Response to Intervention
What is RtI?
In 2004, Congress made many changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004)and refers to a tiered approach to instruction. All students whether ESE or general education who do not make adequate academic progress and who are at risk for reading and other learning disabilities receive increasingly intensive instructional services.
If you provide high quality instruction, and regularly keep track of how children are doing in the classroom (progress monitoring), all children will succeed and achieve high standards.
What is progress monitoring?
Progress monitoring is a scientifically based practice of assessing students’ performance on a regular basis. Progress monitoring helps school teams make decisions about instruction.
What is the tiered approach to instruction?
There are many different versions of RtI, so the following model represents a generic version. In Tier 1, the idea is to provide scientific, research-based instruction or just plain old good teaching. During this Tier 1 instruction, instructional goals (benchmarks) are established, and regular progress monitoring of student performance is accomplished to make sure they are achieving at expected levels. Progress monitoring tools come from the curriculum-based measurement, where the test items should be related to the actual curriculum that the child is being taught.
Although the teacher should modify instruction or provide classroom accommodations in Tier 1 to help a struggling child, the focus is on good instruction and regular testing to ensure that a majority of children receive good instruction. If a child is not achieving at a level commensurate with his or her peers, a team, such as an School Based Intervention Team (SBIT), should refer the child for a Tier 2 RtI intervention approach. At this point, we know that a child referred for Tier 2 services is not doing as well as the majority of students, and needs extra help.
Unlike the Tier 1 instructional modifications or classroom accommodations, the child’s learning and/or behavioral problem is identified and interventions are designed specifically to help the struggling child learn and succeed in the problem-solving approach.
In Tier 2, the child will receive a specific intervention that has been shown to help similar struggling children and is research based. The child’s progress is carefully monitored to see if the intervention is working, and changes in the intervention are made until success is achieved.
In Tier 2, the intervention and measurement should be tailored to the individual child. The child may receive additional instruction from other teachers (e.g., reading teacher) and/or related services providers (e.g., school psychologist, speech language therapist). If the child does not respond to this intervention, then a Problem Solving Worksheet (PSW) will be completed.
In Tier 3, the PSW will define all information regarding the student. This includes what interventions have been used and what has the progress monitoring shown. It will also show all environmental, curriculum, instruction, and learning factors concerning the student. Lastly, the PSW will provide an achievable goal for the area of need and the intervention that will address that need. Tier 3 is an additional approach due to the students continued struggle to provide addtional services, resources, and a new research based intervention that is individualized and one-on-one. If progress monitoring continues to show static growth or lack of sufficient progress the SBIT will make a decision to provide further intervention or recommend an ESE evaluative process.