The I & R S Effectiveness Improvement Program
Help for Intervention and Referral Service Teams to improve the implementation and monitoring of intervention strategies.
Difficulties Faced By I & R S Teams:
The I & R S approach for providing help to at risk students is a wonderful opportunity to provide support for non classified students in need of extra help. These students have difficulties keeping up with today’s intensely challenging academic work. However, I & R S teams often have difficulties achieving their objectives. Teachers may, at times, view I & R S referral and strategies as a inconvenient step in getting students classified. These teachers may refer to I & R S in order to fulfill the letter of the law, and then only give a ‘half hearted’ effort in using I & R S strategies. These teachers may look back with nostalgia for the days before mainstreaming and inclusion became the norm. Unfortunately we can not turn the clocks back. However, I & R S teams may, at times, create strategies that do not get to the heart of a child’s difficulty or are too general. Likewise, monitoring the effectiveness of strategies is often difficult as teachers are already overwhelmed by other responsibilities and time constraints. I & R S teams often are composed of educators who may not have sufficient time to devote to making sure that their strategies are effective. Administrators may not effectively endorse the goals of these teams leaving their efforts under supported concerning teacher follow through with I & R S strategies.
The Importance of Focus
One of the most important tools for helping at risk, learning challenged students improve their achievement is a clear understanding of what is holding them back and interfering with their academic success. The Cracked Foundation – Missing Link Theory (Dr. Rodger Goddard, 2008) holds that most learning challenged students have only a few critical weaknesses in key learning skill areas. These 5 to 10 key weaknesses create barriers to their success. When these areas are identified, prioritized and strengthened, the motivation and achievement of learning challenged students can be vastly improved.
The I & R S Effectiveness Improvement Program works with an I & R S team over a period of time to strengthen its capacity to achieve measurable results. The program is tailored to meet the specific needs of particular I & R S teams as different teams are at very different points along the road to effectiveness and goal achievement. The Effectiveness Program helps teams develop a step by step plan to make steady progress toward helping at risk students get the support they need to succeed.