Creating an Effective Schedule for Response to Intervention

Dr. Dale Webster, Ph.D.Today’s guest post is authored by Dr. Dale Webster, Chief Academic Officer for the Consortium on Reaching Excellence in Education (CORE).


When considering an RtI framework, whether it is revising or beginning, many schools and districts are challenged with scheduling. Scheduling is a difficult piece of the RtI puzzle considering the complexities of the master schedule and graduation requirements at most secondary schools. When creating a high school schedule for RtI, one should first consider time for student interventions. Second, it is very important for teacher teams to have time to analyze data to help them determine interventions for Tier 2 and Tier 3.

In one example of scheduling, a school shortened each class period by five minutes allowing schools to conduct a 35-minute zero period at the beginning of the day. While no credit was given for this period, it allowed time for intervention for those students who needed it. Additionally, a RtI guidance publication by the Pennsylvania Department of Education provided an organizational structure for schools planning an RtI model. It states, “Recent work by Joanne Allain (LETRS Conference 2008 recommendations) outlined the following tiered intervention options as possible organizational structures” (Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2008, p. 11).

“These design elements were incorporated, as appropriate, into Pennsylvania’s recommended tiered structure for secondary schools” (Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2008, p. 11). Pages 14-18 of Pennsylvania’s Response to Intervention Framework for Secondary Schools: Guidelines and Recommendations (2008) provide specific school examples.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Special Education.

Many states have similar guidance documents through their state education agencies.

Some ways in which schools have addressed the issue of time for data analysis and planning is by having one-hour late starts once a week. Some schools even go further by having an additional two-hour late start once a month. There are many other examples by schools finding creative ways to schedule time for interventions and data analysis/planning.

NOTE: At Compass Learning we believe that RtI, when paired with evidence-based programs implemented with fidelity, can significantly improve the quality of teaching and learning. We also believe in the power of highly trained teachers to make a difference in the lives of their students, and we believe strongly that technology can be a compelling classroom management and organization solution.

If you would like more information, view our on-demand webinar, “Learning Forward: Ensuring Success through RTI, Extended Day/Year and Summer School Innovation” presented by Dr. Webster. Access here.


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