RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION
Holly Academy has been educating children in grades K-8 in Genesee and Oakland Counties since 1999. The school’s mission is to “achieve individual academic success for all students through a positive family, school, and community partnership.” Holly Academy supports the mindset that the school “family” should celebrate all students and their unique, individual achievements. Holly Academy produces strong academic results through a comprehensive academic curriculum that is integrated into a supportive school that encourages high levels of family and community involvement.
Through this grant we aim to evaluate the ability of the RtI model to produce sustained academic gains for lower performing students from a variety of backgrounds. Holly Academy’s working research hypothesis is: When instituted in conjunction with PLCs, the RtI model will produce long-term academic gains for students performing 6 months or more below grade level regardless of the socio-economic or ethnic background of the student. In line with this broad hypothesis, Holly Academy has five sets of questions that will be evaluated through the research program design:
Question Sets 1-4 will be evaluated during years 1 and 2 of the grant’s implementation. These questions constitute the heart of our evaluation project as they will allow our staff to hone our RtI program. Specific intervention strategies and teaching strategies that prove most effective during year 1 will be more widely implemented in year 2 at both Holly Academy and at a partner school. Likewise, any insights we gain concerning optimal time spent performing at an accelerated pace in Tier II or Tier III will be used to strengthen our instructional processes during year 2. Because we will be using two different standardized assessments to place students in Tiers II and III, we will compare the reliability of these assessments in predicting student success responses to the higher tier interventions. In assessing the reliability of these assessments the goal will be to identify a single assessment that can be used to accurately place students. Additionally, we will identify specific evaluation items on both the baseline and post-treatment assessments that correlate with specific school goals so that we can determine the efficacy of the RtI program in helping our school to achieve its key objectives.
Question Set 5 will be evaluated during year 2 of the grant’s implementation. Holly Academy serves a population that is relatively affluent and racially homogenous. We will partner with one other school in order test to assess any difference in results produced by the RtI model when dealing with students from different socio-economic backgrounds. We will seek a partner school that is racially diverse, has a high percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students, and has the organizational capacity to implement and/or sustain PLCs. Because this partner school will be implementing the RtI program anew in the 2nd year of the grant, our research findings concerning the efficacy of the program will be preliminary and will be compared to the results from Holly Academy with statistical caution since Holly Academy will have had greater experience with program implementation.
Michigan Association of Public School Academies
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