Early literacy efforts help all of our students become skilled readers

Schoolboy Studying In ClassroomGreat Prairie AEA is pleased to be part of a statewide effort designed to help ALL Iowa students read proficiently by the end of third grade – Response to Intervention (RtI).

RtI is a proven practice that helps schools to identify the sufficiency of their universal instruction for all students and to identify students who need more support in order to meet their specific needs.  This includes students who are struggling and students who are highly proficient.  RtI focuses on building the capacity for high quality implementation of the Iowa Early Learning Standards and the Iowa Core and building the capacity to provide additional intervention supports for students when needed.  About 10 percent of the state’s schools will begin to learn about and implement RtI this fall.

At a recent workshop, Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck, asked participants, “What would it mean for Iowa if every child finishing third grade could read at or above the third-grade level?” “We’re at a pivotal time. We agree we must dramatically improve. I say that Iowa’s education is good as it ever has been – it’s just that other states have passed us on some academic measures.”

Through the three-day workshop, participants learned more about RtI, the critical features of RtI, and the stages of development.  They also learned more about the Individual Growth and Dynamic Indicators assessments for preschool students, the FAST assessments for school age students, and the new TIER database.

Great Prairie AEA will continue to provide training and coaching to our phase one schools as we implement this process.

RtI is a statewide effort through Collaborating for Iowa’s Kids, a partnership among Iowa’s AEAs, school districts and the Iowa Department of Education.

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