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Developing High-Performing Pre- Referral Intervention Teams

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Presentation on theme: "Developing High-Performing Pre- Referral Intervention Teams"— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing High-Performing Pre- Referral Intervention Teams
Beyond Bureaucracy! Developing High-Performing Pre- Referral Intervention Teams

2 The Educational Leader’s Role
Administrative support, is the most important factor influencing the effectiveness of pre-referral intervention activities. Most administrators have limited knowledge and skill about pre-referral intervention activities.

3 The Educational Leader’s Role (continued)
School administrator’s create the conditions that either support or discourage the effectiveness of pre-referral intervention teams. Educational leaders must have the knowledge and skill required to design, establish and support effective problem-solving teams.

4 Five Phase Model Analysis and Decision Making Planning and Preparation
Start-Up Providing Assistance Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

5 Analysis and Decision Making
Phase 1 Analysis and Decision Making

6 Advantages vs. Disadvantages
Poor or low levels of implementation of pre-referral practices generates no significant difference in student performance.

7 Benefits Reduction of inappropriate referrals to special education.
- Cost savings due to fewer inappropriate special education referrals. Timely and responsive interventions. Enhanced teachers skills and attitudes. More inclusive, collaborative school environment.

8 Costs Increased demands on time and energy of referring teacher.
Threatening nature of shifting focus for the source of the student’s “problems”.

9 Feasibility Are there factors that will be major obstacles to initiating and sustaining high quality pre-referral intervention programs? Political barriers Structural/Material barriers Cultural barriers Personal

10 Decisions Do the benefits of making the changes required outweigh the costs associated with those changes? Is it feasible to make the required changes considering your current circumstances?

11 Establishing and Analyzing the Task
Step 1 – Describe the task the pre-referral intervention team is expected to accomplish as specifically and concretely as possible.

12 Example Our schools’ pre-referral intervention teams will serve as a systematic, collaborative, problem-solving team. All of the teachers can access this team for assistance with creating and implementing interventions designed to eliminate or mitigate student’s learning, behavior, health or social-emotional problems.

13 Establishing and Analyzing the Task (continued)
Step 2 – Determine who will receive or review the outcomes of the services the pre-referral intervention team provides. Step 3 – Determine how those receiving or reviewing the services will assess the quality of the services received.

14 Sample Statement Teachers accessing this service will believe they have been provided with effective ideas that can be realistically implemented in their classrooms. District administration will see a decrease in the number of referrals to special education, with a high percentage of those being referred being eligible for classification. Most importantly, students of the teachers accessing this service will demonstrate improved academic performance and/or classroom conduct that generalizes across time and settings.

15 Establishing and Analyzing the Task (continued)
Step 4 –Evaluate the relative importance of effort, knowledge and skill, and performance strategies to the successful completion of the task.

16 Establishing Authority
Leader’s role in relation to the pre-referral intervention team. Support of the school leader is essential. Membership on the team may be detrimental. Inhibit discourse because of fear of being evaluated/appearing less competent. Inhibit discourse because of deference to leader’s opinions.

17 Establishing Authority (continued)
Analyze task demands to determine nature and types of authority team must have to effectively complete their task. Will team members be willing to operate within this level of authority?

18 Areas to Consider Ability to call upon knowledge and skills of other staff members for solving various types of classroom problems. Curricular and instructional modifications. Expenditure of funds.

19 Phase 2 Planning and Preparation

20 Team Composition Composition of the team has a direct and significant impact upon the amount of knowledge and skill the team can apply to their collaborative problem solving activities.

21 Team Composition (continued)
Dysfunction tends to occur in large groups. - Difficulties making decisions and coordinating activities. Ideal group size between 4 and 6 members. - “ad-hoc” members when necessary.

22 Team Composition (continued)
Step one - review staff members and determine who has high levels of task relevant expertise. knowledge of curriculum and instruction classroom management skills classroom assessment techniques differentiate or individualize instruction

23 Team Composition (continued)
Step two – Determine individuals identified in step one that also have at least moderate levels of collaborative skill? Communicate effectively. Interest in assisting colleagues.

24 Team Composition (continued)
Step Three –Balance between the homogeneity and heterogeneity of team members. Wider the variety of training and expertise, greater the range of interventions and support that can be offered. Too much diversity makes it difficult to understand and coordinate with one another.

25 Designing and Communicating the Task
Design and communicate the task in a manner that team members perceive as being both clear and motivating.

26 Motivating Potential of Tasks
Require use of a variety of members’ talents and skills. Result in completion of a “whole” and identifiable piece of work. Provide opportunity to make a significant, meaningful difference. Provide substantial freedom, independence, and discretion for scheduling task related activities and determining procedures. Provide feedback mechanisms so the group receives trustworthy feedback about their performance.

27 Task Clarity If the task is to be clear to team members, they must understand the parameters within which they must work. - Constraints and requirements Team members must know who will be using and reviewing the group’s services, as well as the standards they will apply.

28 School and District Supports
Staff development and training Data and information Rewards and recognition Material resources

29 Staff Development and Training
Access to training and technical assistance required. May require or benefit from outside expertise. Must know who has the relevant knowledge and skills, and how these individuals can be accessed.

30 Data Determine basic information team members need to conduct collaborative problem-solving activities and then make it possible for members to access this data. - No data means strategies developed will be left to chance.

31 Rewards and Recognition
Team provided with something members value collectively, increases the probability actions will be repeated. contingent on demonstrated excellence team based

32 Material Resources Determine material resources required and provide those resources. Not provided with the necessary resources, commitment to process will be minimal or frustration may result from additional expectations placed upon team members.

33 The Team Charter Template designed to organize the information collected or decided on in phase one and two.

34 Phase Three The Start-Up

35 Team Boundaries Staff members part of multiple teams.
Some more established and permanent. Members of the temporary, less well developed team prematurely seek input from more established, permanent teams. Divisions as how to proceed. Frustration & Poor performance result

36 Core Team Members Individuals sharing responsibility for completion of the group task. - Accountable for final product or decision. Must know who is and is not a team member.

37 Task Redefinition Administrator believes task is clearly understood once it is explained. Rarely the case. Especially true when there are multiple or conflicting objectives. - Speed vs. Quality

38 Redefining the Task Explain team’s charter
team’s task effectiveness criteria task parameters Process understanding of the task.

39 Behavioral Norms Members bring assumptions about appropriate group behavior. Rarely discussed explicitly. Norms developed ineffective for task completion.

40 Behavioral Norms (continued)
Focus explicit attention on types of behaviors valued – ways in which work will be managed. Norms will evolve Providing assistance in beginning gets process off to a good start.

41 Sample Norms We will start and end our meetings on time.
We will actively listen to each other’s ideas and opinions. We will place value on opinions based on the knowledge and skills of the individual and not the position they hold. We will remain focused on the topic or task. We will come to meetings prepared.

42 Roles Reassuring/Productive to know who assumes what role in team.
Responsibilities assigned to each role. Avoids overlap in completion of tasks/tasks not being completed.

43 Roles/Responsibilities
Team Coordinator – Responsibility & authority to coordinate team activities. Receive referrals Establish case priorities Schedule meetings Consult with referring teachers

44 Roles/Responsibilities (continued)
Resource group – Remaining team members - Use experience/expertise to generate alternatives. Referring teacher – has attempted interventions. Is seeking new ideas. He or she selects the ideas to be implemented.

45 Importance of Start-Up Meeting
Groups that get off to a good start perform better over time. Problems of groups that struggle in the beginning compound over time. Best time for authoritative intervention.

46 Start-Up Meeting Agenda
Introductions/Ice-Breaker Review of Team Charter Task-redefinition activity Team norms activity Team roles and responsibilities Date for initial training on collaborative problem-solving process

47 Initial Collaborative Problem-Solving Process Training
Must be done in teams. Should occur prior to team working with “clients”.

48 Training Agenda Overview of flowchart describing process
Explanation of plan components Explanation of collaborative-problem solving process Problem identification Problem analysis Plan implementation Plan review Role-play activities

49 Staff Awareness Staff members must know
purpose of the team responsibilities as referring teacher process used for requesting assistance Staff meeting, memo, staff handbook

50 Sample Handbook Statement
The purpose of the school’s pre-referral intervention team is to engage in collegial, collaborative problem-solving activities focused on assisting teachers in developing strategies for challenging student behavior, academic or health concerns. This is a voluntary activity and is not intended to serve as a barrier to initiating referrals for special education evaluations. Any teacher initiating a referral to this team is expected to complete parts I and II of the Pre-referral Intervention Plan form. Copies of this form are located in ____________. Upon completing this form, submit it in a sealed envelope to ___________________. He or she will then contact you to inform you of the status of your request and if appropriate, schedule the initial pre-referral intervention team meeting. All information discussed pertaining to the intervention process must be held in strict confidence. Staff is not to discuss any personally identifiable information with anyone outside the official function of this process. Should you have any questions about completing this form or the purpose of this team please contact ______________.

51 Staff Training for Teachers
Curriculum based measurement Observable, measurable target behavior Collect data - 6-8 data points at different times Determine level of progress required for intervention to be successful. Determine time provided to reach goal. Graph data – Aim line (median plotted baseline data point & long-range goal data point).

52 Phase Four Assistance

53 Eliminating Barriers Initial design features likely are flawed.
Team members accept flaws as inevitable and unchangeable. No actions taken to revise context or structure. Lower quality products or decisions.

54 Administrator’s Role Provide scheduled, structured opportunities for review and renegotiation of design/context. - What is currently impeding the group’s performance and what if anything, could be done about it? Resist temptation to solve group’s problems.

55 Technology Effective Leadership Solutions, LLC. ( has developed a software program designed to automate the management of all the forms and procedures. Create, share, save and archive parental notices and pre-referral intervention plans. Automatically compile program evaluation reports.

56 Reflection Activities
Group functioning never thoughtfully or systematically examined. Frequently pushed aside in favor of task completion activities. Teams rarely improve their ability to work effectively/efficiently on future tasks.

57 Administrator’s Role Reflection activities scheduled and structured.
Content of reflection Behavioral norms Roles and responsibilities Outcome Collectively developed goal statement for improving processes. - Revisit/Revise at next team maintenance meeting.

58 Process Assistance Two specific aspects of group process
Assisting with weighing inputs and sharing knowledge. Coordinating efforts and fostering commitment.

59 Weighing inputs/sharing knowledge
Value of individual’s knowledge and skill limited by weighting of team member’s contributions. Educators neither skilled nor practiced in sharing task-relevant knowledge.

60 Weighing inputs/sharing knowledge
Individuals task relevant knowledge extra credence because More experience Important/powerful political connections Present their views most persuasively Result is lower quality product or decision.

61 Coordinating Efforts/Fostering Commitment
Coordinate activities to minimize wasted effort Greatest possible contributions from each member Increased effort from Valuing membership Finding collaborative work rewarding

62 Educational Leader’s Role
Process coach Monitor and facilitate Intervene only if necessary. - Risk “meddling” in team affairs

63 Phase Five Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

64 Difficulties Evaluation is complex Evaluation is multidimensional
No clearly defined right-or-wrong answers Limited control over variables influencing outcomes Evaluation is multidimensional Teacher/team member satisfaction with processes Outcomes of process

65 Evaluation Tools Pre-referral Intervention Team Report
Number of requests for assistance Student characteristics Outcomes of requests Completed on a regularly scheduled basis

66 Evaluation Tools Pre-referral Intervention Team Rating Scale
Team members’ perceptions of team process Satisfaction with serving as a team member

67 Evaluation Tools Teacher satisfaction survey
Referring teacher’s satisfaction with assistance received Completed in close proximity to team’s plan review meeting - Anonymous if possible

68 Data Analysis/Action Planning
Collaborative with team Process Identify areas of concern Determine highest priorities Complete action plans to make improvements Follow-up

69 Connecting Pre-Referral Intervention Teams and RTI

70 Working Hypothesis RTI and prereferral share many common goals and features Prereferral teams can serve as the mechanism for the delivery of RTI Only if we improve and supplement our current Prereferral programs

71 Characteristics of both Programs
Primarily a general education program Identification of students at risk due to insufficient progress in academics or behavior Individualized plans designed to meet specific student needs Teacher support & training for plan implementation

72 Characteristics of both Programs (continued)
On-going monitoring of the success of interventions Data based decision-making Coordinated and flexible movement within the service programs of the school district Communication between stakeholders

73 The Connection Perfectly positioned to identify “at-risk” pool of learners Can conduct collaborative problem-solving activities leading to individualized intervention plans Link research-based resources to student’s needs Use decision rules & progress monitoring data, to manage movement within tiers

74 Universal Screening Administer curriculum-based “probes”
Address data gathered during universal screening process Identify students in bottom 10th percentile Determine need for intervention planning - Teacher screening questionnaire. assessment data collected reflects students’ typical performance. Enter students not identified into “at-risk” pool

75 Caution Class has a disproportionate number of students falling within bottom 10% - Administrator may need to facilitate a classroom level intervention

76 Individualized Problem-Solving and Planning
Use problem-solving approach to determine interventions - List of scientifically based, research methodologies designed to address specific needs

77 RTI Process

78 Tier Placement and Management
Decision rules and ongoing assessment data used to determine ending, continuing or modifying interventions. - Rules guide movement within tiers Students move along in tiers, interventions specified and progress monitoring become more intensive.

79 Special Education Evaluation
Research-based interventions done with fidelity are unsuccessful - Unlikely due to inadequacies in curriculum and instruction Referral for a special education evaluation initiated Data gathered, organized and provided to CST

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