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RTI and Enrichment, Research Paper Example

Pages: 11

Words: 3012

Research Paper

Chapter 1: Background & Purpose

Policy, practice, or program choice

The selected policy and practice deal with a change to the curriculum offerings. The curriculum refers to the lessons and specific academic content that a school teaches to its students (Albalawi, 2018). The curriculum offered varies from school to school, an aspect that leads to outstanding variability in students’ educational content. Change implementation to the curriculum of Chaffin Middle School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is expected to result in massive alterations to the status quo at the learning institutions. A change in curriculum will dramatically alter the students’ perception, relay, and reception of information.

The plan aims to introduce a response to intervention (RTI) and enrichment program to Chaffin Middle School. The strategy will involve implementing an instructional program such that all students, such as those who are deficient or gifted in a particular instructional method, will be included in the program to ensure comprehensive support. The instruction implies that there are multiple areas of support given to all students within the school scenario. Overall, the change to the curriculum will involve implementing an RTI and enrichment system. The overall aim of the RTI and Enrichment is to ensure that all the students attending Chaffin Middle School achieve high success levels at the institution. The program is not only limited to the struggling students but also the high-achieving and gifted students and all the students in between.

Demographic information

The junior high schools located in Fort Smith, including Chaffin, implemented a new system in which the students in the 9th grade were moved out and the 6th graders brought in. The system change led to the re-orientation of Chaffin Junior High School into Chaffin Middle School. Some of the essential demographic information about the school is that, first, it consists of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades (Martin et al., 2018). Additionally, the school’s population is estimated to be 791 students. The teachers within the school are 57 in number, which results in the student-to-teacher ratio being 14:1. More so, the grades within the school are above average, given that 67% of the students are proficient in Math, while 74 are proficient in reading (greatschools.org). These values are above the state average for performance. The trend also extends to science, where the state average for proficiency is 39%, which is dismal compared to Chaffin’s performance of 63%. The school’s academic prowess was highlighted when it appeared in the top 10 schools within Arkansas in terms of academic achievement during the 2016-17 calendar year.

Chaffin Middle school is also involved in clubs and other extracurricular activities. Some of the programs within the school are athletics, choir, Partners in Christ, and the National Junior Honor Society. The school’s emphasis on clubs has resulted in exemplary performance, given that it is the back-to-back champion of the national quiz bowl. The high levels of participation in such events provide students with multiple opportunities to feel appreciated and contribute significantly to the school.

A significant subpopulation is a racial distribution within the school. The vast majority of the students within Chaffin Middle School are whites, who make up 61% of the student population (greatschools.org). The Asians, who form 8% of the population, are second in position. Blacks and Native American form 7% and 1% of the population, respectively. The subpopulation description is vital since it provides information on the racial distribution of the students.

Another demographic issue is the income distribution within the school. It is estimated that 26% of the students reporting to Chaffin Middle School come from low-income families (greatschools.org). However, regardless of this disparity, their performance levels are still above the national average. A key discrepancy lies in the performance of the black and low-income students within the school. They register significantly lower results than white students and students from affluent families. The income disparity is a major concern for the institution.

State/national standards

Arkansas is widely recognized due to the increased performance of its students in public schools. The state has invested vast resources in ensuring that the students learn in a conducive environment free of distraction. The plan by the school to introduce the RTI and enrichment program aligns with the mission of the state to provide high-level and equitable education. The state and national standards will be heightened since Chaffin Middle School will be able to derive higher performance levels from all of its students due to the RTI and enrichment programs. The move will drastically improve the performance levels of the students.

Why the plan should result in a “second-order change.”

A second-order change is an aspect of doing something fundamentally different from what was being done. The result of the action is that students get different experiences than those they were accustomed to (Agélii Genlott et al., 2019). The plan involves the implementation of an RTI and enrichment program for Chaffin Middle School. The plan, once initiated, cannot be reversed, further solidifying its status as a second-order change. The program will begin with daily checks, where the students and their instructors will meet to discuss grades and any difficulties experienced by the learners. The approach will allow the early performance rating of the students before their grades are severely affected. After the grading process, the students will be placed in the RTI and enrichment program. Inclusion in RTI and enrichment will enable the students to develop skills successfully. The students that will experience difficulties adapting to the RTI and enrichment program will receive additional instructions, which will typically happen on Wednesdays. As such, the RTI and enrichment plan is a second-order change since it will result in drastic changes to the instruction of the students with little potential of reversing the program after implementation.

Communication with various shareholders

Three main stakeholders have been identified for the RTI and enrichment program. The first group of stakeholders is the school leadership. Communication with the administration will take the form of a formal presentation, where they will be informed about the program and the strategies that will be needed to implement it. The communication also needs to appraise the leaders about their various roles, such as training teachers and adjusting their schedules to meet the demands of the RTI program. The second group of stakeholders is the teachers. The communication process will be done through collaborative associations, where they will be informed about the various requirements of the RTI and enrichment programs. The third group of stakeholders is the students, who will be the direct beneficiaries of the programs. The communication with them will be via an open-door policy where individual students or groups of students can ask about the program to enhance their comprehension.

Chapter 2: The Plan

Proposed improvement plan

The proposal improvement plan involves implementing an RTI and enrichment program for Chaffin Middle School. It is critical to note that the RTI and enrichment program is a single program aimed at improving student outcomes. The program is made up of two essential components. Component one is the authentic student instructions that occur daily. Here, students will be taken through daily advisory periods with their instructors to discuss their grades and any underlying issues. The advisory periods are expected to last for 25-30 minutes. Within the advisory meetings, the main objective will be to find out the needs of the students. A discussion of the student’s emotional, social, and educational status will also be done. The second component is the RTI and enrichment program. The inclusion in the programs will allow all students to increase their skills and academic outcomes (Coker, 2021). As such, the RTI and enrichment plan is designed to enhance the performance of all the students within Chaffin Middle School. The improvement plan is a second-order change that leads to a drastic change in the processes and curriculum within the school.

Specific data

The specific data that led to the RTI and enrichment improvement plan is the fact that despite the increased performance of Chaffin Middle School compared to other institutions in Arkansas, there was a significant disparity. Notably, the students from low-income families showed lower performance than those from middle- and high-income families. Also apparent was that the blacks performed dismally compared to the white students. Ensuring uniformity in student performance was essential for Chaffin High School.

Chaffin High School needed to bridge the performance gap between its high-performing students and the low-performing ones. The RTI and enrichment program was enacted as a possible solution to increase the performance levels of all the students to ensure parity is met. The initiative is important since it will deliver highly specialized instructions to the students, allowing them to elevate their performance levels. This will reduce academic disparity among the students attending Chaffin Middle School.

Incorporation of technology and data systems

The plan will incorporate technology and data systems to obtain the best outcomes for the students. The use of technology is vital for Chaffin Middle School since it is experiencing an increase in the number of enrollees, which calls for a better and more automated system to promote outstanding performance. The first technology is the coaching programs that provide students with online resources to engage in learning in various environments. The students will need internet connectivity and a mobile device to access multiple online lessons. The technology will allow students to access learning materials while reinforcing areas they are lacking. The second technology is digital learning aids, which will enable teachers to access teaching materials like graphs, books, posters, and writing material through the digital interface. It leads to the heightened delivery of instruction to the students, improving their outcomes.

The plan also incorporates data systems. The school will venture into big data to increase the students’ outcomes. It will require collecting data on the students’ performance levels on a routine basis. Some of the data include; the performance per subject, overall performance, and the comparison of performance trends. The use of big data will allow vast data collected from the students to be presented in simple forms like tables and graphs. The information can then be utilized to improve the student learning environment and outcomes.

Equitable, culturally responsive, and inclusive school culture

The plan leads to equitable school culture since it aims to bridge the gap between the high and the low performers. Such an approach will be attained through the targeted provision of instruction to the students to improve their performance. An equitable school culture will be possible because all the students will achieve high outcomes in their academic performance. There will be no discrepancy between the high and low achievers.

The plan is also culturally responsive since it considers the different cultural backgrounds of the students. Within Chaffin Middle School are white, black, Asian, and Native American students. They have their unique cultures, which the plan will harness, leading to high outcomes for all learners. The plan will promote the harmonious relationship between the different cultures, making it culturally responsive.

Inclusivity is another tenet promoted by the plan. The plan will be implemented throughout the school without preference for any particular group. The move will ensure that all students will benefit from the program. The sole inclusion criterion for the program is that the students belong to Chaffin Middle School. The inclusive approach of the plan will lead to high outcomes for the project.

Chapter 3: Fullan’s Model for Change

Initiation phase

Fullan’s Model for Change is a suitable change model which allows organizations to adapt to and successfully implement transformations. This model requires determination of the moral standing of leaders before embarking on a project (Fullan, 2007). The proposed change needs to demonstrate an increased interest for the organization members, which increases their likelihood of participation.

The initiation phase will be hallmarked by the decision to implement the project. Potential resistance can be from the teachers, who may resist the program due to failure to understand the details and benefits associated with the RTI and enrichment program. Another point of resistance is from the school leaders, who may perceive the second-order change from the RTI program to be disruptive to the current learning environment.

There are also anticipated barriers associated with the RTI and enrichment program. One of them lies in the financial disparities facing the program. Due to the drastic changes brought by the program, it will require budgetary approval to be implemented. Another barrier is the need for stakeholder buy-in to make the project a success. As such, teachers, students, and school leaders need to be involved in the project. The approach will consume much time, delaying the implementation of the project.

Collaboration during the initiation phase will be key for the project. Stakeholders such as diverse community members, partners, teachers, and the staff will be involved in developing the plan by seeking their input during the initiation phase. Further, each stakeholder will be allowed to elect a representative who will oversee their interests. The stakeholders will be more engaged when they feel that they are an essential part of the plan.

Implementation phase

The implementation phase will be characterized by carrying out the action plans and monitoring the progress of the RTI and enrichment program. Fullan’s change characteristics will be essential during the change process (Razavi et al., 2020). The first characteristic, need, will determine the degree to which the RTI and enrichment plan will be valued. A high need will lead to increased success of implementation. The second characteristic, clarity, will ensure that high lucidity levels during the project will lead to immeasurable outcomes. In contrast, providing a vague project description will limit the success of its implementation. Third, complexity is detrimental to project implementation. Simplifying the RTI and enrichment program will allow the stakeholders to understand the plan, promoting easy implementation. Lastly, the quality of the project is equally important. It should lead to heightened outcomes than the current performance standards to be considered viable.

The local and external factors can also impact the plan. Local factors include; the school district, the surrounding community, and the teachers (Razavi et al., 2020). Gaining their support and involvement will lead to the project’s success. An external factor during the implementation phase is the government. The project needs to conform to the government’s requirements and policies. Consequently, an uninterrupted implementation phase will be achieved.

Continuation phase

The continuation phase will be facilitated by ensuring its embedment into the school’s existing structure. The approach will make the plan a part of the school’s processes rather than making the school a part of the RTI and enrichment project. Policies constructed for the plan need to subscribe to the school’s existing policies. The budget needs to be within limits provided by the school and its board. Also, the timetable for the RTI and enrichment program needs to fit into the school’s program, leading to minimal disruption. The plan will build capacity since different stakeholders will be included, causing its refinement. The policy that is needed to sustain the plan is an institutionalization policy that makes it a part of the school process. Professional development is also required to sustain the plan by ensuring teachers gain high training levels regarding the project.

Outcome phase

The outcome phase will require the evaluation of the results of the plan implementation. The attainment of four critical outcomes will signify the success of the plan. The first is that the plan should lead to a change in the students’, teachers’, and school leaders’ beliefs. Second, the plan should result in positive attitudes by the stakeholders concerning the RTI and enrichment program. Third, the plan should lead to elevated relationships between the various stakeholders involved. These stakeholders need to be able to work together to achieve common goals. Fourth, the plan should cause an improvement in the school culture, which will be signified by the increase in inclusivity and equality.

Chapter 4: Reflection

Trends, issues, and potential changes

A trend that may affect the plan in the future is the increased digitization of education. It is likely to cause changes to the plan. An issue that can impact the RTI and enrichment plan in the future is the emergence of a better instructional method. A potential change that may affect the plan is a change in the school leadership. The introduction of new leaders who have different beliefs can result in the overhaul of the system.

Leadership strategies and practice

I would use collaborative leadership strategies to address the issues by ensuring that all the stakeholders are included in the decision-making process. The views of every person will be taken into account. Further, the requirement for hard evidence will be critical before instituting any changes or recommendations.

Reflection on this experience

The experience of coming up with an RTI and enrichment program has been fulfilling but challenging. My fulfillment has emanated from my ability to engage different stakeholders in the process of formulating the plan. I have discovered their different viewpoints and any reasons for resistance and support. The challenge involved with the plan is developing a cohesive strategy that addresses the needs of the various stakeholders within the project. I have learned that creating a project that meets the needs of each stakeholder is difficult, necessitating the need for concessions. It will impact my future work as an educational leader since I will look to create effective education programs with specific outcomes.

References

Agélii Genlott, A., Grönlund, Å., & Viberg, O. (2019). Disseminating digital innovation in school–leading second-order educational change. Education and Information Technologies, 24(5), 3021-3039. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10639-019-09908-0

Albalawi, A. S. (2018). The Effect of Using Flipped Classroom in Teaching Calculus on Students’ Achievements at University of Tabuk. International Journal of Research in Education and Science, 4(1), 198-207. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1169830

Coker, D. (2021). Implementing Response to Intervention (RTI) in a Juvenile Detention Center Using Action Research. Education Quarterly Reviews, 4(4), 1-14. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3958677

Explore L. A. Chaffin Jr. High School in Fort Smith, AR. (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2020, from https://www.greatschools.org/arkansas/fort-smith/433-L.-A.-Chaffin-Jr.-High-School/#Low-income_students*Test_scores*Writing

Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change. Teachers College Press. https://michaelfullan.ca/books/new-meaning-educational-change/#:~:text=The%20New%20Meaning%20of%20Educational%20Change%20(4th%20ed.)%20is,by%20Teachers%20College%20Press%2C%202007

Martin, F., Wang, C., Petty, T., Wang, W., & Wilkins, P. (2018). Middle school students’ social media use. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 21(1), 213-224. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26273881

Razavi, S. A., Zamani Ahmad Mahmoudi, R., & Farhadi Rad, H. (2020). Evaluation of 6th grade elementary curriculum change in Koohrang city based on Fullan model. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 15(58), 175-204. http://www.jcsicsa.ir/article_118894_0.html?lang=en

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