100% of funding ($1,975,000/year)
is from federal sources.

For Coaches

At the heart of the I-RtI Network is a coaching-of-coaches framework. RtI Coaching involves providing differentiated support to educators so that they are able to implement proven practices to support all learners (definition adapted from Knight, 2007, p. 30).  The Network staff consists of Area Wide Instructional Leaders (AWILs) and Lead Coaches whose responsibilities include training and supporting a cadre of regionally-based External Coaches.  External Coaches, in turn, provide training, coaching, and mentoring support to the districts and school sites participating in the Network.

Establishing an infrastructure to allow for effective teaming and collaboration using a problem solving process is a key component for successful implementation of RtI/MTSS. External coaches assist educators and administrators at the building leadership team level to support that infrastructure. Additionally, they support grade level team functioning by working alongside internal, building level coaches who are working to sustain successful RtI/MTSS implementation within the school across all teams.

Coaching goals are based on data and aligned to goals developed by district and school leadership teams. Depending on the needs of the External Coach, the Network AWILs and Lead Coaches may model activities and/or provide opportunities for guided practice and feedback.  They also build capacity by providing support and gradually releasing responsibility to the External Coach.

The I-RtI Network is integrating its coaching work with important federal and state initiatives, including but not limited to, implementation of the Common Core State Standards, the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA), the Illinois 5Essentials Survey, PBIS, Social Emotional Learning Standards, and Illinois' Rising Star framework for continuous improvement. Through collaboration with other state leaders and a comprehensive model of training, technical assistance, and coaching, we are striving to make a significant positive impact on outcomes for students across Illinois.

Coaching is about...

Why Coaching?

Coaching is the most effective form of professional development. Data from the seminal work of Joyce and Showers (2002) demonstrate the power of coaching as compared to some common forms of professional development.

Training Outcomes
(% of Participants who Demonstrate Knowledge, Demonstrate New Skills in a Training Setting, and Use New Skills in the Classroom)
Staff Development Components/ Processes Knowledge Skill Demonstration Use in the Classroom
Theory & Discussion 10% 5% 0%

Theory & Discussion plus
Demonstration in Training

30% 20% 0%

Theory & Discussion/ Demonstration plus Practice & Feedback

60% 60% 5%
Theory & Discussion/ Demonstration/ Practice & Feedback plus


95% 95%