What is RtI?

What is RtI?
Response-to-Intervention (RtI) is the practice of providing high-quality instruction/intervention matched to student needs. Progress is closely monitored and changes in instruction are based on data collected from on-going assessment.

RtI represents an educational strategy to close achievement gaps for all students, by preventing smaller learning problems from becoming insurmountable gaps. (NASDSE, 2006)

Tier 1:
Whole Classroom: Quality core instruction provided to all students 80%-90%

Tier 2:
Small Group: Supplemental needs based instruction 10-20%

Tier 3:
Intensive:  individualized instruction 5-10%

What do the tiers mean?

Tier I
ALL students receive Tier I interventions, also known as “Best Practices.” Tier I interventions will be successful with 80- 90% of the student population. Classroom teachers provide Tier I interventions and supports.

Tier II
Based on academic school-wide screening, students who are not meeting grade level benchmarks and for whom Tier I interventions are not supportive enough will receive Tier II interventions. They receive the same instruction as students in Tier 1 as well as targeted interventions. Tier II represents 5-10% of the population. Tier II interventions are provided by the classroom teacher as well as support staff when necessary.

Tier III
Students who are not making adequate progress at Tier II will receive Tier III interventions. Tier III interventions include intensive instruction, specific to the student’s highest area(s) of need. Tier III should only represent 1-5% of the population. Tier III interventions are provided by the classroom teachers as well as specialists in the specific area of skill deficit.

Description of Critical Elements in a 3-Tier RtI Model
The following table outlines the essential features of a three-tier model of RtI including suggested ranges of frequency and duration of screening, interventions and progress monitoring. This is intended as guidance as they determine the various components of their RtI model.
Tier 1
Core Curriculum and
Tier 2
Supplemental Instruction
Tier 3
Increased Levels of
Supplemental Instruction
Size of instructional
Whole class grouping
Small group instruction
(3-5 students)
Individualized or small
group instruction
(1-2 students)
Mastery requirements
of content
Relative to the cut points identified on criterion screening measures and
continued growth as
demonstrated by progress
Relative to the cut points identified on criterion screening measures and
continued growth as
demonstrated by progress monitoring
Relative to the student’s level of performance and
continued growth as
demonstrated by progress monitoring
Frequency of progress
Screening measures three times per year
 (DIBELS, AIMSWeb, iReady)
Varies, but no less than
once every two weeks
Varies, but more continuous and no less than once a week
Frequency of
intervention provided
Per school schedule

Varies, but no less than
three times per week for a minimum of 20-30 minutes per session
Varies, but more frequently than Tier 2 for a minimum of 30 minutes per session
Duration of
School year
9-30 weeks
A minimum of 15-20 weeks

What are the Benefits of RtI?

  • RtI ensures a shared approach is used in addressing students’ diverse needs.
  • Parents are a very important part of the process.
  • RtI eliminates the “wait to fail” situation, because students get help promptly within the general education setting.
  • The RtI approach may help reduce the number of students referred for special education services while increasing the number of students who are successful within regular education.
  • RtI helps to identify the root cause of achievement problems.
  • RtI’s use of progress monitoring provides more instructionally relevant information than traditional assessments

How Parents/Guardians can support at Home:

  • Reading is Fundamental (These tips have been adapted from Reading is Fundamental (www.rif.org)
  • Invite your child to read with you every day.
  • When reading a book where the print is large, point word by word as you read.
  • Read your child’s favorite book over and over again.
  • Read many stories with rhyming words and repeated lines.
  • Discuss new words and ideas.
  • Stop and ask about the pictures and what is happening in the story. Encourage your child to predict.
  • Read from a variety of materials including fairy tales, poems, informational books, magazines and even comic strips.
  • Let your children see you reading for pleasure in your spare time.
  • Take your child to the library. Explore an area of interest together
  • Scout for things your child might like to read. Use your child’s interests and hobbies as starting points.
What should parents do if they believe their child is struggling?

  • Contact your child’s teacher
  • Request a parent/teacher conference
  • Access the parent portal and other daily means of communication
  • Review your child’s work to see if there is progress
  • Talk with your child to ensure they know you are supporting them at home as well as in school

125 × 125Be sure to stop by my Teachers pay Teacher store for great RtI progress monitoring tools during the 2-day Cyber Sale all items 28% off. My students love  my RTI: Nonsense Word Fluency Activities. Its a great way to open guided reading so students to practice going from the individual sounds to the whole word. 


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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.

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