Scheduling Intervention/RTI Blocks within the master schedule

Scheduling an intervention block is a method of planned differentiation in scheduling to provide additional instructional time for students needing support and allowing choice/enrichment for student that don't need additional time. One of the keys to the success of this type of plan is ensuring instructional time is utilized effectively in the I/E block and not merely a study hall.

Scheduling the Intervention/Enrichment period is easy compared to organizing and preparing for instruction within it. Keys to success of an intervention/enrichment period include:

* All students and staff must be productively engaged during the period.

* A decision must be made as to what role students’ choice at the high school level plays in the I/E period.

* A computer management program with capability of tracking students’ I/E choice/assignment and attendance is necessary.

* It may be wise to start out providing interventions in one subject only, most likely language arts.

* A standard assessment tool should be used to determine groupings (Dibles, district quarterly assessments, etc.).

* Clear, consistent, and involved leadership is required to ensure that assessment, data analysis, tiering, planning interventions and enrichments, and progress monitoring all are carried through.

* Time must be allocated for planning for groupings and instructional activities.

* It may be wise to select specific programs for enrichment and/or intervention activities rather than have teachers design their own.

* An Response to Intervention (RTI) type tier structure based upon this assessment is necessary to allocate students to enrichment and intervention groups.

* A decision must be made as to whether or not special services (i.e. special education or ESOL) will be “the” intervention for some qualifying students during the I/E time or will they be served at a different time by those professionals.

* While some school-wide, grade level, or team activities (assemblies, pep rallies, school pictures, guidance meetings, course registration, seminars, etc.), may use some of this period, the primary purpose is for intervention/Enrichment must be extended learning time, reteaching, re-testing, tutoring, etc.

Key Questions to Consider When Planning and Designing an Intervention Block:

(1) What does the data say for the school, grade level, and each individual students?

(2) What are the school’s goals, priorities, and targets?

(3) Where do we get the time?

(4) How long should the period be?

(5) Where in the schedule should the period be placed

(6) How frequently should the period occur?

(7) How do we strategically staff the intervention period?

(8) What do we expect students to know, standards or concepts?

(9) How do we assess students and know if the intervention period is working?

(10) What do we do when some students aren't progressing toward mastery fast enough?

(11) What do we do when students prove mastery to accelerate their learning?

(12) How do we monitor and adjust the period as needed to make sure instructional time is utilized effectively?

(13) How do we motivate students and set goals so they are self-reporting and active stakeholders?

(14) How do we celebrate successes?

Schoolwide Intervention Blocks in Elementary and Middle school

Elementary School Intervention Blocks

Helping students to performance at or above grade level through elementary school is critical to future student academic achievement Our goal should be to close the achievement gap during these crucial school years. There are often misconceptions between station learning, small group time, and structured intervention blocks. One of the commonalities of each type of learning is differentiation to meet the needs of each child; however, the structured intervention-specific time is individualized and targeted for each child. Teachers must be data-driven and be accurate with formative assessment to know what skill or concept each child needs additional supports to master. Also, when children are involved and engaged as an active stakeholder in their own learning student achievement is effected in a very strong positive manner.

Examples of Elementary School Intervention Periods/Blocks

Elementary school intervention scheduling should include: (1.) Effective time allocation within the classroom with Tier 1 interventions, (2.) Reduce fragmentation, (3.) Provide time for Tier 2 and Tier 3 intervention, enrichment, and special services, and (4.) Provide a common planning time for data analysis, curriculum management, instructional improvement, staff development.

Schoolwide - Beginning of the Day

Schoolwide - Embedded During the Day

Grade Level

Team Based

Middle School Intervention Blocks

Middle school is one of the toughest series of school years for students. Research also shows this is one of the most critical times that contribute to whether or not students will graduate from high school. Middle school intervention blocks can be school-wide, sequencial course selections, embedded in a quarterly/semester/yearlong format, and student-specific. Each type of intervention protocol should be student-centered and student-focused to address the needs of each student.

Middle School I/E Goals

Middle School I/E Keys

Middle School I/E Teams

Middle School I/E Staffing

Examples of Middle School Intervention Block Schedules

The schedule must align with the needs of your students, provide additional instructional time for students needing extra support and additional choices for those that don’t, align appropriate with strategic staff and strategic resourcing, reduce transition and time off task, and be purposeful in helping the school to achieve it's mission/vision.

Schoolwide Intervention Blocks

Team Based Intervention

Schoolwide - Beginning of the Day

Modified 5 Block with Intervention

High School Intervention Blocks

High school intervention/enrichment blocks can be important for increasing student achievement on tests of accountability (EOC, EOG, etc.), offering opportunities for credit recovery to increase the graduation rate, additional opportunities to learn to increase career readiness, and the opportunity for student choice in scheduling. High school intervention blocks and protocols take numerous forms from a schoolwide intervention period to individually focused and scheduled blocks of additional time to master content knowledge for students.

Examples of High School Intervention Block Schedules

The schedule must align with the needs of your students, provide additional instructional time for students needing extra support and additional choices for those that don’t, align appropriate with strategic staff and strategic resourcing, and be purposeful in helping the school to achieve it's mission/vision

Daily Intervention Period in a Block Schedule

Hybrid Traditional/Block with I/E Period on Block Days

Modified 5 Block with Semester/Quarter I/E sections

90-Minute Intervention Block on Rotating A/B Schedule

Intervention Block Scheduled 4 Days/Week with Block Concept

Support Course Scheduled for Additional Instructional Time

5-Block Modified Schedule for High School or Middle School Based on Needs

This is an example of a school analyzing their current data and planning a master schedule that best fits students. They provide rationale for their choice of schedules and also potential concerns. This is an alternative type of schedule that blends a 4x4 with traditional, while allowing time for intervention, enrichment, or acceleration.

At every level, intervention blocks/periods are a planned and predicted manner of ensuring scheduling allows for appropriate and necessary instructional time for all students to learn at a high level. Working this type of period into the schedule is the easiest part and ensure high-quality student-focused instruction occurs based on meeting the needs of each student is the tougher part.