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eLearning Update: RTI Online

During an iNACOL-hosted webinar yesterday afternoon, Spring ISD Virtual School in Houston divulged the details of their Response to Intervention, or RTI, program.

What's different about doing RTI online versus in a face-to-face environment? Turns out, not much. Which is not to say that it's easy. Pretty much everyone at the webinar agreed implementing and executing an effective RTI program, which requires a student pre-screening and two meetings with parents and counselors per grading period, as well as further intervention as needed, is both a time-consuming and challenging process. RTI, which is a strategy used to provide help for students early in their instruction and gather data about student performance, requires commitment from a team that includes students, counselors, learning specialists, teachers, supporting teachers, parents, and administrators. The idea is to provide assistance in areas where students need special help before they become a problem.

The folks at Spring ISD Virtual School found the most effective interventions were teacher watches and weekly counselor check-ups.

To do online RTI, all RTI-related meetings have to be online. Therefore, the Spring ISD Virtual School creates a private folder for documents about each student's RTI. That folder is shared with parents and whoever else may attend a meeting, but is not sent through e-mail, which could compromise privacy. During the meetings, each student's team comes prioritizes interventions and creates a plan to implement them.

RTI, especially in an online environment, falls under a trend we've seen a lot of lately—individualizing education for each student. By evaluating each student and conceiving interventions for specific needs, RTI provides a roadmap for creating pathways even for students who aren't struggling.

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