RTI Coffee House

RTI Sharing Session

RTI Background

While RTI originally began in elementary school settings to change the way students are identified for special education services, it is now making its way into middle schools and high schools. Special education eligibility requirements have changed and the identification process no longer is limited to ability vs. discrepancy requirements. The RTI process requires highly qualified teachers to implement research proven best practices to identify students that fail to achieve for reasons other than access to quality instructional practices. It is designed to accelerate student learning and progress is monitored closely at each level. Middle School and High School RTI is important because the population it serves is at risk for dropping out.


There are three tiers. Tier 1 is supplemental instruction in the classroom. (See district RTI handbook p. 14 for further information.) A classroom teacher, or interventionist, may administer in class interventions for students that are not on benchmark. Data is collected both pre and post intervention to reflect upon student progress in relation to their peers and growth that is made. Our district requires 2 interventions to be administered, each lasting 6 weeks, before a student can be referred to a SIT team or progress to a more intensive intervention. (See district RTI handbook p. 7 for more information) If enough progress is not made, a student progresses to tier 2 (targeted intervention in a small group setting). The instruction received is usually 30 min. in addition to core instruction. Tier 3 is intensive, daily (usually 60 minutes) intervention that targets skill deficits and a comprehensive evaluation for special education services may be conducted. (See district RTI handbook p. 26 for more information) If a student begins making progress, an evaluation would not be conducted. If they continue to make insufficient progress, then they would be referred for an evaluation.

Tracking Process

Although the tracking process takes time to document, it is essential. If a student moves through the tiers and still does not show adequate progress despite research proven instructional practices, your documentation will be important in the special education eligibility process. Students who failed to qualify for special ed services in elementary school because they did not meet the ability vs. achievement requirements will no longer fall through the cracks.

What resources are available to me as I plan my supplemental instruction?

*"40 Reading Intervention Strategies for K-6 Students Research-Based Support for RTI" by Elaine K. McEwan-Adkins

*"The Continuum of Literacy Learning" by Fountas & Pinnell (word work ideas for each guided reading level to help you plan developmentally appropriate activities)

*"The CAFE Book" by Boushey and Moser (contains quick, ready reference forms to help explicitely teach reading strategies for students that exhibit deficits)

*The Florida Center for Reading Research http://fcrr.org/ (activities to target skill deficits)

*"What Really Matters for Struggling Readers Designing Research-Based Programs" by Richard L. Allington

*"Comprehension Strategies for Middle Grade Learners: A Handbook for Content area Teachers" by Rose Sadler

*"Middle School Readers: Helping Them Read Widely, Helping Them Read Well" by Nancy Allison

*"Zeroing in on Numbers and Operations: Key Ideas and Common Misconceptions" by Anne Collins & Linda Dacey