Response to Intervention (RtI) is a multi-tiered prevention and intervention system designed to improve outcomes for all students. In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, the School District has established administrative practices and procedures for implementing District-wide initiatives that address a Response to Intervention (RtI) process applicable to all students. For students suspected of having a potential learning disability, the District will provide appropriate RtI services pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations prior to a referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for evaluation.

The Niskayuna Central School District has established procedures for identifying students with learning disabilities that use a research-based RtI process prior to, or as part of, an individual evaluation to determine whether a student has a learning disability. An RtI process is required for all students in grades kindergarten through grade 4 suspected of having a learning disability in the area of reading. RtI cannot be utilized as a strategy to delay or deny a timely initial evaluation of a student suspected of having a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The basic components of the RTI process shall include:

  • Scientific, research-based core instruction in reading and mathematics. Reading instruction shall address: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency and comprehension;
  • Screening for all students in grades K-3 to identify those who are not making academic progress at the expected rates;
  • Research-based interventions matched to a student’s targeted need at increasing levels of intensity for those students who do not make satisfactory progress in their levels of performance and/or in their rate of learning to meet age or grade level standards;
  • Repeated assessments of targeted skill areas using curriculum-based measures to determine if interventions are resulting in student progress toward age or grade level standards;
  • A building-based team to review screening data, and make decisions related to student performance and intervention need; and
  • Written notice to the parents when a student is identified, in accordance with this policy, as needing more intensive reading or mathematics instruction than the instruction provided to all students in the general education classroom

The Board of Education designates the Superintendent to establish a District-wide RTI Team, which shall be comprised, at a minimum, of the following representatives: (principal of each elementary public school within the district, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Director of English Language Arts, Director of Math, school psychologists, a regular, AIS and special education teacher from each elementary school, and whomever else the Superintendent deems appropriate.)

It shall be the responsibility of the District wide Team to develop, review and amend, as necessary, an RTI policy that includes the following components:

  • The criteria for determining the appropriate levels of intervention; including the frequency of assessment and the assessment tools to be used;
  • The types and intensity of interventions provided to students at each tier and the number of tiers of intervention prior to referral to the Committee on Special Education;
  • The amount and nature of student performance data to be collected;
  • The manner and frequency of Progress Monitoring;
  • The data necessary for district personnel to request a referral to the CSE

Using an RTI model to conduct the following tasks in accordance with the policy established by the District-wide Committee:

  • Collect, review and analyze data pursuant to this policy;
  • Identify those students who require instruction at a more intensive level;
  • Notify the parents of students receiving RTI intervention that the student is involved in the RTI process; the techniques, strategies or programs used; and notice of the parent’s right to request an evaluation for special education;
  • Review the appropriateness of the interventions used and the grouping of students to maximize effectiveness for the individual student;
  • Recommend changes in students’ instructional programs based upon the analysis of the data; and
  • Request a referral to the CSE and the principal completes the request for referral form, where appropriate.

Professional Staff Development

The Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, in consultation with the Director of English Language Arts and Director of Mathematics, shall provide ongoing professional development to teachers assigned to provide students with research-based reading and math interventions on the specific intervention techniques and consistency of implementation as well as assessment administration, data collection and charting of performance data as required in accordance with this policy.

This policy shall remain in full force and effect unless modified by the Board of Education.

Adopted May 23, 2017