May 2016 Newsletter


Selected and Intensive Levels of Support: Evaluate and Refine the Process

Selected and Intensive levels of support are intended to provide supports to students whose needs extend beyond the reach of the universal. Schools across Wisconsin are working to establish and sustain a fluid continuum of support, matched to the needs and the culture of the students they serve.

To support schools in this work, the Wisconsin RtI Center has created a school-wide process for responding to student needs. We have also developed a series of learning modules to guide teams in learning about, implementing, and refining each step - or key feature - in this process.

We will highlight different key features and learning modules in this newsletter throughout the school year. In this newsletter, we highlight…

Evaluate and Refine the Process

This module reminds leadership teams to stay in continuous improvement mode. Though your school may have reached full implementation with your selected and intensive levels of support and you are starting to see results, your team will still want to pay attention to the issue of sustainability.

Are you facing these common obstacles?

Staff and leadership turnover, new mandates and initiatives, changes in student population: each of these changes impacts the systems and processes your team has worked hard to establish.

Even in conditions of relative stability, your team needs to be mindful of the phenomenon of “drift.” In complex systems, such as schools, individuals interpret and implement ideas in ways that may or may not correspond with the team’s original intent or design of a system of support. Over time, these interpretations and implementation become individualized and idiosyncratic; it’s no longer a system.

In an effort to create and communicate clear processes, well-intentioned RtI leadership teams can be vulnerable to developing excessive paperwork and procedures for staff to complete and use. Staff may begin to seek work-arounds to access support for students or avoid using the system altogether. For some staff, what’s perceived as unnecessary obstacles may lead to resentment and actively working to undermine the system.

Fortunately, teams can build in strategies to help manage and lead this complexity and avoid obstacles to create sustainable systems of support.

That’s where this module can help.

The Evaluate and Refine the Process module is designed for schools that have worked through each of the other modules and are on a path of continuous improvement. Its purpose is to guide reflection on how effectively and efficiently the school’s selected and intensive levels of support respond to its students’ needs and how the school will improve and refine practices accordingly. The resources provide a range of checklists and tools (e.g. system self-assessments, intervention effectiveness tracking tools, system evaluation, and improvement guides) to assist teams in this process. The resources also help teams consider the connections between their additional support levels and other state mandates and initiatives, ways to engage families in the process, and how to use cultural competency throughout.

If you are ready to take it to the next level, you can access the module Evaluate and Refine the Process.



Sharing Resources

PBIS e-learning Modules

PBIS is a system for creating safer, more effective schools by reinforcing positive behavior and preventing and addressing problem behavior. PBIS is implemented in three tiers. Tier 1 focuses on setting and teaching behavioral expectations in all areas of the school including the playground, hallway, bus and classroom. Tier 2 and Tier 3 allow educators to focus more closely on the needs of groups or individual students.

You can learn more about PBIS through our interactive e-learning modules, available on our website by following these links:

This is PBIS (Tier 1)

In tier 1 school leaders build the foundation for PBIS by forming a school leadership team and setting expectations for behavior school-wide. Often, schools will see an improvement in 80 percent of students as they implement tier 1/universal practices. This webinar outlines the basics of PBIS, PBIS teams, and trainings. We recommend it is viewed before attending the Administrative Overview (AS50).

This is Tier 2

Implementing a culturally responsive multi-level system of support involves a lot of planning and hard work. Building a strong universal foundation for ALL students paves the way for success. After the universal level is in place, it is time to start layering on tier 2 supports for students who need them.

This webinar gives schools and districts an overview of the tier 2 process, how it fits into a culturally responsive multi-level system of support, and how to begin layering on this next level within a system.

This is Tier 3

Tier 3 is for those very few students in our system who need more individualized supports above and beyond the universal and selected levels. These are the students who have skills either well above or well below benchmark and require the most expertise for support in instruction, collaboration and assessment.

In this webinar, you can quickly learn about tier 3 processes and explore commitment and readiness requirements in order to further conversations in your school/district.



Culturally Responsive Learning

Providing a culturally responsive environment in the classroom is of paramount importance in building the bridge between home culture and school culture. Making sure all students can succeed means understanding students’ cultural beliefs and practices. By engaging in culturally responsive practices, you are forming an understanding about the values, beliefs, and behaviors of people from cultures that may be different from your own. Culturally responsive practices account for and adapt to the broad diversity of race, language, and culture in Wisconsin schools and prepare all students for a multicultural world.

The Seven Experiences

We recommend that educators enhance their knowledge of all their students using the seven experiences. Going through the seven experiences will help you gain a deeper understanding of other cultures. They involve tangible activities that will help you gain insight about both yourself and about different cultures from your own.

1. Articles are a widely available, easily accessible way for practitioners to become familiar with culturally responsive practices.
2. Book studies are an in-depth way for practitioners to explore students’ cultures.
3. Coaching and modeling are important tools for integrating culturally responsive practices into the classroom.
4. Conferences and workshops are held frequently to assist practitioners who wish to create a culturally responsive atmosphere in the classroom.
5. Guest speakers are a thought-provoking way to learn directly about another culture.
6. Community site visits are another excellent way to gain an understanding of another culture. Many cultural centers are open to hosting visitors and wish to share their culture.
7. School site visits are useful in gaining a better understanding of students whose culture may not match your own. By visiting a school that is predominantly of another culture from yours, it can help bring understanding of how to best reach students in your own class who are of that culture.



Coming Soon!

Watch for our Special Edition newsletter featuring success stories from schools across the state!