Online Leadership Mentoring: An Innovative Strategy to Improve Student Outcomes

January 20, 2011  • Education Innovation Forum and Expo

The RTI Action Network, a program of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, has developed an online leadership mentoring program that is equipping building and district administrators to lead effective Response to Intervention (RTI) programs. Keys to the program”™s success are (a) delivery of mentoring by experienced RTI implementers, (b) use of a cost- and time-efficient online format, and (c) target audience of building and district RTI leaders who are in the position of driving the change needed to achieve sustainable transformation resulting in improved student outcomes. Participants are assigned to communities of practice matched for level of RTI experience, grade levels, and demographics. They receive monthly mentoring calls, training materials, resources, e-tips, e-newsletters, and an online site for discussions and the sharing of tools. In return, they provide school and student data that make it possible to track the impact of this program. Results from Year 1 were impressive: increases in reading and math proficiency on state assessments and in the use of student data and research-based interventions; and decreases in special education referrals and disproportionality, office discipline referrals, and suspensions. This year’s participants are leaders from K-12 programs in over 200 districts in the US, Canada, and Finland serving 2.3 million students in a range of settings public, private, virtual, charter, and cooperatives. The goal is to bring this sustainable transformation to scale. Specific targets for future expansion include work with preK settings as well as increased focus on middle/high schools, large urban settings, and English language learners.

To learn more, contact Kathleen Whitmire.