meet periodically to analyze progress monitoring results and regroup if needed.

When the reading coordinator compared Clintonville’s growth in MAP scores to national norms at year end, the plan was proven with results; enrichment students had made more growth than national norm groups, and intervention students had exceeded both of them!

Submitted by Rhonda Hare, Reading Coordinator, Clintonville Public Schools. Rhonda can be reached at rhare@clintonville.k12.wi.us.