What is Response to Intervention (RTI)?

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a framework for providing comprehensive support to students and is not an instructional practice. RTI integrates student assessment and instructional intervention in a prevention-oriented approach by linking assessment and instruction to inform educators’ decisions about how best to teach their students.

The goal of RTI is to minimize the risk for long-term negative learning outcomes by responding quickly and efficiently to documented learning or behavioral problems and ensuring appropriate identification of students with disabilities.

The National Center on Response to Intervention offers a definition that reflects what is currently known from research and evidence-based practice:

“Response to intervention integrates assessment and intervention within a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and to reduce behavioral problems. With RTI, schools use data to determine students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student’s responsiveness, and identify students with learning.”

Response to Intervention (RTI) is essentially a 3 tiered system where each tier of intervention targets more specific academic deficits and more individual students, such that tier 1 interventions target a whole class, tier 2 small groups or pairs, and tier 3 individual students

The basic idea is:

  • Determine the academic/behavioral deficit areas
  • Test these areas to get a baseline
  • Implement an academic/behavioral intervention targeting the specific deficit area
  • Test the student again after delivering the intervention
  • If there is progress, continue this intervention
  • If there is not progress, try the intervention again or a different one and then test
  • If we try the same intervention again and it does not work, try a different one and then test
  • Continue this process until you find an intervention to which the student responds

Tier 1

Within Tier 1, all students receive high-quality, standards-based instruction provided by qualified personnel to ensure that their difficulties are not due to inadequate instruction. All students are screened on a periodic basis to establish an academic and behavioral baseline and to identify struggling learners who need additional support. Students identified as being “at risk” through universal screenings and/or results on state- or districtwide tests receive supplemental instruction during the school day in the regular classroom. During that time, student progress is closely monitored using a validated screening system such as curriculum-based measurement. At the end of this period, students showing significant progress are generally returned to the regular classroom program. Students not showing adequate progress are moved to Tier 2.

Tier 2

Students not making adequate progress in the regular classroom in Tier 1 are provided with increasingly intensive instruction matched to their needs on the basis of levels of performance and rates of progress. Intensity varies across group size, frequency and duration of intervention, and level of training of the professionals providing instruction or intervention. These services and interventions are provided in small-group settings in addition to instruction in the general curriculum. Students who continue to show too little progress at this level of intervention are then considered for more intensive interventions as part of Tier 3.

Tier 3

At this level, students receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the students’ skill deficits. Students who do not achieve the desired level of progress in response to these targeted interventions are then referred for a comprehensive evaluation and considered for eligibility fr special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004). The data collected during Tiers 1, 2, and 3 are included and used to make the eligibility decision.

It should be noted that at any point in an RTI process, IDEA 2004 allows parents to request a formal evaluation to determine eligibility for special education. An RTI process cannot be used to deny or delay a formal evaluation for special education.

If a Parent Would Like to Make a Referral:

Parents should contact the student’s school counselor for referral and the school counselor will initiate the referral.

Mrs. Diana Matlosz X 151 dmatlosz@lakeland.k12.nj.us

Mr. Brian Mulhern X 117 bmulhern@lakeland.k12.nj.us

Mrs. Tara Ross X 122 tross@lakeland.k12.nj.us

School Counseling Department (973) 835-1900 x 125 or x 124