AIS and RTI Policy
Academic Intervention Services
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an understanding of what Academic Intervention Services are and how it is implemented for our elementary and middle school students.
Each school year, districts must develop a policy or review the existing policy for providing Academic Intervention Services (AIS). The median scale score between Levels 2 and 3 for the Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics assessments are provided below for the purpose of identifying students to receive AIS.
In addition to the NYS ELA and/or Math Assessment, schools also review and consider multiple measures which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Teacher recommendations
- Student Academic ELA/Math Portfolio
- Unit Exams
- Student Work Samples
- Beginning of Year/ End of Year benchmark assessments
- NYSESLAT Exams
- iReady/MAP Growth diagnostic data (if applicable)
- Quarterly grades
AIS ELA and Math instruction is designed to address individual student weaknesses. Our goals as educators are to identify and strengthen these weaknesses to help students be successful in their core ELA and/or math classrooms and to remediate any instructional gaps that may exist. For AIS services in a student’s identified area of need, schools provide instruction supplementary to what is occurring in the classroom. Scheduling options can include extra periods during the school day, before- and after-school programs, weekend tutorials programs and summer school. Computer-based learning is also suitable. Academic interventions in ELA and Math can be provided to students in four ways.
Students receiving push-in services will have an additional instructor in their appropriate academic class to clarify concepts, and work with students independently or in small groups.
Students receiving pull-out services are provided additional small group instruction to strengthen skills necessary for student success.
Students receiving monitor services will be observed and evaluated for additional services in appropriate areas. Instruction will be provided primarily by the classroom teacher.
Before/After School Programs
Students receiving afterschool services are provided additional instruction for student success in a small group setting before/after school hours.
Schools will provide written notification to the parents/guardians of students who have been identified to receive AIS; notification must be provided in writing, in English and in the preferred language or mode of communication of the parent, where appropriate. The notification must inform the family of the services the student will receive, the reason the student needs such services, and the consequences of not achieving expected performance levels. The school also must notify parents/guardians when it terminates AIS for a student. Schools do not need parent permission to start or to end AIS.
While a student is receiving AIS, the school must maintain ongoing communication to parents or guardians regarding their child’s AIS program, including:
- Quarterly reports on the student’s academic progress in response to the intervention services
- At least once per semester, an opportunity to consult with the student's regular classroom teacher(s) and the school staff providing AIS for their child
- Information on ways to work with their child to improve achievement, monitor their progress, and work with educators.
At any time during the school year a student can be referred for AIS in ELA and/or Math by their counselor and/or classroom teacher. The AIS team reviews students’ progress throughout the year, collaborates with our classroom teachers, and discusses what students need. It is the primary goal of the AIS team and classroom teachers to meet the individual needs of our students so that they will be successful. If you have questions about the level of service your child is receiving, you may contact his or her classroom teacher or any member of the AIS team.
Clarence G. Ellis
Response to Intervention
Response to Intervention (RtI) is a multi-tiered instruction and intervention model that promotes early identification of students in need of additional support. For students who are identified for RtI services by a universal screening assessment, it mandates the provision of evidence-based instruction and intervention driven by diagnostic testing and progress monitoring. Where there is a lack of response to intervention, schools are required to provide increased levels of intensity, typically in three tiers of service.
The first, tier one, is provided in the classroom by the classroom teacher in the form of differentiated supports. Where the student does not make adequate progress in this tier, there is a move to a more intensive tier of targeted instruction, tier two, provided in small groups of three to five students by a teacher other than the classroom teacher. Where there is insufficient response in this tier after a reasonable (but not lengthy) period of time, the student is provided with tier three instruction which is the most intensive format of instruction provided in groups of one to three students and delivered by an intervention specialist. Only when tier three does not elicit sufficient response can the student be referred for an evaluation for special education services.
New York State requires that all schools provide RtI for students in grade in K–4; New York City extends the mandate to the fifth grade. Although RtI is not a formal requirement in the middle school grades, schools may choose to embed RtI/MTSS structures into their AIS programs in order to ensure that academic intervention leads to academic recovery and that students are properly identified for special education referral accurately and where warranted.
Students identified as needing interventions by the universal screening assessment begin receiving services at Tier 1, which take place in the core classroom. The Tier 1 program includes:
- An evidence-based academic program that includes explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary and reading comprehension within an uninterrupted 90-minute literacy block.
- Appropriate scaffolding and differentiation of instruction.
- Progress monitoring to identify students who are not making adequate academic progress at Tier 1 level of instructional intensity.
For students who are not making adequate progress in response to Tier 1 supports, schools provide greater intensity of service (Tier 2) in which:
- Students receive targeted evidence-based intervention in sessions of at least 20–30 minutes, three to five days a week.
- Appropriate targeted instruction is chosen using data from diagnostic and progress-monitoring assessments. The practitioner administers a progress-monitoring assessment to determine if the student is demonstrating adequate response to the intervention at the current level of intensity.
- If the student does not show sufficient response to appropriate Tier 2 interventions after a reasonable time period established by the RtI team, the practitioner should consider moving the student to Tier 3 to provide more intensive services. The school can end Tier 2 services and provide support at a Tier 1 level if the student shows sufficient progress.
Tier 3 is the most intensive level of RtI services, indicated for students who have not responded to interventions at Tiers 1 and 2. At Tier 3:
- Students receive targeted evidence-based intervention in groups of one or two students in sessions of 30–60 minutes, four to five days a week.
- Appropriate targeted instruction is chosen using data from diagnostic and progress-monitoring assessments. The practitioner should administer a progress-monitoring assessment at least once a week to determine if the student is demonstrating adequate response to the intervention at the current level of intensity.
- If the student does not show sufficient response to appropriate Tier 3 interventions after a reasonable time period established by the RtI team, a referral for a special education evaluation should be considered. The school can end Tier 3 services and provide support at a Tier 2 level or if the student shows sufficient progress.
Each school must convene a team that regularly oversees the school wide RtI program. The team should include a range of members of the school community, including administrators, general and special education teachers, counselors, speech and language providers, and AIS specialists. The mission of the team is to oversee identification of all aspects of the RtI program, including assessments, interventions, student response to specific targeted interventions, and movement of students between the tiers and establish reasonable time frames for time spent in each tier.
NYSED requires that parents be notified in their home language when Tier 1 services are mandated and when their child moves to a different tier. The notification must include:
- The performance data that was used to make the determination to mandate RtI services;
- The specific services that will be provided;
- The strategies that will be used to improve services; and
- The right of the parent to request an evaluation for special education services at any time.
Although notification is required, parent permission is not necessary for the school to begin or terminate RtI services for the child.
Clarence G. Ellis