Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 allows schools to utilize response to intervention (RtI) as early intervention to prevent at-risk students from becoming labeled as learning disabled. Using action research methodology and school change theory, the purpose of this project study was to determine the RtI implementation needs of a rural elementary school (LE). The guiding research question was to identify the components of an RtI framework currently being utilized during the pre-referral process at LE. This study employed a qualitative method triangulation design to analyze data from key stakeholders including questionnaires; individual interviews from six reading teachers, one reading interventionist, and one special education teacher; and campus documents analysis. Analysis included data transformation of frequency statistics from surveys and coded data from open-ended questionnaire responses, individual interviews, and document analysis. These data were triangulated revealing the current level of practice in collaboration, data-based decision making, parent involvement, professional development, and implementation monitoring. Findings indicated utilization of several RtI components inconsistently across grade levels and subjects. As a result, an RtI action plan was developed including a description of RtI background, identification of current levels of practice, implementation steps including timetable, and an RtI glossary. This resource has the potential to aid other districts by providing an implementation plan that could be adapted to their campus needs. This study promotes positive social change by identifying an effective implementation process for a unified service delivery model at LE resulting in improving the education of all students.