Seneca's New Multidisciplinary RTI Model Helps Charter Schools Position All Students for Success

  • Print

February 7, 2013 Seneca Family of Agencies has long provided a comprehensive continuum of support services for children and families. Now they are taking that experience and knowledge to consult and partner with charter schools to enhance their intervention supports.

Through an unrelenting focus on effective partnership and the bridging of academic, behavioral and social-emotional interventions, Seneca's All-In! model leverages existing resources toward a vision of success for all. With the RTI framework as its backbone, the model assists schools - with minimal increases in infrastructure - in creating systems that allow for a reimagining of potential interventions and a dynamic evaluation of their measurable effects on student learning.

Throughout California and across the nation there is a significant educational crisis for our most vulnerable youth. Forty-two percent of youth do not graduate from high school, and many of those who do are unprepared for the educational or vocational endeavors to follow. The picture for our nation's youth is bleak, and it is particularly troubling for young people who face additional barriers to accessing a quality education, including students with special needs, English language learners, and foster youth.

Response to Intervention (RTI) is gaining support across the nation as a framework from which to make data-based decisions about the path of each student. Rather than waiting until a student is far behind, RTI allows schools to create a robust continuum of services for thoughtful intervention at every level. By supporting students before they fail, schools can more efficiently utilize existing resources and employ effective interventions for even their most struggling students.

Research shows that pairing academic interventions with behavioral and social-emotional supports allows schools to better address the needs of their students (Sprague, Cook, Wright & Sadler, 2008). However, one of the major challenges schools report in implementing a full RTI program is having the internal knowledge or experience required to fully address the complex and multifaceted needs presented by students. To address this, Seneca Family of Agencies has layered the principles of an RTI decision-making framework onto its existing continuum of care approach to build an exciting new model called the Allied Interventions (All-In!) Partnership Project. All-In! builds a seamless partnerships with schools who share common values to support the education of ALL students.

Utilizing the RTI framework, the All-In! model allows professionals to take a collaborative approach to the design, implementation, and monitoring of a wide array of interventions. The All-In! approach is characterized by a tiered system of interventions and services that work together to thoughtfully inform decision-making about each student. By integrating Academic, Behavioral, and Social Emotional Interventions, schools are able to more efficiently meet the needs of students. Seneca partners with the school leadership to build school-wide practices inclusive of all learners and systems focused on early identification and intervention of students whose needs are not being addressed by baseline services and instruction. All-In! has a modular structure allowing schools to identify key areas of internal capacity while leveraging the expertise of the Seneca Family of Agencies and other community-based organizations to fill existing gaps.

RTI_pyramid.jpg

This, when combined with:

  1. Research based interventions delivered to ALL STUDENTS by professionals highly skilled in their field
  2. Quality ongoing professional development for ALL TEACHERS.
  3. Engagement of ALL FAMILIES as partners in their children's progress, has shown initial promising results for the achievement of students and can accelerate the rate of growth in ALL SCHOOLS.

Since 1985, Seneca has partnered with families, communities, schools, and districts to provide innovative care at the most critical point of need. As a statewide provider of education, behavioral and mental health services, Seneca understands the power and considerable impact of providing a continuum of care from early interventions and community-based services to high level special education and mental health care. Seneca brings to its school partners the backing and collective expertise of its 1,000 staff, as well as access to agency services. Through its All-In! Partnership Project, Seneca transfers the lessons learned from nearly 30 years of experience serving the state's most troubled youth to ensure that all students receive the supports they need to achieve ongoing and sustained educational success.

Seneca is available for consultation and partnership with school leaders interested in implementing new RTI programs or in refining their existing intervention practices. All-In! leadership can provide school-wide intervention evaluations, leadership coaching, and professional development along with a spectrum of direct intervention services. Please contact Lihi Rosenthal for additional information.

About Seneca Family of Agencies

Seneca Center for Children and Families was founded in 1985 because several caring, visionary people saw a tragedy unfolding: Far too many children were failing in group homes and foster family care. In response, Seneca set out to develop mental health treatment and support services on the principle that emotionally troubled youth do not themselves fail, but are instead failed by systems unable to address their complex and specialized needs.

Throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century, Seneca has dedicated itself to becoming a "system of care" agency providing a comprehensive continuum of community-based and family-focused treatment services for children and families. Seneca's continuum of care now includes in-home wraparound services; foster family-based treatment; mobile crisis response services; integrated day treatment and special education services; after-school therapeutic recreation services; public school-based mental health services, and residential treatment.