Response to Intervention

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Response to intervention is data-driven instruction that is implemented to maximize the achievement of all students. Just be sure you are prescribing the right medicine to fix the problem.

response to intervention



RTI is data-driven instruction that is implemented in both the general education classroom and specialized resource rooms.  

It is designed to maximize the achievement of all students, regardless of where they are at within the educational framework.


The purpose is to catch struggling students very early before they are in too deep of a hole.

What is our role?  Teachers provide instruction and academic interventions that are matched to the student's specific needs.


Today there are growing federal requirements to raise the quality of school instructional programs that are used to intervene with children. 

One is that classroom instructional processes and academic interventions be shown to be effective as indicated by quality research.  This is particularly important with math and early reading intervention programs.

RTI is also used to identify and progress monitor difficulties with different types of communication and behavioral issues.


How to Use RTI Information

Some key features of RTI are:

  • Begin with high quality instruction for all students in all classrooms (Tier 1)
  • Designed to be both preventative and proactive
  • Uses data driven assessment for instructional decision making
  • Is highly dependent on progress monitoring that begins with a universal screener
  • Academic interventions are systematically applied from research and evidence-based best practices
  • Intervention plans are designed, implemented and monitored by a group of professionals

A common use of response to intervention is to target reading intervention needs.  After giving a universal screener (such as DIBELS Next or AIMSWeb), the data is reviewed and decisions are made, often within a 3 Tier Model.

The 3 Tier Model of RTI

The 3 Tier Model for response to intervention is a by-product of differentiation in the classroom. In order to do RTI effectively, teachers have to have a strong knowledge in differentiation and assessment.

Tier 1
*This is excellent classroom teaching
*80-90% of students should have their needs met in Tier 1
*90 minutes of core instruction per day - every day!
*Data indicates students need enrichment, are below expected benchmark, or are progressing as expected

Tier 2
*5-10% of all students may need Tier 2 interventions
*90 minutes core instruction + 25-30 additional minutes of targeted intense research/evidence-based interventions
*Small group (ratio of 1:5 or less)
*Progress monitoring - minimum bi-weekly

Tier 3
*1-5% of all students who continue to fall below the aim line after receiving Tier 2 interventions
*90 minutes core instruction + 50 additional minutes per day of targeted intense research/evidence-based interventions
*Very small, homogenous group instruction (1:3)
*Progress monitoring - minimum weekly

After Tier 3 is when the professional team will review documented interventions and progress monitoring data to determine if there is a need for an MFE (multi-factored evaluation) for a specific disability.

In most cases, there should be at least 12 weeks worth of data that show little to no growth along the expected aim line. Be aware that the pattern of the student's progress can also indicate attention problems as well as reading issues.


The goal of RTI is not to get a child into special education. It is to meet that child's needs and show growth.




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