Kindergarten - 12th Grade
Problem Solving Process
If your child is having difficulty in school, the classroom teacher will try many ways to help them be more successful. These problems may be academic, behavioral, or both. You and the teacher may meet to try to solve the problem together. If the situation does not improve, you or the teacher may ask for help from a team of people at the school. You, as a parent, are part of that team.
This team will help by planning and implementing interventions that are most likely to help your child, such as special teaching or behavior management strategies. You may be asked to attend meetings, provide your input, or help in other ways.
The team will monitor your child’s response to the interventions. The information gathered and used by the team to decide how well the interventions are working is called response to intervention (RtI) data. The data is put on a graph to provide a visual of the student’s progress. Any time the school develops a graph or report about how your child is responding to an intervention, you can have a copy at no cost to you. The team uses the information to decide about changing the type or the intensity of the interventions. This process is called problem solving. It is an ongoing process to find the strategies that work best for your child. There are several levels of interventions that can be used to help your child. Florida calls this a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS).
There may come a time during the process when the team believes that your child is not making enough progress or when the intensity of support your child needs leads the team to suspect that your child might need exceptional student education (ESE) and related services. At that time, the team may suggest an additional evaluation to find out if your child qualifies for ESE.
For more information about the problem solving process, see Chapter 2 of A Parent’s Introduction to Exceptional Student Education in Florida.