What are some factors that should be addressed when implementing the RTI approach?
Page 13: Professional Development
Mr. Irwin and Ms. Hooper, the RTI coach, know that professional development and ongoing support are critical for the successful implementation of the RTI elements: universal screening, high-quality reading instruction, progress monitoring, and data-based decision making. As they create a professional development plan for the next three years, Mr. Irwin and Ms. Hooper consider issues related to providing professional development in an organized manner and to maximizing the effectiveness of the training.
|Step 1: Assess staff members’ professional development needs.|
|Step 2: Determine the training goals.|
|Step 3: Deliver the training.|
|Step 4: Evaluate the success of the training.|
(Adapted from Herman, & Tennessee Intervention Group, 2006)
These steps are cyclical: After evaluating the success of the training program (step 4), school staff will then have new information to help them assess current professional development needs (step 1) for the next academic year, starting the cycle again.
Factors That Influence Professional Development
As school staff coordinate professional development training, they need to consider factors that will enable them to maximize learning:
- Implement training and provide additional booster sessions (to stay current and to maintain skills).
- Provide training by knowledgeable professionals who have proven their effectiveness as trainers.
- Address the following three components of skill development in the training:
- Confidence in performing the skill
- Knowledge of how to perform the skill
- Opportunities to practice the skill
|Checklist for Providing Professional Development to Ensure Effective Intervention|
|Goals and objectives stem from an in-depth needs assessment|
|Modeling, demonstration, and practice are included in initial and ongoing training opportunities|
|Follow-up activities provide a variety of experiences including on-site coaching, small group studies, and access to additional resources|
|Instructional staff is provided with ready access to a trained individual that can help the staff implement programs/curricula and apply new strategies|
|Training and follow-up on the use of all intervention program materials are provided|
|Training on the specific grade-level curriculum and the use of explicit instructional strategies are provided|
|Training on the use of universal screening and progress monitoring probes is provided|
|Training on the use of assessment data to drive instructional practices is provided|
|Training on the use of a classroom observation tool for the RTI coach (or literacy coach) and the principal is provided|
|Training on the use of an observation tool for Tiers 2 and 3 for the RTI coach and the principal is provided|
|A classroom observation tool is used to ensure that professional development is appropriately transferred into classroom practice|
|An intervention observation tool is used to determine the extent to which teachers are implementing the intervention programs appropriately|
|Program leaders used data to evaluate the effectiveness of professional development in the implementation of the intervention component|
|Follow-up and on-site support designed to improve the fidelity of implementation are based on this information|
(Herman, & Tennessee Intervention Group, 2006)
One function of the school readiness survey is to assess the staff members’ professional development needs. The results of the survey enable the planning team to establish training goals and to develop a preliminary schedule for professional development. At Mayflower Elementary, Mr. Irwin and Ms. Hooper use this information to begin coordinating professional development activities.
Compare the documents below to see how Mayflower transitions from the school readiness survey to a preliminary training schedule. When examining the school readiness survey, scroll down to the last section to view the recommendations for professional development training for each tab.
Click the tabs on the notebook above to review the recommended professional development needs for Mayflower Elementary staff.
As they proceed with their planning, Mr. Irwin and Ms. Hooper strive to include a variety of training formats (e.g., workshop, conference) that will be conducted by knowledgeable professionals who incorporate opportunities to practice. Periodically, they will evaluate whether the professional development is meeting staff needs or if they will require additional sessions. The results of the evaluation enable Mr. Irwin and Ms. Hooper to adjust, as needed, the professional development schedule to accommodate revised training goals and booster sessions.
Keep in Mind
- Training must be ongoing so that teachers are consistently learning about new ideas and research-validated strategies for meeting students’ needs. Training should periodically revisit prior training topics to reinforce and expand on teachers’ existing knowledge and to sustain the implementation.
- It is advantageous for schools to have plans in place to address training protocol for new staff. The RTI coach may provide this training.
- Schools can establish archives of training materials by which staff members can share past training experiences with new personnel as they come on board.
- Professional development trainers should consider the diversity of the student body and should provide culturally responsive content that is relevant to all students.
- Remember, school districts can use federal early intervening funds to pay for professional development related to RTI.