My district has chosen to use its stimulus money to hire a group of RTI coaches and learning resource teachers for two years to help schools with the RTI process. I feel bad for these coaches as they’ve only been given one week of theoretical training from the district and now are expected to be RTI experts for their schools! They go to bi-weekly trainings though and consult with each other about troubleshooting and answering teachers questions. This position is intriguing to me as I assumed this role with both of my schools last year.
Sometimes all I feel good for is testing and I know that it’s up to me to change this perspective on a building level. The RTI manual that I contributed to last year was updated by another group of district people this past summer and there is a whole page dedicated to what a school psychologist’s role is. Here’s the run down:
For Problem-Solving and data collection:
Help teams develop/maintain appropriate interventions and monitor progress regularly for each tier.
Provide assistance to the classroom teacher with data collection and interpretation, as needed.
Administer standardized (diagnostic) screening assessments (math/ reading/ behavioral/ adaptive, etc.) to further define the nature of the student’s profile of potential strengths and weaknesses.
Consult and/or assist with various types of student observations, including on-off task tallies for students with behavioral concerns.
Consult with administrators regarding the specific building needs and the RtI process.
Provide RtI trainings or ongoing information sessions to staff, as needed.
For Selection of Interventions:
Help RtI Team generate FBA’s and/or BIP’s in order to develop viable interventions for students with behavioral impediments.
Provide direct support/consult to students and their families at the problem-solving phase.
Consult with teachers regarding ongoing interventions including helping with classroom functions, such as addressing social skills, improving behavior and having students take personal responsibility.
Assist with interpretation of data school-wide and system-wide.
Assist the CST to ensure that all of RtI components were chosen and administered appropriately, and that all components of the evaluation process (short of further diagnostic assessments) have been performed and documented.
Consult with RtI teams (as needed for direction early in the process) to provide support for the decision-making process; provide resources regarding research-based interventions from which to generate ideas and assist with documentation of team decisions.
Provide counseling during RtI in the absence of a guidance counselor.
Provide social/developmental histories for the RtI team and assist (as needed) with problem solving for behavior and ASD.
Meet or communicate with parent(s) regularly to help promote home-based consistency and/or limit-setting.
Assist with transitions when students are changing educational settings (school-to-school, program-to- program, etc) to ensure satisfactory adjustment.
After a referral is made:
Utilize whatever instruments are necessary to help clarify specific areas of need or answer lingering referral questions (if any) after the RtI process has run its course.
Provide a comprehensive multidisciplinary report that takes into account all of the data, the process, the characteristics of the student and the recommendations by team and specialists, to be reported at meeting and placed in the student’s cum record.
Administer full, comprehensive battery of assessments when potentially severe or acute educational or behavioral concerns arise.
Hopefully I can help the RTI coach as much as possible as we navigate through another year of step-by-step RTI procedures. With this job description listed above, I might just have the opportunity to do this! (as long as I don’t continue getting streams of referrals for testing). Changing a paradigm to something as big as RTI from something as old as black-and-white general and special education lines will take a multitude of people to convince another multitude of people. I’m on the bandwagon… are you?