Response to Intervention (RTI) Program Significantly Enhanced with
Feuerstein’s Instrument Enrichment
IRI Partners with Michigan School District and Intermediate School District
IRI and Holly Area Schools in Oakland County, Michigan are enhancing critical thinking skills among all students in the rural district of Michigan. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Noni Miller recognizes the application of Feuerstein’s theories and programs as essential to meet the district’s Response to Intervention (RTI or RtI) needs.
Holly Schools is focusing not only on children currently exhibiting learning difficulties but also on “preventing” learning difficulties which might otherwise emerge among other children during later school years. “That we can actually preempt learning difficulties is truly an amazing accomplishment and a foundation of Feuerstein’s early childhood program.” noted Kate Bellanca, President, IRI, Inc.
Partnering with IRI and Oakland Schools, Holly Area Schools introduced 30 kindergarten and first grade teachers and over 600 students to Feuerstein’s revolutionary BASIC Instrumental Enrichment Program. The professional learning experience customized for the Holly Area Schools’ teaching staff includes onsite classroom visits and online web conferences with IRI’s FIE trainers, individual debriefing sessions, and after-school group seminars to discuss implementation issues.
In addition to improving such critical thinking skills as making connections, seeing part-whole relationships, projecting spatial relationships, and making comparisons, Holly teachers teach the children to restrain levels of impulsivity, episodic thinking, and imprecision. The critical thinking skills enhancement has then been extended to core content to improve math achievement, reading proficiency, and social-emotional development, thereby enhancing students’ RTI plans on multiple dimensions. Miller confirms, “It is not doing more of the same. FIE lets us attack students’ learning problems in a way that gets to the fundamentals that need changing.”
Oakland Intermediate School District Director of Special Education Dr. Kathy affirmed, “The training and implementation demonstrate how important and impactful Feuerstein’s basic theory is to today’s student body. This is not just another set of tools --- this is a means to revolutionize how we meet and preempt special needs.”