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    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    2-20-08/1:00 pm CT

    Confirmation #9201793

    Page 1


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    February 20, 2008

    1:00 pm CT

    Coordinator: Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time all participants are in a

    listen-only mode. During the question and answer session, please press Star 1

    on your touchtone phone.

     Today’s conference is being recorded, if anyone has any objections you may

    disconnect at this time. I will now turn the call over to Ms. Dawn Williams,

    you may begin.

    Dawn Williams: Good morning everyone and welcome to the call and good afternoon to

    (Lucia). This morning’s call is going to on response to intervention as it

    relates to early childhood programs. And I just want to cover a few logistics

    before we get into the call.

     There was a PowerPoint and evaluation form emailed out to you this morning.

    If you had any difficulty in receiving or opening that PowerPoint presentation

    you can call or email Annelle Bogus, her phone number is 206-615-3648 and

    her email is And you’re having difficulty with

    that you can contact her and she will send it out to you.


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    2-20-08/1:00 pm CT

    Confirmation #9201793

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     And also, there will be a transcript of the call which will be posted on the

    (TNTA) Web site afterwards. And we’re going to have a question and answer

    period at the end after we go through the PowerPoint, so if you could hold on

    to your questions until then that would be perfect.

     And now I would like to introduce (Lucia). (Lucia) is the bilingual research

    and information specialist at ET, it’s the National Dissemination Center for

    Children with Disabilities. And she has a Bachelors Degree in Physiology and

    a Masters Degree in Education in Human Development and is also working on

    her Doctoral in Early Childhood Special Education.

     (Lucia) has extensive training in typical and atypical early childhood

    development and early intervention services for children with disabilities.

    She’s worked with children from birth to five years old at their homes and it

    includes a childcare setting and also as an assistant teacher at a daycare center.

     She also worked at as a case manager fro county early intervention programs

    and she provides information about (IVA) the special education laws and to

    the public at national conferences. So, she comes with a wealth of experience

    that’s quite relevant to early childhood. I’m very pleased that she could do this

    call for us. (Lucia)?

(Lucia): Hi, good morning and thank you for having me. It’s my pleasure to be here

    today and to be able to do this call. I’m a little soft spoken, so if people can’t

    hear me, just let me know and I’ll speak up.

     But as Dawn was saying, you know the topic of this presentation is just

    response to intervention and early childhood programs. So, I’m just basically

    going to go through the PowerPoint and hopefully you guys will have it in


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    2-20-08/1:00 pm CT

    Confirmation #9201793

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    front of you and you can see it and again if you don’t, then we can always try

    to email it to you.

     But the agenda that I have is just to have a basic history of the law as an

    introduction. Then to have the review of what RTI is, response to intervention,

    how RTI impacts early childhood programs, and then an overview of

    recognition and response, what that is. We’re going to have a few resources

    for you and again, the questions and answers will be at the end.

     The history of the law, in 1975 (PL94142) was passed. And this was to

    provide a free and appropriate public education for school age students with

    disabilities who were eligible for special education. And then of course

    services were provided under their IEP.

     Throughout the years there have been more and more reauthorizations and

    these reauthorizations place more emphases on prevention. We wanted to

    catch these kids earlier, that’s when pre-school programs were established and

    (Part C) came into effect. I believe that was in ’97.

     So, IDEA 2004 now, this is the first time that the law includes language from

    No Child Left Behind. No Child Left Behind has been around for a long time

    and the last reauthorization the name has changed that’s why many people

    think it’s a new law.

     But, now with this new language they hold district, schools, administrators

    and teachers accountable for student’s proficiency in reading, writing and

    math skills. It also talks about creating a system to decrease the number of

    students failing and those that are in special education do to lack of instruction

    versus an actual disability.


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    2-20-08/1:00 pm CT

    Confirmation #9201793

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     And then a little bit about the discrepancy model versus RTI. A discrepancy

    model was used to identify children with learning disabilities, but it also did

    not distinguish between students who actually had deficients do to lack of

    instruction versus an actual learning disability. So, this is sort RTI comes in to


     The next Slide talks about what IDEA 2004 says. And I put in there just a

    small section of the new language and the legislation. I’m not going to read it

    all to you, but basically this part of the law prompted a growing movement in

    the learning disability field to shift the focus again away from that discrepancy

    model and towards early intervening combined with high quality instruction.

     And the reauthorized IDEA included the RTI approach as one of the options

    that schools can use to identify students with learning disabilities. (Ideal) also

    authorizes the LEA to use funds for RTI services to children beginning at


     Now, we hit the second topic on our agenda. A review of what RTI is. So

    what is it? Well, we know that that the origin is already, as I had been saying

    traced to the field of learning disabilities, we shift away from that discrepancy


     It is also an approach for school age children, it’s used with school age

    children. It is based on quality of general education curriculum and it benefits

    all students, not just those that have learning difficulties. It also provides

    intervention right away instead of having to wait for an evaluation, seeing if a

    child is eligible for special education. Its purpose is to keep children from

    having to wait and fail before they receive services.


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    2-20-08/1:00 pm CT

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    Woman: (Lucia), does RTI only apply to children with learning disabilities and not any

    other disabilities?

    (Lucia): No, no its just that’s where it, that’s the background that, you know it began

    with children with learning disabilities. But, it can be provided to any child. It

    could be behavior issues, it could be any difficulties that a teacher or an adult

    observes, they could try to provide services right away.

Woman: Okay.

    (Lucia): But, with everything you read mostly about learning disabilities because that’s

    where it originates.

Woman: Okay.

    (Lucia): So, again RTI is just a new approach for sorting out whether a struggling child

    is really a child with a disability as defined by IDEA or if he or she just needs

    more intense regular educational strategies to succeed in school.

     Next it says, we’ll look at some of the requirements or some of the

    components in this new approach. It’s a systematic approach using research

    based interventions. We’ll go into this a little more. There should also be

    collaboration between the general and the special education teachers.

     There have to be goals and expectations throughout the whole approach. It

    also provides explicit instruction. So, this could be things to address a

    (unintelligible) awareness, fluency, comprehension, things of that sort. There

    has to be progress monitoring.


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

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     There has to be formal assessments. Some models of this approach also

    include a problem solving process in which one, they identify the problem.

    Two, the problem is define, an intervention plan is designed, that plan is

    implemented and there’s a continuous evaluation of that plan to make changes

    as needed.

     So, in theory the results of all that problem solving process should solve the

    problem and should provide the additional support that a child needs to

    succeed in school.

     RTI is basically a three-tier model. It usually consists of three tiers or levels of

    assistance. It is used to serve academics and behavior. It’s also used for

    service delivery and to assist with decision making when a student should

    move from one tier to another.

     So, the first tier is what is called the universal or the core tier. And this

    includes all research base, it provides quality instruction to all students.

    Students should be monitored and screened to make that they’re learning at

    this level.

     The second tier is what’s called targeted or the strategic tier. And it consists of

    providing more supplemental intervention and it has additional progress

    monitoring. So, we want to make that these kids are, if they’re not doing well

    continuously monitoring their progress. These are the students that are at risk

    and the ones that need additional supports.

     The third tier is the intensive tier. And this is, students in this tier have more

    intense needs. They’re provided with intense instruction. Their progress is

    monitored much more frequently and they may also receive more

    comprehensive evaluations instead of just screening.


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    2-20-08/1:00 pm CT

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     So, when a child is identifies as struggling to learn either through screening or

    through teacher observations, RTI may be used to see how the child responds

    to deliberate research based interventions or any other kind of direct support.

     If the child still fails to learn adequately in that first level of help, then he or

    she is moved to that second level. And if he’s failing to learn in that second

    level then he would go to that third level.

     You know then the supports and the strategies become more intense as he

    moves through the tiers. And progress should be closely monitored so that the

    school will know if the child is learning or is improving.

     And if the student is not responding then there may be a referral for an

    evaluation under IDEA to determine if the child is eligible for special

    education or related services.

     One of the things that I think concerns people about this model is that there’s

    no clear knowledge about the duration or the intensity of the intervention that

    should be provided to the children. And also that there isn’t really what known

    benchmarks should be used to figure out when more intervention is needed.

     So, I guess one of the negatives is that maybe the teachers will continue to try

    different things or will just provide intense instruction instead of making that

    referral. But, a referral can always be made at any point, whether they’re using

    RTI or not if there’s a true concern. I just wanted to clarify that.

     So, now that brings us to the third topic on our agenda which is RTI’s impact

    on early childhood programs. And we know that, we all know, I mean we all

    work with early childhood, so we know that early intervention is effective.


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    2-20-08/1:00 pm CT

    Confirmation #9201793

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    And that’s why the law has changed its emphasis on prevention and early

    intervention throughout the years.

     There’s a study that (Lion) and others did, which shows that prevention

    studies in reading commonly show that 70% to 98% of at risk children, which

    is the bottom 20 percentile in Kindergarten through second grade can learn to

    read in average range. So, that’s huge, I mean that just really shows that we

    can make a difference early on for those children that are at risk.

     So, what does RTI mean to early childhood programs? RTI is a really good

    match with early childhood because early childhood studies stress the

    importance of program quality to all children. We’re always hearing about

    that. Children have to be in a good quality childcare or daycare in order for

    them to learn and succeed.

     The other thing is that more and more States are beginning to offer some type

    Pre-K program to children around age four that means that these young

    children are in school earlier. There’s also an emphasis on helping children to

    acquire school readiness concepts prior to Kindergarten to help close that

    achievement gap. So, early childhood program now teach early literacy, they

    need to meet early learning standards, all of which begin to teach academics,

    ready, writing, math skills.

     But, that also means that when teachers are working with these young kids,

    we can try to detect early on when a child has, of course showing a learning


     And the last is that there are, there’s a system in place to provide for free and

    appropriate public education to pre-school children. Now the (unintelligible)

    with that is that they have to be eligible for special education. Many times the


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    2-20-08/1:00 pm CT

    Confirmation #9201793

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    difficulties that we see with children is that the difficulties that they’re

    showing are pre-cursers to learning disabilities, but that may not necessarily

    make them eligible for special education, but its important to provide services


     And when these children aren’t eligible for special education that’s really the

    only type of service that can be provided at this point. So, RTI in early

    childhood programs really does make sense.

     Our next Slide basically again it just, it helps to identify learning disabilities

    earlier in young children. Because of this, parents can become aware of their

    child’s difficulties earlier. They can advocate for their child. They can, you

    know makes those referrals earlier for special education under learning


     And it’s also important to know that skills that prevent learning disabilities

    can be taught, but these skills must be taught early in school. Again, we know

    providing these services early on really makes sense.

     Another thing is that RTI uses sound instructional strategies that means

    research based strategies. It helps the kids now, again we just talk about how

    usually children are not provided services until later when they’re eligible and

    for special education. And usually children are not identified eligible for

    learning disabilities until their second or third grade. That’s a big gap between

    early childhood and eight or nine years old. And the referral to special

    education can be more appropriate.

     And now, I guess will just bring us to the fourth topic on the agenda, which is

    an overview of recognition and response. And this is really, this is what’s

    known, this is basically like the RTI model, but for early childhood.


    Moderator: Dawn Williams

    2-20-08/1:00 pm CT

    Confirmation #9201793

    Page 10

     It’s an emerging practice, it’s based off of the RTI model. It’s also just a new

    way of thinking about making sure that all children have the best opportunities

    to learn.

     It helps identify young children at risk for learning disabilities. Young

    children being children in between the three and five age group. It provides

    strategies to the care takers. It’s designed to insure that these young children

    in all types of early care and education settings receive the attention they need

    to be successful in school.

     It also prevents children from failing, from being referred for an evaluation,

    for being place in special education when they may not be eligible again,

    because of, you know we had talked about before.

     But, recognition and response is really meant for all children. And it helps

    adults pay attention to the overall quality of the early learning experiences.

    And when children show any signs of struggle, then this approach can be used

    and it includes steps that should be taken to modify the program to

    individualize the instruction and to provide very specific types of support to

    help that particular child.

     It also makes sure that adults are always monitoring the child’s progress and

    that’s done over time and in different environments. And all of this

    information is shared among all of the child’s care takers. That includes

    teachers or parents, anybody.

     So, then how does recognition and response work? Again, it’s built on the RTI

    approach, we had said that before. And when parents and teachers recognize

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