Montgomery Learning Solutions (MLS) was founded on the notion that everyone has a right to learn in the place, time, and the way they learn best. This isn’t always possible in a large school system but with the right approach, we can help make this happen.
According to People for Education (2018), “66% of elementary schools and 53% of secondary schools in Ontario report a restriction on the number of students that can be assessed for special education each year—a trend that has been increasing among elementary schools over the years. Also, an average of 17% of elementary students and 27% of high school students require supplementary support and have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to access the curriculum the way they learn best”(People of Education, p. 14). Large class sizes, limited time and resources, and lack of funding often make it challenging for schools to provide this support. As a result, Ontario schools are slowly moving towards a tiered approach combining universal design for learning (UDL), differentiated instruction, and intensive individualized support to ensure the needs of all students are met within inclusive classrooms.
The tiered model is derived from the Response to Intervention Approach (RTI) which emerged in the field of education in 2004 after changes were made to the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the United States. RTI is a prevention model to evaluate student achievement and implement appropriate interventions depending on the learning needs of each student (Preston, Wood, Stecker, 2015).
As indicated in figure 1, the essential components of the RTI framework are screening, progress monitoring, multi-tier prevention system, and data-based decision making (National Center on Response to Intervention, 2010). Screening is conducted through a variety of assessments to determine appropriate levels of intervention. Student’s progress is monitored regularly and based on their responses to the interventions; further decisions are made to ensure students are continually receiving the support they need.
A three-tiered model is used to determine the type and intensity of support required depending on the learning needs of each student (Preston, Wood, Stecker, 2015). Figure 2 demonstrates how interventions are distributed within each of the three tiers. Tier one identifies interventions designed to meet the needs of the majority of students in the classroom (approximately 80%) through universal programming or more formally, universal design for learning (UDL). When the needs cannot be met in tier one, a smaller portion of students (approximately 15%) receives increased levels of support, usually through targeted interventions and differentiated instruction in tier two. A few students (approximately 5%) may require even more intensive support which is provided in tier three with individual one-on-one instruction. However, the tiered approach doesn’t limit students in one tier from receiving instruction in other tiers depending on their needs and ability levels (Moreno, 2015). School boards, schools, and individual classrooms are progressing at different rates with the implementation of the tiered model. This means that the individual needs of your child are also being addressed in different ways each school year.
The only person who can ensure your child is receiving the appropriate support to address his or her needs is YOU! But how can you help if you don’t have all the information? Montgomery Learning Solutions can assist you. As your advocate, we will work with the school to ensure your child’s needs are met in the classroom. As your advisor and educator, we will also help you set up affordable solutions outside the classroom so no more time or money is wasted.
Our approach aligns with the RTI approach using 3 simple steps:
ASSESSMENT to determine the needs of your child
IMPLEMENTATION of recommended resources and services
MEASUREMENT of your child’s progress while using the resources and services
Moreno, L. (2015). Perceived Educator Knowledge Of Response To Intervention (RTI). Semantics Scholar. Retrieved from: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Perceived-Educator-Knowledge-Of-Response-To-(RTI)-Moreno/14e7f11df4b7f97cf0a4fd1d19ce624b26b6a26b
National Center on Response to Intervention (2010): Essential Components of RTI, American Institutes for Research, Retrieved from: https://rti4success.org/essential-components-rti
People for Education, (2018). People for Education Annual Report (2018). https://peopleforeducation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/AnnualReport18_Web.pdf
Preston, A., Wood, C., Stecker, P. (2015). Response to Intervention: Where It Came From and Where It’s Going. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1045988X.2015.1065399