Problem Solving Process

This page is designed to introduce you to the process Avoca uses to address students’ academic, behavioral, social,and/or speech/language needs. It will familiarize you with Flexible Service Delivery (Flex) and the problem-solving process used to implement it.Flexible Service Delivery was approved by the Illinois State Board of Education in 1995 so that schools could more effectively provide services and/or interventions for all students in need of extra academic or behavioral support within the general education classroom (regardless of educational placement).

In order to maximize the effectiveness of Flex, a five step problem-solving process is used. This site will provide an overview of problem solving and how it is implemented at Avoca, and the vital role of the parent/guardian in the process.

The Problem-Solving Process

The focus of problem solving is on identifying a specific area, setting goals in that area, and monitoring progress. For many children, focusing on the area of concern both at home and at school will have a positive impact and be all that is needed.

Step 1: Problem Identification, focuses on determining the difference between the child’s performance and peer performance in the area of concern.

Step 2: Problem Analysis, involves reviewing existing data and collecting additional information (records, observations, interviews, brief assessments) to determine reasons why the problem may be occurring.

Step 3: Plan Development, involves designing an intervention to address the student’s individual area of concern. Some examples of interventions are previewing academic material, utilizing a motivational contract, providing social skills training, etc.

Step 4: Plan Implementation, involves starting the intervention plan and applying it as it was designed by the team. During this phase, progress monitoring data is collected.

Step 5: Plan Evaluation, is the final phase of the problem-solving process. Once sufficient progress monitoring data has been collected, the team will reconvene to examine the student’s progress. Based upon the student’s progress toward his or her goal and team’s discussion the plan may be discontinued, faded, modified, or problem-solved with additional resources.

The Problem-Solving Process at Avoca

The Level 1 Problem-Solving:

Each grade level team (K-8) will have their own team consisting of all teachers at that grade level plus one Intervention Specialist or Learning Resource Teacher. Team meetings are held during the school day. The goal of the team is assist students in being successful in the classroom environment. If the intervention is effective the plan will be phased out or discontinued. If interventions are ineffective, more team support/resources may be needed, so Level 2 Problem Solving is initiated.

The Level 2 Problem-Solving:

Avoca West There are two Level 2 core problem-solving teams, Kindergarten through Third Grade, and Fourth through Fifth Grade. Each team utilizes the insight of several different staff members; the Level 2 teams include the referring teacher, one representative from the student’s current and previous grade levels, a Specials Representative, an Intervention Specialist, a Learning Resource Teacher, the Principal, the Pupil Services Director, and parents. Additional personnel are invited if needed. The goal of the meeting is for the team to develop new intervention(s) or revise the current intervention(s). If the revised intervention is effective, the plan is phased out or discontinued. If the interventions continue to be ineffective or if a significant degree of support is needed for the student’s success, referral for a special education evaluation may be made.

Marie Murphy Level 2 involves recycling through the problem-solving process with parents and additional staff members. The goal of the meeting is for the team to develop new intervention(s) or revise the current intervention(s). If the revised intervention is effective, the plan is phased out or discontinued. If the interventions continue to be ineffective or if a significant degree of support is needed for the student’s success, referral for a special education evaluation may be made.

The Vital Role of the Parent

Different team members contribute unique expertise to this process, and parents/guardians are the experts regarding their child. Their knowledge is critical to the development of the most appropriate intervention. Parents may be asked to participate in telephone conversations or in team meetings.

Synopsis

The intent of problem solving is promoting and ensuring the educational best interest, well-being, safety, and quality of life for all students regardless of educational placement.

Do you have any questions? If you have any questions or would like additional information about problem solving, please contact your child’s teacher, the school’s Intervention Specialists, or the building Principal.