Response to Intervention (RTI) is a coordinated system of instruction and intervention which results in most students achieving benchmarks. RTI is about varying the intensity of intervention and instruction for students at-risk for poor learning outcomes in order to provide support before the student fails to make expected progress. Levels of tiered instruction, resources, and assessment make up a school or school system’s approach to RTI. RTI is commonly linked to instruction in literacy and mathematics, but tiered supports are also the basis of PBIS and many of the same essential elements of RTI can be applied when designing a schoolwide positive culture system.
Tier 1 consists of enriched, high quality instruction and supports given to all students. The supports at the Tier 1 level are available to all students. To know if Tier 1 supports are working for all students, schools use Universal Screening Data as well as periodic assessment and other data collected on all students. Some examples of this type of data include: discipline data, standardized behavior assessment scores, classroom behavior data, and the number of students earning weekly/monthly rewards or experiences.
Tier 2 consists of instruction and supports given to students identified as at-risk for not meeting behavioral expectations in addition to the Tier 1 interventions and supports. After analyzing Universal Screening Data, students who demonstrate that they are at-risk might be provided Tier 2 interventions and supports to assist them in meeting the school-wide behavioral expectations. These interventions should be research-based and proven (through research reported in scientific, peer-reviewed journals) to decrease the risk of poor learning outcomes for at-risk students.
Diagnostic assessments are administered to students in order to identify their specific instructional needs. To know if Tier 2 supports are working, schools collect progress monitoring data on these students. Progress monitoring is regular (1-2 times per week), on-going, specific skills monitoring which directly relates back to the diagnostic information gathered on the at-risk student. For example, if a student is at-risk for frequent disciplinary removals because he or she displays physical aggression to his/her peers frequently, the intervention should be focused on helping the student avoid aggression, learn coping skills, and staff would monitor their progress around those aggressive behaviors. By replacing their problematic behavior with newly learned skills, students are better equipped to meet the school-wide expectations for behavior.
Tier 3 consists of individualized and intensive supports provided to the most at-risk students to reduce the intensity and/or severity of their behavioral challenges. These supports and interventions are the most intense and individualized out of all the tiers. Many educators assume these must be delivered one-on-one but that’s not necessarily true. Frequent, small group counseling could be one way to provide an intensive intervention to at-risk students. Schools implementing effective Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruction should find no more than around 5% of students need intensive interventions at the Tier 3 level. More frequent progress monitoring may be implemented for students in Tier 3, perhaps as frequent as every hour or every class period. Students who do not respond to Tier 3 interventions may be referred for special education evaluations.
RTI is only about finding students eligible for special education.
RTI is a hoop to jump through to get special education services.
RTI doesn’t involve the regular classroom teacher.
RTI is a way to get others to do the job of special educators or give students special education support without an IEP.
RTIis an intervention brainstorming process.
RTI is only a way to give general educators suggestions for interventions.
RTI is primarily about finding out what’s wrong with a student in order to intervene.
RTI is a waste of time.
Here at Kickboard, we have seen schools develop and improve Response to Intervention systems using our mobile app, web platform and professional development services.