September 2013

RtI All-Staff Perception Survey

This summer, the center created a new companion piece to the SIR. The RtI All-Staff Perception Survey assesses what staff members perceive about their school’s multi-level systems of support for reading and mathematics. The survey looks at the status and priority of four areas: 

  • high quality instruction; 
  • balanced assessments; 
  • collaboration; and 
  • leadership and organizational structures. 

Each question in the survey relates to one of the four domains. The results of this tool can be used as an integral part of decision making and annual action planning for each content area, as well as a way to compare leadership team perceptions (SIR results) with overall staff perceptions of RtI implementation. For more information, please visit our website.

Recognized Schools (Academic and Behavior)

Congratulations to those schools named as Schools of Merit and Distinction. Follow this link for the list of schools honored for implementing frameworks for academics and this link for those schools honored for their achievements in implementing frameworks for behavior.

Demonstration Schools 

From fall 2011 to the spring of 2013, the demonstration sites project joined schools in partnership with the Wisconsin RtI Center, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the National Center on Response to Intervention to highlight the implementation of the Wisconsin RtI framework in the area of elementary reading. The schools chosen were already implementing RtI; this project aligned their RtI implementation specifically with the Wisconsin RtI framework and evaluated the outcomes. To find out more about these schools in action and to review the completed reports, visit our website

Introduction of New Staff 

Michelle Belnavis
Culturally Responsive Regional Technical Assistance Coordinator.
Michelle worked in the Madison Metropolitan School District for more than 20 years. Her most recent position was as a cultural relevance instructional resource teacher leader.

Heidi Decker-Maurer 
Communication Specialist
Heidi worked at UW-Stout for five years and also graduated from Stout’s master of science in technical and professional communication program.

Kim Gulbrandson 
Research and Evaluation Coordinator 
Kim joins us from Milwaukee Public Schools where she was a school psychologist. She has a PhD in methodology and educational research. 

Kao Moua Her 
Academic Regional TAC in the west region 
Kao Moua comes from the Eau Claire Area School District. In the past, she has served as a literacy coach, an ELL instructor, and as a first grade SAGE teacher. 

Upcoming Events 

Professional development of educators operating within a multi-level system of support is critical to the system’s success. Wisconsin RtI Center has partnered with agencies and professional organizations across the state, such as Wisconsin CESAs, to offer workshops and training to assist educators in implementing academic and behavioral processes within their classrooms. The center has recently added "Reviewing K-12 Universal Mathematics Instruction" seminars to the schedule.
Click here for upcoming academic RtI training.

2013 PBIS Leadership Conference Recap

The center recently hosted the 2013 PBIS Leadership Conference. The event drew 1,100 attendees from 105 districts that are implementing PBIS. The conference offered the opportunity to recognize Schools of Merit and Distinction with the presentation of banners to 245 schools. 

In addition, this year the conference also hosted a film festival. Entries from elementary, middle, and high schools showcased creative portrayals of positive behaviors being taught in their schools. Live voting by the audience resulted in the following videos being chosen:

Elementary: Oriole Lane Elementary, Mequon Thiensville School District “Oriole Lane Lunch” 

Middle School:  Maplewood Middle School, Menasha “Hero in the Hallway” 

High School:  North Division High, Milwaukee Public Schools “North Division Rap”

Wisconsin RtI Center Brief on Suspensions in the State

The center published a brief detailing connections found in the state between PBIS and improved rates of suspension over time of implementation. Special attention was paid to rates disaggregated by race. This brief can be read online. 

Success Stories 

Stoughton Area School District

Stoughton Area School District has a non-negotiable: all means ALL. Stoughton staff members possess a set of values that recognize diversity, and they are committed to incorporate culturally responsive practices to best serve the students within their community. Keep in mind, the “business as usual” practices that now occur systemically and systematically across the district did not happen overnight.  

In order to get a full picture of Stoughton Area School District’s equity access journey, one needs to flash back to the year 2002 where an outside evaluation was done for the purpose of reexamining the district’s services delivery model. The data that was provided to the district was a reality check and seemed to be a mismatch to the perceptions of many educators and administrators within the district. The evaluation stated the district had problems such as: no common philosophy; low student achievement; high levels of labeling and pullout services; lack of educational equity understanding.

The evaluation was a turning point for the district. They recognized the power of making decisions based on data and set the goal of providing an Integrated Comprehensive Services Delivery Model to all students in the district. It is important to note the year because Stoughton would be the first to say you cannot expect a deep cultural reform to occur in one year. The district understood that adaptive changes take at least three to five years, and they carefully took this into consideration throughout the entire process. 

Stoughton Area School District began the implementation journey by forming a district service delivery team. This leadership team immersed themselves in learning about research-based best practices and focused on developing a common understanding of topics pertaining to social justice.

Next, the district formed building service delivery teams for the purpose of collaboratively planning next steps. Stoughton recognized the importance of creating a common vision and philosophy among all staff, and this work was done before any structural work began.

After two years of detailed planning, the district moved forward with the implementation of an integrated comprehensive services delivery model. All students had equitable access to grade level standards in the classroom. This was successfully accomplished by integrating staff and students, curriculum, instructional practices, and redesigning assessments.

Stoughton’s careful planning at each level of implementation along with ongoing staff development and educator support has resulted in a national award-winning services delivery model that is certain to sustain itself and only get better as the district continues to refine its culturally responsive practices. 

For more information on Stoughton's national award, click here.

School District of Bloomer: Bloomer High School

Principal Chad Steinmetz led Bloomer High School in implementing a new schedule during the 2012–13 school year, which was designed to increase flexible and additional instruction for higher levels of learning for all students, and increase the professional dialogue and collaboration between teachers.

Bloomer High School began with an eight-period day, with 46-minute periods and a 40-minute lunch. Students took six or seven classes and had open campus during lunch. There were 368 minutes of instruction available daily. Bloomer High School also had a modified schedule every Thursday to support an advisee program, including character education, AODA activities, and academic planning.

When building purpose for a new schedule, a team from the high school attended Professional Learning Community training in 2011 followed by the WASDA RtI Summit in Green Bay in 2012.  There was ongoing professional development to ensure all staff understood the importance of a framework for defining the organization to ensure academic and behavioral success for all students. In the summer of 2012, the leadership team met with a Wisconsin RtI Center technical assistance coordinator to discuss high school implementation and scheduling.

Initial implementation of a new schedule began in fall 2012 with a nine-period day. There were eight class periods of 43 minutes, with students taking seven or more classes. There was also a 30-minute enrichment period. This increased the minutes of instruction to 374 per day. Lunch was reduced to 30 minutes, and open campus was based upon a privilege system for sophomores, juniors, and seniors only.

The enrichment time had clear expectations for both students and staff. Enrichment time is considered a selected level intervention or additional challenge based upon the need of the student. Stars Enterprise is being used as a universal screener to plan for individual student needs and to analyze the effectiveness of the universal instruction. Advisee time has continued on Thursdays; however, now this advisee time is more systematically applied. 

Enrichment time also supports collaboration for teachers. Every teacher is assigned to two collaborative teams: a grade level team and a content-based team. One week per month is designated as “A” week. During this week, grade level teams meet during the enrichment period to plan interventions and additional challenges for students.

Teams utilize universal screening data, including Stars Enterprise, grades, behavior, and attendance, to plan instruction. One week per month is designated as “B” week. During this week, content-based teams meet during the enrichment period to plan to improve universal instruction for all students. Teams utilize universal screening data, including Stars Enterprise, to determine the effectiveness of universal instruction.

Bloomer High School has seen a variety of improvements and advantages for their students due to these schedule changes. All students have increased learning and increased instructional time. Relationships between grade-level advisors and students have been deepened.

Because advisors have access to attendance, grades, and behavior records, the increased level of information has led to improvements in all areas. School safety is increased with the reduction in open campus. The school counselor is available to all teams. The collaborative time is increased for all staff, which leads to increased student achievement by increasing the responsiveness of the school system to meeting student needs.