Response to Intervention


We are at a crossroads. We can either use Response to Intervention as an opportunity to rebuild a positive climate or allow it to devolve into something that takes us even farther from the reason most of us became teachers.

~Mary Howard, RTI FROM ALL SIDES, What Every Teacher Needs to Know

What is RTI?

Response to Intervention is a process which included the provision of systematic, research-based instruction and interventions to struggling learners. It assumes that the instruction/interventions are matched to student needs and that the monitoring of progress is continuous. Furthermore, RTI is designed as an early intervention to prevent long-term academic failure. As such, RTI can replace and/or augment the IQ discrepency model in the identification of learning disabilities. RTI is considered a general education service, but can also be implemented in special education settings.


Key Features

  • RTI is primarily a general education initiative designed to address the the needs of struggling learners early in their educational experience.
  • RTI is based on a problem-solving model that uses data to inform decision making.
  • RTI interventions are systematically applied and derived fro research-based practices.
  • RTI is highly dependent on progress monitoring and data collection.
  • RTI intervention plans a designed, implemented, and monitored by a mulit-disciplinary team of professionals.
  • RTI can replace the IQ discrepency model for determining the presence of a learning disability.




The 3 Tier Model

Tier I -the provision of general screening and group interventions that usually represent the core instructional program. If this instruction is adequately differentiated , 80-90% of the students will respond and achieve established benchmarks. Assessment occurs 3-4 times per year.


Tier II - If students do not make adequate progress in Tier I, more targeted services and interventions, usually in small groups settings, are provided in addition to the instruction in the general curriculum. Progress is monitored more closely, at least bi-weekly, and the research-based interventions could last approximately 6-10 weeks. 


Tier III - for students who do not adequately respond to the targeted services and interventions in TierII, intensive interventions would be provided, in small groups or individually, to address deficits. Additional testing may also be warranted. Only after TierIII interventions prove ineffective or inadequate would eligibility for specialized services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) be considered.