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Response to Intervention


FOCUS: To increase knowledge about the Response to Intervention process and how it supports reading growth of all K-3 children, but especially those who struggle with reading.
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tiered framework that schools can adopt to identify and help struggling learners — before they fail. The core elements of RTI include:
  • high-quality, evidence-based instruction for all students in all classrooms;
  • the gathering of data at least three times during the year to determine which students are at grade-level reading proficiency and which students are not and need extra help;
  • additional differentiated, small group intervention instruction for those learners struggling with reading that is matched to assessed students' needs;
  • the gathering of data weekly or bi-weekly to monitor how each student receiving intervention is progressing during intervention; and
  • careful use of that data to shape day-to-day instructional decisions.
Effective RTI begins with universal screening of all students to identify those students who are performing below an acceptable level and are at-risk for reading failure. These screenings are brief, curriculum-based measures of grade-level reading skills administered to all students at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the school year.

All students in grades K-3, regardless of screening assessment results, should receive at least 90 minutes of daily reading instruction in the regular education classroom. This is Tier I of the RTI process – “good first teaching”. Those students identified as moderately at-risk for reading failure receive an additional 30 minutes of reading instruction daily. This instruction, known as Tier II, occurs in a small group setting with instructional materials targeted to the specific reading skill needs of group members.

Students that make little or no progress in Tier II after a reasonable amount of time, or those students with very severe reading deficiencies, are placed in Tier III. Tier III students receive 60 minutes of daily, targeted, intense reading instruction in addition to that provided during the 90 minute reading block in the regular education classroom. Students who do not respond to a double dose of high-quality instruction in the regular classroom and in Tier II or Tier III are students that might benefit from special education identification and placement.