Response to Intervention (RTI) is the practice of providing high quality instruction/intervention matched to student needs and levels of performance to make important educational decisions about an individual student. RTI was included in educational law with the 2004 reauthorization of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It was included because national trends revealed a significant increase in the identification of learning disabled students and the disproportionate representation of minorities and ELLs among those identified as learning disabled.
RTI begins with high quality research-based instruction in the general education setting provided by the general education teacher. Curriculum is aligned to the NY State Common Core Learning Standards and grade level performance indicators. RTI is a multi-tiered process that provides instructional or behavioral support to students by providing additional instruction based on individual weaknesses or skill deficits. Each tier provides instruction with increased intensity such as smaller group size or increased instructional time focused on specific areas. The focus is on targeted interventions directed to the needs of the individual student rather than broad based instruction. RTI aims to identify and address at-risk students in order to remediate specific deficits and avoid special education. Research in early intervention suggests that many struggling early readers can be caught up to grade level and that currently too many of these students are simply classified with learning disabilities. Student intervention outcomes drive instructional decision making at every tier of the model. A systematic, data-based decision making (problem solving) method is used to decide not only what interventions to try but whether the implemented strategies are working for the student. RTI systems combine universal screening, progress monitoring, and high quality instruction for all students with interventions targeted at struggling students.
The four essential components of RTI
- A school wide, multi-level instructional and behavioral system for preventing academic failure
- Universal Screening
- Progress Monitoring
- Building RTI team: (Data-based decision making teams) Teams assist with assessing at-risk criteria, reviewing screening data and make decisions related to student performance and interventions needed. Building level teams will determine student movement within the multi-level system, and disability identification (in accordance with NYS law)
1. What is Response to Intervention?
A problem solving process where research based instruction and interventions are provided to struggling learners
Interventions are matched to student’s needs
Monitoring is continuous
2. Key Framework Features
- Collaboration from Pupil Personnel and building principals
- Instruction matched to student needs
- Use data to make decisions
- Interventions based on research*
- Dependent on progress monitoring
- Multidisciplinary team
- Research based Instruction
- School Wide Data informs Instruction by evaluating the effectiveness
- Measurement of progress monitoring to assess progress toward meeting goals
- Change of Schedule**
*Scientifically research based is not subject to fads and makes teaching more effective, productive and efficient.
**A team of teachers came together and developed the schedule to reflect an activity period that was key to assisting teachers with Tier 1 opportunities and time for students to attend Tier 2 instructional support.
3. RTI Team
A Multi-disciplinary team of school professionals meets on a regular basis to address teachers’ concerns about struggling students and to help design intervention plans. This problem solving team:
- Meets regularly to address concerns about struggling students and design intervention plans. Meetings are divided into two sections, tier 1 and tier 2
- Assess concerns about academic/behavioral difficulties
- Discuss students strengths
- Review baseline data that has been collected
- Projects outcomes and methods for measuring progress
- Identifies specific intervention plans
- Review/monitor plans
- Communicates with parents
- Assigns responsibilities
4. Data Decisions to discuss
- How large is gap between student and typically performing grade level peers in order to determine RTI intervention considered?
- What differentiated instruction in general education curriculum and instruction is sufficient?
- Who designs and implements intervention?
- How often should the intervention progress be monitored?
- Are the targets appropriate and effectively monitored?
- How long should RTI be in place before success is determined?How do we effectively measure the success or failure of the instruction/intervention?
- How well is the student responding to supplemental, tiered instruction/intervention?
- Which students may be at risk for academic failure
5. Progress Monitoring
Progress monitoring is the repeated measurement of academic performance to inform instruction of individual student progress in general and special education. Students are monitored regularly (Tier 1 and some Tier 2 students-to be done by the classroom teacher for students who are performing only slightly below average), and some students may need weekly or bi-weekly progress monitoring (Some Tier 2 students & all Tier 3 students to be done by the interventionists for students who are performing below average to well below average).
- Baseline – pretesting data collected prior to start of intervention
- Intervention – planned intervention is implemented
- Intervention Phase- student progress is monitored over a predetermined time
6. Tiers – Layers of intervention responding to student’s need. Each tier provides more intensive support and intervention.
|TIER I||TIER II||TIER III|
|Identify & process referrals||Develop more intensive plans||More intensive plans|
|Develop intervention plan||Smaller groups||One-on-one instruction|
|Coach Teachers/Teacher progress monitors||Progress monitoring occurs more regularly||FBA-BIP|
|Suggested supports: reteaching/pre-teaching strategies, demonstrate learning in multiple ways, integrated technology, graphic organizers, study guides, leveled readers, flashcards & coaching/collaboration||Specialized reading material: student’s level is identified and reading materials provided on the student’s level
7. Universal Screenings
Academic screening assessments are conducted to identify students who may be at risk for learning outcomes. Universal screening tests are typically brief, conducted with all students at a grade level, and followed by additional testing and progress monitoring to monitor students’ risk status. Screening measures must be administered with fidelity and be proven to be valid and reliable.
- Results of state tests
- Results of standardized testing
- Report/Progress cards
- MAPS Assessment
Grade Level Screenings:
K- Dial 4, MAPS
Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), MAPS
- DRA, MAPS
- NYS Assessments, DRA, MAPS
- NYS Assessments, DRA, MAPS
- NYS Assessments, MAPS, DRA
- Grades 6 through 12 – NYS Assessments, MAPS
8. Instruction Matched to Student Need
Tier I Instruction
Core instruction takes place in the general education classrooms and includes all students. Instruction is currently aligned with the NYS Next Gen Learning Standards. Instruction in ELA is provided in the general education classroom for a minimum of ninety minutes per day. The components of core reading instruction are phonemic awareness, phonics instruction, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Math instruction is provided in the general education classroom for approximately sixty minutes per day. The components of core math instruction are problem solving, arithmetic skills and fluency, conceptual knowledge/number sense and reasoning ability. The core instruction (Tier 1) includes differentiation based on the abilities and needs of all students. A universal screening (MAPS) is given to all students three times a year (fall, winter, and spring) and is also aligned to the grade level curriculum, which is based on the NYS Next Generation Learning Standards. Teachers identify groups in their classes based on learning preferences in order to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners. Differentiated learning activities (e.g., mixed instructional grouping, use of learning centers, peer tutoring) are utilized to address individual needs.
Instruction is ELA and Math is provided in the general education classroom for a minimum of 210 minutes weekly. The core instruction (Tier 1) includes differentiation based on the abilities and needs of all students. Teachers identify groups in their classes based on learning preferences in order to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners. Differentiated learning activities (e.g., mixed instructional grouping, use of learning stations, peer tutoring) are utilized to address individual needs.
Tier 2 Students Receive Core Instruction plus Targeted Intervention
Tier 2 is a secondary intervention intended for approximately 10% of students who are not responding to core instruction at Tier 1. This supplemental instruction is provided in addition to, and not in place of, the core instruction provided in Tier 1. Tier 2 interventions focus on areas of student need or weakness that are determined from the results of the universal screening in combination with the grade level district literacy assessments, classroom assessment data, State assessment data, classroom observation, and any other relevant educational data. The Instructional Support teams additionally review and recommend other assessments to target individual academic/instructional needs.
Tier 2 Interventionists may include:
- Classroom Teachers
- Reading and Math Intervention Specialists
- ESL Teachers
- Speech/Language Teachers
- Special Education Teachers
- School Counselors
- Teaching Assistants
Interventions are instructional supports which are designed based upon student needs after a careful analysis of the student’s data. The goal is to target the student’s deficits, and reinforce and re-teach those specific skills. The need for interventions is based on the results from screening assessments and progress monitoring.
The location of a Tier 2 intervention may be the classroom or an alternate location to be determined by the school. Group size is small. Frequency of intervention provided varies; however, generally it is no less than every other day for a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes per session. The duration of the intervention should last from 8-12 weeks. Tier 2 interventions are supported by research and vary by curriculum/skill focus, group size, frequency, and duration based on student responsiveness.
At the secondary level, Tier 2 interventions focus on areas of student need or weakness that are determined from results of diagnostic screenings, benchmark assessments, classroom based assessment, and other relevant student data. The location of a Tier 2 intervention may be in the classroom or an alternate location determined by the school. Group size, frequency of intervention, and duration of intervention vary. Tier 2 interventions are supported by research and vary by curriculum/skill focus, group size, frequency, and duration based on student responsiveness.
Tier 3 Students Receive Core Instruction plus Customized Intervention
The third tier develops and applies intensive instructional interventions to increase an individual student’s rate of progress. Tier 3 represents approximately 1% of the student population. This tier provides greater individualized instruction in an individual or small group session. These services are considered supplemental instruction to Tier 1 and are not intended to replace Tier 1 instruction. Individual diagnostic assessments are conducted, as needed, to determine specific patterns of skills that the individual has and does not have for the purpose of designing effective instruction to remediate the students’ deficits.
Tier 3 Interventionists may include:
- AIS Teachers
- Reading and Math Interventionists
- Speech/Language Teachers
- Special Education Teachers who provide RTI support
- School Counselors
The location of a Tier 3 intervention is usually outside of the classroom. Group size is approximately 1-3 students. Frequency of intervention provided varies, but it is more frequent than Tier 2 interventions and for a time period of at least thirty minutes. The duration of the intervention may last anywhere from 8 – 16 weeks. Students who receive a Tier 3 intervention will be monitored for progress using weekly progress monitoring probes.
The location of a Tier 3 is usually outside of the classroom. Group size, frequency of intervention, and duration of intervention vary, but is more frequent than a Tier 2. All interventionists work with the general education teacher to provide continuity and congruence of instruction.
9. Parent Information and Notification
This element of RTI is critical at every level of intervention including prior to a referral to the team.
Parents are exposed to the concept of Response to Intervention through a variety of mediums including but not limited to district website, informational meetings and letters. This information should provide a rationale for RTI and the procedures put in place to address the state and national regulations.
Florida Union Free School District’s literacy and math programs are aligned to the NYS Next Generation learning standards. At each grade level, a significant amount of time is allotted to instruction for all students.
The school will inform the parent as to the progress of the child. If the parent and the school have tried several interventions and progress is still limited, the parent may want to consent to an evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine what the child’s educational needs are and to consider whether he or she may have a learning disability.
Procedures for Notification to Parents
A school district’s process to determine if a student responds to scientific, research-based instruction shall include written notification to the parents when the student requires an intervention beyond that provided to all students in the general education classroom that provides information about:
- The student performance data that will be collected and the general education services that Page 10 will be provided pursuant to the structure and components of the RTI program selected by the school district.
- Strategies for increasing the student’s rate of learning.
- The parents’ right to request an evaluation for special education programs and/or services. [8NYCRR 100.2(ii) (1) (vii)]
The RTI process includes specific parent notification requirements. Parents must be notified in writing and in a language or mode of communication they understand if their child needs an intervention beyond that which is provided to all students in a classroom. Parents receive written notification when beginning/ending intervention services as they move from tier to tier. This notification is sent by the principal. This letter includes:
- Reasons (amount and nature of data)
- Area of instruction
- Frequency and intensity of services
Additional services provided will be based on the results of the universal screening. The district will establish clear procedures for communicating progress monitoring data three times a year, which may include:
- Progress/AIS Reports
- School Report Cards
- MAPS Student Profile Reports (K-8)
- DRA – Developmental Reading Assessment (K-5)
Parents should be notified of their right to request an evaluation for special education services at any time. In the event a student is referred for an evaluation to determine if the student has a learning disability, the parent will have received appropriate data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal assessment of student progress during instruction. [8NYCRR 200.4(j) (1) (ii) (b)]