ORTIi Goals & Project Outcomes
The Oregon Response to Instruction and Intervention Project is focused on improving the skills and knowledge of educators across the state of Oregon in order to help them improve the academic outcomes for all students. Specific targets include:
- Increasing the percentage of students reading proficiently by third grade and beyond
- Decreasing the achievement gaps that exist between student groups with different racial/ethnic, economic, and language backgrounds
- Decreasing the percentage of students who need the most intensive level of academic support, including those students identified with Specific Learning Disabilities
The Oregon Response to Instruction and Intervention Project is focused on improving academic outcomes for students in every school district. Across the dozens of school districts that have participated in the project over the past 10 years, most have seen an increase in the percentage of students identified as proficient readers, and a reduction in the percentage of students needing the most intensive level of reading supports, including those students identified with Specific Learning Disabilities. Students in ORTIi school districts are also more likely to meet or exceed proficiency criteria on the statewide reading assessment (previously the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, currently the Smarter Balanced Assessments) than those students in non-ORTIi school districts.
Most ORTIi school districts have seen an increase in the percentage of students identified as proficient readers, and a reduction in the percentage of students needing the most intensive level of reading supports, including those students identified with Specific Learning Disabilities.
Changing Academic Trajectories
More Students are Proficient Readers
The vast majority (79%) of actively participating Oregon RTIi School Districts increased the percentage of students identified as proficient readers (Grades 1-3) during the 2015-16 school year.
District implementing RTI systems have seen strong growth in student reading skills, and vast improvement in the number of students meeting important reading benchmarks.
Students in ORTIi school districts are also more likely to meet or exceed proficiency criteria on the statewide reading assessments than those students in non-ORTIi school districts.
What ORTIi Schools Accomplished
In the last two years, school in ORTIi successfully altered the reading trajectories for 1,517 at-risk readers in grades 1-3, and put them on a path to be successful readers.
More At-Risk Students Now On-Track to be Successful Readers
With what we know about the importance of early literacy skills, that means that 1,517 Oregon elementary students who began a year at risk for reading failure, possible identification of a Learning Disability, or future school dropout, ended the year on-track to be successful in school and beyond.
Teachers Improving Instruction for the Benefit of All Students
“The most beneficial aspect of participating in the Oregon RTI project is that we have set district goals, teach to fidelity our core program, and are working daily to strengthen our teaching so that our students reading skills grow and improve through best practices in instruction.”
The Power of Core Instruction
Although results vary from school to school, numerous schools have achieved impressive growth in just a year’s time by focusing on improving instruction for all students
In the example at left, the kindergarten teacher team at Jefferson Elementary School demonstrates what is possible to achieve with set district goals, teaching with fidelity to the core reading curriculum, and collaborating to strengthen instruction. In the fall of 2015, 52% of students entered performing well below benchmark in reading, making them at high risk for academic failure. In contrast, with just one year of effective reading instruction, 90% of students ended kindergarten above benchmark and on the path for future reading success!
"We teach them until they learn."
Listen as this dynamic teacher team explains how their teaching impacts students.
Valuing Equity and Closing the Achievement Gap
Improved Outcomes for ALL Students
Another focus of ORTIi schools has been decreasing the achievement gap between historically underserved student populations and their peers. By focusing on improving school culture, data-based decision making practices, and explicit instruction matched to the needs of all students, some schools have also been able to significantly reduce their achievement gaps.
Oregon School Districts who have had at least 5 years to build and sustain Response to Intervention Systems, with the support of ORTIi, have outperformed the state with several historically underserved groups, including Economically Disadvantaged students and Hispanic/Latino students.
The graph at the right shows example data from an ORTIi elementary school with 31% of the student population indicating Latino/Hispanic background. Over the course of three years, this school has reduced the achievement gap between White and Latino students in reading proficiency from 28% to 18%!
By focusing on improving school culture, data-based decision making practices, and explicit instruction matched to the needs of all students, some schools have been able to significantly reduce their achievement gaps.
Hispanic/Latino Students in ORTIi Districts Outperforming State Average
In 2015, most ORTIi school districts' percentage of Hispanic/Latino students passing the Reading SBAC outperformed the state average. Specifically, 16 out of 22 districts (or 73% of ORTIi districts) had more Hispanic/Latino students pass the state average of 26.9% on the Smarter-Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) reading statewide assessment in third grade. In fact, many ORTIi districts had their percentage of third grade Hispanic/Latino students double or even triple the state average of percentage of Hispanic/Latino students passing the SBAC. One high performing ORTIi district even had 72.2% of their third grade Hispanic/Latino students pass the Reading SBAC proficiency criteria.
"The most beneficial aspect of participating in ORTIi is...I have an entire staff that is bought into this process, understands it far better, and is working more collaboratively to relentlessly intervene for our students.”
Improved Outcomes for Economically Disadvantaged Students
Oregon School Districts who have had at least 5 years to build and sustain Response to Intervention Systems, with the support of ORTIi, have outperformed the state with several historically underserved groups, including Economically Disadvantaged students.
In 2015, Economically Disadvantaged students in ORTIi school districts outperformed the state average in the area of reading on the SBAC. Specifically, 20 out of 30 districts (or 67% of ORTIi districts) had more Economically Disadvantaged students pass the state average of 33.4% on the Smarter-Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) reading statewide assessment in third grade. One high performing ORTIi district had nearly twice the state average percentage of their third grade Economically Disadvantaged students pass the Reading SBAC proficiency criteria (60% as compared to 33.4% state average).
Preventing Learning Difficulties
“One of the programs that has proven incredibly effective at improving student outcomes here in Oregon is Response to Intervention... it is also shown to help reduce special education identification as students receive the early supports and interventions they need to be successful.”
-Deputy Superintendent [Rob] Saxton, April, 2014 (ODE News Release)
Preventing Learning Difficulties
“One of the programs that has proven incredibly effective at improving student outcomes here in Oregon is Response to Intervention,” said Deputy Superintendent [Rob] Saxton. “Thanks to additional funding provided through the Strategic Initiatives, we have been able to expand this program to 10 more school districts around the state. RTI not only helps students, and especially our special education students, be more successful, it is also shown to help reduce special education identification as students receive the early supports and interventions they need to be successful.”
-April, 2014 (ODE News Release)
Feedback from Participating Districts
Increased Staff Understanding & Implementation of RTI Systems
As part of the ORTIi project, school district staff have completed staff surveys addressing their understanding and implementation of RTI systems in their school districts. Results indicate an increased understanding and level of RTI implementation for school staff members who have participated in ORTIi for multiple years. Many participants agree that building their RTI system has increased:
- actionable feedback from principal walkthroughs
- strategies to improve core instructional practices
- teacher feedback in implementing RTI system
- efficiency of teacher collaboration
- improved student outcomes
- accuracy in identifying students with disabilities.
“Participating in the Oregon RTIi project has been the best initiative that our building has participated in during my time in the building.”
Regional & State-Wide Support (2015-16)
ORTIi provides support to school districts in a number of different ways, including both on-site trainings and consultation, as well as regional and statewide trainings hosted by ORTIi. The following are some key numbers for ORTIi support during the 2015-2016 school year:
Every child in every district receives the instruction that they need and deserve. . . .every day.
Cultivate the thinking and skills in leadership at all levels to build and sustain a comprehensive multi-level system of prevention and support that identifies and serves the instructional needs of all children.