Learning can be tricky business. Even in the best circumstances, the process by which we gather and understand new information is fraught with peaks and valleys, stops and starts, successes and failures. When complicating factors are present—that reach above and beyond typical two steps forward and one step back—the task of learning becomes even more difficult.
Within this picture, parents and educators must pay close attention to children and notice when additional help is needed in an effort to enhance learning opportunities. At a fundamental level, Response to Intervention (RTI) is a systematic way of determining individual student needs and engaging necessary supports to meet those needs.
RTI is both early intervention strategies within general education and one part in the process by which students may be identified to receive special education and related services within all public schools (including charter schools) in the United States.
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-step approach to providing services to struggling students. Teachers provide instruction and interventions to them at increasing levels of intensity. They also monitor the progress students make at each intervention level and use the assessment results to decide whether the student needs additional instruction or intervention in general education or a referral to special education.
RTI models have several components in common: RTI uses tiers of intervention for struggling students, relies on research based instruction and interventions, uses problem-solving to determine interventions for students, and monitors students regularly to determine if they are progressing as they should academically and/or behaviorally.
Many models are based on three tiers. Generally, in Tiers 1 and 2 general education teachers provide instruction and interventions. When students fail to respond to a small group and intense individualized interventions, they are referred for special education.** Special education teachers may develop interventions and/or plan assessments for students receiving instructions and interventions in Tiers 1 and 2. They may not typically provide instruction to students until Tier 3, when the student could be referred and identified for special education.***
Some content is from NICHCY view website nichcy.org/Pages/RTI.aspx
*Refer to the Glossary of RTI Terms
**A parent may make a referral at any time they have a legitimate concern.
***Refer to RTI in Utah