What role can a school psychologist have within an RTI framework?
Response from Michelle Hosp
I think that school psychologists are in a unique position and a really important position to help implement RTI at multiple levels. So, I think one level, because of their training, they tend to have a little bit more expertise in assessment and interventions, and how to look at data as far as reliability and validity when we're looking at collecting data with assessments as well as implementing interventions, it needs to be done with fidelity.
We also need to be picking appropriate assessments so all of that information is very important to look at and I think a school psychologist could contribute greatly to RTI efforts and being that person to examine that evidence and information. Then I also think that they also have some great training to help teachers and educators look at the data, so once they've identified specific assessments to use, sometimes you get bogged down in the numbers and information and school psychologists have that training to sift through that and look at the evidence and how students — individual students and groups of students — are responding to the instruction based on the data that's being collected.
So, I really think that they can be an additional set of eyes and ears and really help at those critical moments. Lots of times when schools and teachers get stuck at a point of "What do I do next?", "What assessment should I be looking at giving?", "What intervention might be appropriate for this student or group of students?" I think a school psychologist could really step in and help them look through that information, get through the research to find those evidence-based practices that are going to be potentially most beneficial to a larger group of students or a particular set of students, and really help them streamline and get through some of those difficult questions and points in the RTI process that I think are difficult and people get overwhelmed with. So, I really do think that school psychologists can really contribute greatly to the whole process from the beginning to the end.