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ERIC Number: EJ804088
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1525-1810
Supporting All Students: The Role of School Principals in Expanding General Education Capacity Using Response to Intervention Teams
Shepherd, Katharine G.
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v19 n2 p30-38 Nov 2006
Since 1990, Vermont legislation has required all schools to establish an Educational Support System (ESS) that provides a comprehensive set of supports and services designed to meet the needs of students with disabilities as well as those at risk of school failure. Given the need to promote the success of an increasingly heterogeneous group of students within the context of No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004), as well as the need to develop processes for using Response to Intervention (RTI) as a means to identify students with learning disabilities, it seems prudent to examine a more contemporary notion of prereferral teams. In their classic work on prereferral intervention teams, Chalfant and Pysh (1989) identified effective teams as those that embraced collaborative principles and practices, involved general education teachers, had clear referral processes, held regularly scheduled meetings, and had the potential to reduce inappropriate referrals to special education. The study described in this article grew out of an identified need in Vermont to explore implementation of the state's mandated ESS and Educational Support Team (EST) models in the current policy context. As such, a team of university researchers, in association with a panel of experts and stakeholders concerned about models for promoting students success in an era of increasing accountability, conducted a multifaceted, cross-site policy implementation study in 16 of Vermont's 61 regional school districts from 2000 to 2003. Within this larger study, a substudy of five districts examined the structures and processes associated with prereferral intervention teams known as ESTs. Its purpose was to explore the degree to which the characteristics of effective prereferral teams identified by Chalfant and Pysh (1989) were present in contemporary teams and to identify new factors that might be important in the development of effective ESTs and RTI teams. Given recent attention to the link between effective school leadership and the development of inclusive schools, the substudy paid particular attention to the role school principals played in designing, leading, and helping sustain the work of ESTs, and the ways in which these roles could be supported by central office administrators, including special education coordinators and superintendents. The results of this study showed that the participation of principals on ESTs advanced the use of collaborative and data-based decision making processes, and helped link team processes and outcomes to broader professional development and school improvement efforts. (Contains 2 tables.)
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001