Interventions with good intentions: effective implementation of response to intervention in two rural school districts

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tina Marie Eberly Kissell (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Carl Lashley

Abstract: This dissertation examined the implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI) in two rural school districts in south central North Carolina. Federal legislation requiring an increase in school system accountability included the expectation for implementing differentiating levels of academic intervention for struggling students. Implementation structure and pragmatics differ from district to district as the process design remains with local education units. The filtering of federal legislative expectations to state-level administration and subsequently to school system and ultimately school site leadership is a long journey that can result in varied interpretations. The communication of methodology and expectations from district-level administration to school-level practitioners is crucial for effective implementation. Therefore, an understanding of and a focused vision for Response to Intervention implementation is essential throughout district and school leadership (Kratochwill, Valopiansky, Clements, & Ball, 2007). This dissertation explored the district-level to school-level facilitation of RtI implementation in two rural but very different districts in south central North Carolina, both identified to demonstrate stellar RtI implementation processes. Individual staff members were interviewed at the district and school-level (elementary, middle, and high) using a structured interview protocol to explore this process of implementation. The responses were then analyzed using a theme matrix. A consistent set of core strategies, practices, and beliefs were found in schools in the two districts, although facilitation of the expectations from district to school-level differed significantly and impacted the breadth and levels of implementation. Monitoring the fidelity of the process remained at the school level. The results reinforce the barriers that rural districts confront in complying with federal mandates.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Leadership, RTI, Rural
Response to intervention (Learning disabled children) $x Evaluation
Rural schools $z North Carolina

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