The Doctor is in: Time for an Academic Physical with Dr. Nikki Roorda

Every day, in millions of doctors’ offices across the world, people go in for their annual physical exam.  This process brings out a multitude of emotions from patients including, but not limited to, “I hate going to the doctor.  I know s/he is going to tell me to lose a few pounds and to stop eating out so much,” to “I am excited to see how my changes in lifestyle choices have impacted my high blood pressure,” and everything in between.

The purpose of health screenings is defined by the American Medical Association (AMA)  as, “Health care services or products provided to an individual without apparent signs or symptoms of an illness, injury or disease for the purpose of identifying or excluding an undiagnosed illness, disease, or condition” (2000).  The AMA contends that through the use of screening, our doctors can determine if a medical emergency exists.  No matter what thoughts go through our minds when we go in for our annual physicals, at the end of the day we trust in the process of the health screen to keep us safe from underlying medical issues.

We now have the opportunity to look at the academic health of our school system through the use of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).  Similar to an annual check-up at the doctor’s office, this screening will help look at the academic health of your school or district to see if you have resources distributed appropriately within your system, or if there is a need to bolster your Core Instructional Cycle, where 80% of your students should be successful without any additional supports.

I would love for you to bring your team and join me at the 2017 ATI Summer Conference in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, from 1:15 – 4:00 p.m. as we dig into your data and conduct an “Academic Physical.”  My Bring Your Own Data session, How Strong is Your Core? An Academic Physical (part 1 from 1:15 to 2:30 and part 2 from 2:45 to 4:00), will address the following learning targets:

  • Identify key features of successful schools/districts
  • Describe the differences between RTI and RtI
  • Analyze the health of your school’s Core Instructional Cycle
  • Identify potential barriers to implementing a new initiative
  • Develop an action plan to develop/revise your current MTSS/RtI plan

Please plan on bringing hard copies of your universal screening data or state achievement test data in a content area, or be able to access your data electronically, as we will participate in a Bring Your Own Data process that will help you discover the health of your system, as well as time as a team to develop an action plan for continuing this work at home after the conference is over.  I look forward to seeing you!!! 

#atisummer2017 #atibyod

Dr. Nikki Roorda received her doctorate in administrative leadership for teaching and learning from Walden University and is currently a Regional Director for Heartland Area Education Agency, an intermediate services unit in Iowa. Nikki’s master’s degree in teaching and learning is from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Nikki has served in the capacity of classroom teacher, central office administrator, consultant, and college instructor during the course of her educational career. Nikki has experience with kindergarten through twelfth-grade students and teachers, and brings a joy of teaching and learning to the workshops she conducts. She has facilitated the development and implementation of a district-wide standards based grading and reporting systems in both public and private schools. Nikki also has facilitated systems-level change in the areas of assessment, co-teaching, and special education practices. In her current position she works with building and district-level administrators and teachers to improve outcomes for students.

American Medical Association (2000). State Variations in Newborn Screenings.  Retrieved from,d.cWw  on October 14, 2016.



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