Schools across the nation are working hard to ensure that all students are provided the best possible educational experiences during their pre-K through grade 12 years, and in doing so, are faced with enormous challenges. Even without taking into account such variables as the many dozens of language spoken by students and families and the impact of economic hardship, schools need to be increasingly effective in ensuring that all of their students, including those with learning disabilities (LD) and other obstacles to learning, have the best opportunities to succeed during their school, and be college- and career-ready upon graduation.
RTI & Parent-School Relationship
A collaborative relationship with your child’s teachers and others involved in his or her education makes it easier to advocate for your child. This includes developing a productive partnership with teachers, attending school meetings and asking questions about your child’s progress (including Response to Intervention, or RTI). Make sure your child knows that everyone is working as a team to ensure his or her success.
RTI & Parent-School Relationship
Your child is your number one priority, and in a perfect world you could give them everything they need.But let's face it—you cannot do it alone. The best way to support your child's needs is to build and maintain a strong, positive relationship with all the people at school who play a role in educating your child. And, make sure your child knows that this is a team effort—you're all working together to help him or her succeed!
I am the father of two special needs children. My older child has a smorgasbord of attributes that interfere with learning, including emotional, behavioral and specific learning disabilities. I have specially designed armor I wear when attending any school meeting for him. I am also an educational advocate for foster children, attending intervention meetings almost daily.
Response to Intervention (RTI) is not a new idea. In fact, features of this approach to teaching have been around for more than 20 years under names like Teacher Assistance Team Model, Pre-Referral Intervention Model, Mainstream Assistance Team Model, School-Based Consultation Team Model, and Multi-Tier Problem-Solving Model. Simply stated, RTI is an approach to instruction that combines the art and science of teaching, allows for (and encourages) creativity and innovation, and is solidly grounded in data-based decision-making (a very good thing!).
The first parent-teacher conference of the school year provides a great opportunity for you and your child's teacher to share insights and information. At this meeting, you can develop a relationship with the teacher and present yourself as a team player in your child's education.
Communication between parents and educators is a good thing—no one would argue that. When families and schools share their expectations, their values about learning and behavior, and their views on roles and responsibilities, students learn more and both parents and school personnel feel supported and appreciated. The positive feelings and mutual trust that result should not be underestimated, as they are ingredients to success for students, especially those who struggle with learning.
- Is the school using Response to Intervention (RTI) to provide extra help to struggling students?
- How does the school determine that all students are receiving high-quality instruction?
- (If large numbers of students are not making acceptable progress, the instructional program should be examined.)
- How will the school provide parents with information about the specific RTI process being used?
- What information about RTI has the school, school district or state provided for parents?
- Will all parents be notified of their child's screening results?
If you have a child who is receiving special education services, you're more than likely to be very involved with your child's school and teacher—including planning, reviewing, and assessing your child's educational program. Over time, you will learn a lot about the special education process and how to communicate and negotiate on your child's behalf. While your knowledge, skill, and confidence will naturally increase, there are some specific communication skills that can help you be most successful in developing and maintaining a strong partnership with your child's school. We hope these "Steps to Success" will be particularly helpful to parents who are new to the special education process.
In this Parent Perspective, Jody, the father of two special needs children (both of which have emotional, behavioral and specific learning disabilities), shares tips on how to participate successfully in school meetings.
As an educational advocate for foster children, he regularly attends intervention meetings, and has had a great deal of experience with the public school system.
With increasing frequency, schools across the country are using a Response-to-Intervention (RTI) or multi-tiered system of instructional support. These instructional approaches rely on the use of progress monitoring tools to determine whether children are making adequate progress. Progress monitoring allows us to determine much sooner which children are at risk for not meeting grade-level targets, allows us to determine whether children receiving intervention support are making adequate progress, and allows us to more closely match the instructional support to the needs of the individual child based on his response.
You and your child are gearing up for (or have just started) the new school year, and it’s probably an exciting but somewhat anxiety-ridden time for both of you. Rest assured that this is true for most families dealing with the challenges of LD. Certain scenarios can create unusually sticky situations, but you can navigate them if you’re armed with knowledge, a proactive spirit and a can-do attitude. Here are some examples of sticky situations as well as steps you can take to create a better outcome for your child.
Every profession has its fair share of jargon and the world of education is no exception. Conversations about educational practice are peppered with acronyms such as IDEA, RTI, MTSS, and CBM, all of which are important, but its not surprising that parents (and others) feel bombarded by unfamiliar terms and have trouble “connecting the dots” and understanding how these terms contribute to the ways that decisions are made to ensure that students with LD are provided the instruction and support they need to be successful in school.
Competency-Based Education (CBE) is a system of personalized learning where students master specific knowledge and skills at their own pace. CBE is being implemented or explored in over 30 states around the country, but there is little guidance on how to best meet the needs of students with learning and attention issues when implementing frameworks like CBE.
Sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it. If you want to effectively communicate with your child’s teacher, try these sentence starters.
Developing a good relationship with your child’s teacher will make it easier for you to share concerns and work together to help your child succeed. Here are some tips for building a partnership.
|At a Glance
School discipline is a big concern for parents of students with learning and attention issues. As recent guidelines from the Department of Education point out, schools are suspending minority students and students with disabilities at unreasonably high rates. But how can people change school discipline for the better? One promising framework is called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Here, Professor George Sugai of the Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, a nationwide initiative, answers questions parents may have about PBIS and how it can be used in schools to improve discipline policies and school climate.