The Reality of School Transformation

The work of Deshler, Fullan, Marzano, DuFour, Moats, Fletcher, Archer and Hughes, Batsche, Thurlow, Hehir, Sugai and Horner, Sprague, Sprick, Hattie, Woodward, Covey, Fixsen, Dweck, and many others have come to conclusions that coalesce into a clear, whole-system model that will improve outcomes for ALL students at the student, classroom, district, state, and national levels, but only if the findings of these authors are implemented with fidelity. It is really true!

As the director of School Transformation for NCLD, I am leading an initiative, integrated with NCLD's other priorities (parent empowerment, young adult empowerment, and public policy and advocacy), that promises to bring the conclusions of the great minds mentioned above to all of America's students.  

The purpose of this blog post is to generate conversation focused on doing what we know. At this moment, there are examples at all levels where this is happening … but not many places! The Voices from the Field section of this site shares insights from schools that have successfully implemented RTI. If your school has implemented an effective, whole-school model, then we would love to hear from you!

Districts and schools in the process of developing and refining their model may be interested in learning more about the resources offered by NCLD. For example, NCLD’s RTI Action Network has developed the Field Guide to Implementing Response to Intervention, a series of six, online modules to guide school teams through the most common challenges of RTI implementation. Distributed by Corwin Press, the modules walk you through the various questions that need to be addressed and provide video examples, audio advice, activities, and links to resources to help educators select the best organizational structure and resources to meet students’ needs. The modules will be available later this spring.

NCLD’s school transformation initiative will focus on the needs of students with learning disabilities and other struggling learners in order to facilitate the development of a sustainable and coherent multi-tier system of supports to benefit all students. NCLD’s RTI Action Network is offering three kinds of services to support schools:

  • Strategic partnership services focused on state school transformation, total district transformation, special education transformation, and evidence-based inclusion
  • Knowledge-building support from thought leaders, school leaders, and organizations with a stake in school transformation
  • Online resources including RtI learning modules; Leadership in Action mentoring programs; and tools for districts and states that provide practical, independent reviews of academic and behavioral interventions, in addition to the resources offered on

NCLD has assembled a dream team of the best and brightest thought leaders to provide strategic partnership services. We partner with you to implement a whole system model that will improve outcomes for ALL students at the student, classroom, district, state, and national level.

We know how to improve outcomes for ALL students. The data are in. Do we have the will to stop making decisions based on ideology and tradition and to start making decisions based on student outcome data? I welcome your comments and questions.
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Virtual RTI
I would love to discuss possibilities with you!

Email me at with some times you could talk.

Implementing RtI in a Virtual Learning Environment
I work for the North Carolina Virtual Public School and we are interested in learning how we could possibly implement RtI into our virtual learning environment. I am the Exceptional Children/504 Coordinator. We serve students 9-12 and some middle schools students. We are a supplement to the brick and mortar schools. We do not provide diplomas. We do serve many students who have IEPs, 504s or who are at-risk. Our courses are designed based on UDL principles and we provide OCS Blended Learning Courses and are doing a RttT STEM Project Pilot with 3 districts with Blended STEM Courses. We have a Peer Tutoring Center and provide many opportunities for accessibility and differentation for all students. We would be very interested in researching how the Problem Solving Model could be implemented in a virtual learning environment to help students to be successful.