Automating Your RTI/MTSS Process Part I: Data Aggregation
Jul 24, 2017
Stop and think about where you lose the most time with your RTI/MTSS process. No, really. Think about it.
Walk through the whole process. How do you get all of your student data in one place? How many different systems, Excel files, and local documents do you need to review and compile? Once you’ve gathered all that information for each student, how are you determining tiering criteria for each student? What are the intervention strategies that should be used? Do you go through folder by folder to determine each student tier, areas of need, and assign interventions? If you have a lot of movement between schools, the folder can get lost and will need to be rebuilt. Is it easily accessible by everyone?
How do you track progress in team or parent intervention review meetings? How do you determine who actually showed progress and can be removed from the intervention program? Do you have a cross-system view of student growth to assess which students have met exit criteria? Are these interventions done effectively and with fidelity? How is that determined? Are you trying enough intervention strategies before referring a student to your special education department?
Long story short, we know you have a lot on your plate. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help streamline your RTI/MTSS process and increase its impact, which will be presented as a three-part series on the OHS blog.
The methods presented in this series are applicable to all processes. Whether your student intervention program is run by support staff or administrators, tracked on a digital platform or paper, we’ve got you covered.
Today, let’s talk about that very first step: aggregating your data.
Get Your Data in a Shared Environment
Most schools lose time performing the critical first step of any successful student intervention program, comprehensive data collection. Effective intervention requires a holistic view of individual student performance that takes all facets of academic and behavioral performance into account. This requires analysis of data points that are typically stored in separate systems.
Teachers normally track student data in separate spreadsheets where information can be sorted and displayed in a myriad of ways. In addition to these running records, you need to pull in benchmark student data like DIBELS or AIMSWeb, then review instructional math/reading levels that sit in another system or spreadsheet, and also factor in high stakes state assessment results that may sit in yet another portal. When all of these metrics live in separate places, it’s hard to get the data points to talk to each other and present a clear picture of student understanding. When data is incorrectly compiled or not fully aggregated, you’re left with a painstakingly slow process of gathering information by hand that leaves plenty of room for error and missed growth opportunities.
Move everything to a shared digital environment. Still working with paper files? Upgrade to digital copies for increased accessibility with easier sharing options and organization. Use whatever platform works best for your school - Google Drive and Dropbox are great options, among others. Establish an easy procedure for teachers, support staff, and administrators to follow so that expectations are clear and data remains up to date. Set clear expectations around how a central shared spreadsheet should be updated, what to include, and when to update student information so that you have a holistic, current view of student performance.
If you’re looking to save even more time and streamline your intervention process, consider a system like EdInsight that immediately gets your data in one place. Our RTI/MTSS software automatically aggregates student data from the EdInsight Data Dashboard, pulling from your Student Information System, state test files, assessment data sources, special education systems, and local classroom data.
Once you’ve implemented a student data aggregation process for your RTI/MTSS system, the next step is determining student intervention criteria to make tiering decisions and monitor progress. We’ll cover tips to improve that process in part II of our RTI/MTSS automation series.
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