Five Best Practices for Your School Intervention Program

Oct 26, 2023
Unnamed 40

Many U.S. states subscribe to an early-warning intervention model to help support students' unique needs. Whether it’s called RTI, RTI2, MTSS, or something else, there are core elements and best practices that run throughout each approach to intervention. Today, we’ll unpack five best practices for your school intervention program (no matter which model you subscribe to) using Tennessee’s state-mandated RTI2 as our guide.

1. Plan for Students Entering in the Middle of the School Year

You have a regular cadence to administer assessments for students who spend all year at your school or district, but what about students who move midyear? Define procedures to ensure these students receive universal screeners, and establish how data will be reviewed to determine the next steps. 

Additionally, ensure you have a plan for securing records from the student’s previous school.

2. Reinforce Your School Intervention Program by Regularly Collaborating with Parents

Creating a culture of collaboration to support every child starts and ends with investing families in the process. Do you have a plan regarding who is responsible for making contact? How frequently or under what circumstances is contact necessary?

A designated person who can help coordinate parent contact may be helpful. After all, a helper in this area can help organize automated phone systems, emails, student-delivered communications, and, yes—even snail mail.

Additionally, there are certain activities in which it will be essential that parents are kept in the loop. These include:

  • Meetings before initiating or discontinuing tiered interventions
  • Written communication of progress every four to five weeks
  • Referrals to special education
  • Dates and duration of universal screening

3. Support All Students—Including English Language Learners

A school intervention program focuses on prevention and early involvement for all students, including English language learners (ELLs). Starting with the assessment, intervention should be culturally sensitive and bias-free. Thoughtful consideration should be given to interventions to provide support proven to help non-English speakers. 

Finally, an ESL teacher should be part of the school-level intervention team if an ELL is being discussed.

4. Provide Ongoing Professional Learning Opportunities Regarding Your School Intervention Program

Every good school initiative includes some professional development (PD) element, but what are some of the best options.

Professional learning centered on intervention can occur each school day, weekly, or biweekly. These activities may include analyzing student data, sharing instructional strategies, developing lessons, designing common assessments, and reviewing student work. 

Additionally, educators may require competency-based professional development focused on a deep understanding of knowledge and skills. These learning opportunities are most effectively delivered through classes, workshops, peer observations, mentoring, and online learning.

5. Commit to Fidelity of Instruction and Monitoring

It’s important to think about operating with fidelity as the responsibility of all instructional leaders. Fidelity does not inhibit responsive instruction, ongoing decision-making, or differentiation; it helps determine the extent to which the delivery of an instructional method supports student learning goals.

Fidelity of instruction is reflected in the use of research-based practices and standards-based instruction, and it can be measured during observations or through student outcomes. Fidelity of monitoring, on the other hand, requires that first, a high-quality data tool is used and that second, the information gleaned is analyzed and combined with observational data for a complete picture of student strengths and needs.

Executing a successful intervention program across learning tiers can be challenging. Accurately identifying student needs and efficiently delivering targeted, individualized interventions throughout the school year can put a heavy strain on school resources. Learn more about how Edmentum’s K-12 intervention solutions increase educator capacity to successfully deliver tiered interventions at the course- and fundamental-skill level.

Get the latest education insights sent directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our Knowledge Articles