The following fictional story is an example of what response to intervention might look like in practice.
A rural school jurisdiction of approximately 4,000 students adopted a response to intervention model, using a pyramid as a visual representation of the supports and interventions available.
These strategies, supports and interventions are supported by district consultants and related professional learning opportunities to build school and jurisdictional capacity.
The base of the pyramid represents strategies and supports that will benefit and meet the educational needs of the majority of students in the district. These universal supports are based on the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and include:
Individual schools are focusing on creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments. The school authority is coordinating a number of professional learning opportunities to support this focus. All schools are developing action plans and will be dedicating time during staff meetings for reflection, problem-solving and sharing new information and strategies.
The second tier of the pyramid describes a more targeted set of supports and interventions for a smaller number of students. These supports include:
Work is focused on establishing shared understanding and guidelines for implementing evidence-based interventions at each school. Jurisdictional consultants are also supporting specific targeted supports including:
There are also students in the district with learning and behavioural needs who require a high level of intensive and individualized supports. These are described in the third tier of the pyramid and include:
This year, the focus is on building a shared understanding of the wraparound process and how it can be used when students’ behavioural or social-emotional needs extend beyond those typically addressed within the school environment. A district psychologist will take on the role of facilitator and bring together community service providers and others who can provide the supports needed.
The implementation process involves identifying and prioritizing specific needs in the school community and building school capacity to better meet those needs.