What is RTI?

Response to Intervention, or RTI, is the practice of:

  1. Providing high-quality instruction/intervention matched to student needs;
  2. Using learning rate over time and level of performance to;
  3. Make  important educational decisions (NASDSE, 2005).

RTI methodology is conceptualized within a three-tiered model of prevention across all students in a school, general education and special education students.  If you could place all of the students in your school into a triangle, the three-tiered model of prevention will look like this:

Tier 1:  Benchmark Level

  • All students receive instruction in an empirically supported core curriculum
  • Typically, about 80% of students in a school will respond to a high-quality core curriculum and will make adequate progress throughout the year
  • Progress of all students is monitored at three points in time, or “Benchmarks”, during the Fall, Winter, and Spring of each school year
  • Benchmark data indicate students who may not be responding adequately to the core curriculum and who are in need of additional instruction

Tier 2:  Strategic Level

  • Students who do not respond adequately to the core curriculum
  • Smaller group of students – Approximately 15% of the students in a school considered “at-risk”
  • Provided supplemental instruction/intervention (in addition to the core curriculum), which takes place about 2-3 times per week and often in small group formats using standard protocol interventions
  • Student progress monitored more frequently: 1 to 2 times per month
  • Most students at this level will make sufficient progress given this supplemental instruction and are “returned” to the Benchmark level

Tier 3:  Intensive Level

  • Students who do not respond adequately to core curriculum and strategic level interventions
  • Approximately 5% of the students in a school
  • Considered in need of intensive intervention
  • Provided high-quality, research-based interventions on a daily basis; individually or in small groups
  • May use an individualized problem-solving model to derive instruction
  • Student progress monitored more frequently:  1 to 2 times per week
  • Changes are made to the student’s intervention based upon his/her data and progress toward a specified goal
  • Students who make adequate progress at this level are returned to Strategic or Benchmark level

Special Education Eligibility

  • Students who do not adequately respond to several well implemented Intensive level interventions are considered for evaluation for Special Education

Necessary Components for RTI

  • Administrative support of the model
  • A core instructional curriculum that is research based and empirically supported
  • Progress Monitoring measurement tools that reflect general outcome measurement of skills
  • Grade-based teams that meet regularly to review the progress monitoring data and make educational decisions based on the data
  • Decision rules that are applied to the data that indicate when intervention/instruction should be changed, when students should be moved between tiers, and other factors related to promoting student achievement
  • A system for monitoring the integrity of implementation of the interventions and instructional programs – are the interventions being implemented the way they were intended?