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Under a new mandate, states now use a 3 level tier system to assist and/or identify students who are struggling.

Unfortunately, schools are now in  mass confusion/denial about who deserves attention.

These are just a few examples:

- After weeks of monitoring, students are being sent back to the beginning tier because schools are trying a “new and improved” program.

- Teachers are being told 'they cannot refer a student until the student completes a 4 tier RTI program (which doesn't exist).

- Students are exited from special education because they have not participated in the RTI/SRBI tiers.

I've personally heard, “We can't go to special ed testing  because we don't have a Tier III in place.”

 It's possible for kids to tread water indefinitely without a life preserver. However, there might be hope ~

What is RTI (Response to Intervention), and why was it created?

In 2004 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was revised to include a new section called RTI or Response to Intervention.  The purpose of RTI is to help to students who are having trouble learning in certain subject areas who ordinarily would have been referred to special education and related services.

According to OSEP (United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services), it’s a multi-tiered instructional framework, which is a school wide approach that addresses the needs of all students, including struggling learners and students with special education. This  should provide “evidence-based” interventions that should be specific to that students learning style.

In Connecticut, RTI is called SRBI (Scientific Based Research Interventions).

Confused? So is everyone else, especially parents who can’t understand why their child is struggling in school and nothing is being done.

Even the U.S. Department of Education now recognizes that RTI/SRBI is being used to delay the process.

Fortunately, Bill HB 5683 was proposed by Representative Larry Cafero of Norwalk.

The bill wants to make sure that comprehensive evaluations and possibility special eduction eligibility are not delayed while the RTI/SRBI process ensues.

HB5683 ~

AN ACT CONCERNING DELAYS IN THE EVALUATION AND DETERMINATION PROCESS FOR CHILDREN SUSPECTED OF REQUIRING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES.

To prevent delays in the evaluation process of children suspected of having a disability, as well as delays in the determination that such children require special education.

---------
 Kathleen R. Casparino of Education Organizer, LLC suggests that parents and teachers ~

show, in impressive numbers, that we care how our legislators vote on special education issues.  It is a tremendous opportunity to rally together.  A display of overwhelming support will not only help with the passage of HB 5683 but will help with the passage of future Bills that address special education interests.  Conversely, if public support is not demonstrated, Bill 5683 will fail as our legislators will conclude that the needs of students requiring specialized instruction are being appropriately met.

She suggests 3 things;

1)      Write or e-mail your state legislators, and copy the Education Committee Chairpersons, to ask for their support of the Bill.  The addresses of the Chairpersons and a link to identify your legislators can be found at the bottom of this e-mail. Included is a generic statement that can be cut and pasted, but if you have any personal experience with denial/delay of service please share it in your e-mail even if it is only a sentence or two.

Dear (Insert the name of your legislator),

Please support Bill HB 5683 raised by the Education Committee which reads:

“That section 10-76ff is amended to require that each local and regional school board of education shall ensure that evaluations and determinations of eligibility under this section are carried out promptly and are not delayed while a child undergoes interventions under the Connecticut response to intervention program.”

The purpose of this Bill is to not delay the evaluation of children suspected of having a disability as well as the identification of such children requiring special education. This is a goal I endorse and hope you will champion as well.
Sincerely,

(Name, street address and town)

 2)      Pass this e-mail  to as many friends, parents, grandparents, advocates, attorneys, service providers, or anyone that cares about appropriate special education services.  Try to ensure that at least 2 other people contact their legislators.

3)      Provide your e-mail address to Marianne Roday at MMRoday@gmail.com . The public hearing has not been scheduled.  When it is there may be as little as 5 days notice.  If we have your address on file we can notify you of the date as soon as it is set.  This campaign will be most successful with both a barrage of e-mails and large attendance at the public hearing.  Just being there will make a difference.

Our winter has demonstrated that while a singular snowflake doesn’t count for much, sticking together makes a difference.

Link to find your legislator - http://www.cga.ct.gov/...

To send copies cut and paste the following e-mail addresses into the CC field; Andrew.Fleischmann@cga.ct.gov ; Andrea.Stillman@cga.ct.gov; Chris.Calabrese@cga.ct.gov;

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