A survey of Response to Intervention team members' perceived effective practices in rural elementary schools
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of general and special education teachers regarding effective RtI teams in rural elementary schools in Texas. The key components identified in the literature were RtI team membership, practices, and effectiveness. A non-experimental design using survey methods was used. The survey was sent to a random sample of general education and special education teachers in rural schools in Texas. The response rate of teachers was 33% of the surveys were completed and returned. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze survey results to determine significant differences between special education and general education teachers' knowledge of the RtI team process, between amount of training and number of referrals, and between teachers experience and number of referrals. Chi square was used to identify RtI team practices implemented most frequently by teams and practices identified by RtI teams as effective. Percentage was used to determine who was a member of a RtI team in rural schools in Texas.
Findings from the study indicated that special education teachers rated their perceived knowledge of the RtI team process significantly higher than general education teachers rated their knowledge of the RtI team process. Even though this study found there is no statistical difference between the hours of training and number of students referred to the RtI team, the results showed a slightly higher mean score for teachers with greater than six hours of intervention team training. There was no significant difference between RtI teams and perceived effective practices. No differences were found between amount of teacher experience and student referrals. Practices implemented were student problem solving, provide teacher support, progress monitoring of interventions, and recommend research-based reading and math interventions. Teachers reported that team membership changed as a result of the needs of the student and the majority reported that the principal is frequently a member of the RtI team. Implications and recommendations for further research were identified.