Therefore RTI is a proactive, data-driven, and multi-tiered approach that allows educators to monitor student progress and make data-informed decisions about instruction and intervention.
The RTI process typically involves three tiers of support:
Tier 1: Universal Instruction – This level of support is provided to all students in the general education classroom. Teachers implement research-based, high-quality instructional practices to ensure that the needs of the majority of students are met. Teachers regularly conduct assessments to monitor students’ progress and identify those needing extra support.
Tier 2: Targeted Intervention – Students identified as struggling during Tier 1 assessments receive additional, targeted support in small groups or individually. We design these interventions to target particular skill gaps or learning difficulties. Progress is closely monitored, and interventions are adjusted based on the student’s response.
Tier 3: Intensive Intervention – Students identified as struggling during Tier 2 assessments receive more intensive and individualized support for students who do not show significant progress after Tier 2 interventions. This may involve one-on-one instruction, specialized programs, or additional resources. At this stage, a comprehensive evaluation may determine if the student has a specific learning disability or requires special education services.
The primary goals of RTI in Education:
- Identify students at risk for academic or behavioral difficulties early so that appropriate interventions can be provided.
- Implement research-based instructional strategies and interventions tailored to each student’s needs.
- Use data to monitor student progress and adjust interventions to maximize their effectiveness.
- Prevent the over-identification of students for special education services by providing targeted support in the general education setting.
Research indicates that educators refer children who do not respond to initial interventions for more intensive interventions in a reasonable amount of time. Your school will often have sufficient data after six weeks of intervention to decide on the next steps (e.g., continue intervention, intensify intervention, refer for evaluation). The timeframe for decision-making depends on the frequency/duration of intervention and the skills targeted.
Things to help with that determination may include reviewing intervention history and the student’s progress monitoring data (current rate of progress and movement towards closing achievement gaps).
After going through the process and realizing that the interventions are not helping, it should become clear that the child has a disability and must initiate a referral.
Please note that educators do not have to advance your child through each tier of the RtI system before making a referral for special education.
Overall, RTI aims to ensure that all students receive the support they need to succeed academically and behaviorally and that educators can make informed decisions about instruction and intervention based on student performance data.