Response to Intervention. Ensuring academic success for all children.

What is Response to Intervention (RTI)?

It's a classroom strategy that helps prevent students from falling behind.

RTI is not special education.

RTI works with more students, in the regular classroom setting. At the same time it helps schools decide who might need special education services.

RTI is a process.

RTI uses testing and extra help ("interventions") in the classroom. Services are "tiered" in a way that adjusts teaching strategies over time to meet students needs.

RTI helps find problems early.

Students who struggle do not necessarily have a learning or behavioral disability. For example, struggles may be caused by:
* teaching style or method
* language differences
* cultural differences.
RTI helps distinguish these problems from true disabilities.

RTI begins as soon as kindergarten.

It helps any child who is falling behind to make up ground, without separating him or her from others. Any child who has a true learning disability will be getting help right away.

The RTI process is like a pyramid.
Tier 1 (Many Students)
All students are evaluated. Identified students then receive extra helping small groups in the regular classroom. Progress is monitored and measured. Students who are doing well, return to regular classroom work. Those who still need help move to Tier 2.
Tier 2 (Some Students)
Students receive more intensive help in the regular classroom - or in special sessions outside of it. Different teaching methods than those used in Tier 1 may be used. Students who progress, return to regular classroom work. Students who are struggling move to Tier 3.
Tier 3 (Few Students)
Students receive even more intensive instruction. It may be one-on-one or small group instruction outside of the regular classroom with a specialist. Focus is on ares in which the student needs the most help. Students who do not progress well my be considered for special education services.

RTI's Key Ingredients

Progress monitoring
This system measures how well a student is learning. Results help show teachers:
* whether the student is making progress
* what areas to focus on, for that student, in future lessons
* what kind of instruction a student needs.
Progress monitoring offers some important advantages.
* Tests can be given often - so a student will not "fall through the cracks."
* Tests can happen in the regular classroom, during class time.

This means using benchmark (standards) - for example, test results - to help make decisions about a student. RTI uses benchmarks to help make objective decisions about:
* a student entering RTI
* a student leaving RTI
* whether a student is working at his or her expected grade level
* whether a student has mastered an academic skill.

RTI teams may include one or more:
* classroom teachers
* special education teachers
* reading or math specialists
* counselors / behavior specialists / school psychologists
* administrators