Response to Intervention

Holly Williams

Response to Intervention

Response to intervention (RTI) is a multi-tiered model that is designed to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for students (Fletcher &Vaughn, 2009). The four main components of RTI are as follows: 1. Multi-level instruction and behavioral systems, 2. universal screening, 3. Progress monitoring, and 4. data-based decision making. Many universal screeners are criterion-referenced measures which allow teachers to compare the student to other students in the age and grade range. Progress monitoring refers to the continuous evaluation and assessment of student performance based on the implantation of the research-based intervention(s). The re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004 brought for the use of response to intervention (Kuo, 2014). IDEA of 1975 was created and passed by Congress to ensure that children with disabilities are awarded the opportunity to receive a free and appropriate public education. The purpose of the RTI model is to promote equity by ensuring all students receive intense, systematic, and evidenced-based interventions before being considered for special education testing (Cramer, 2015).

Tier One - Tier Two - Tier Three

Tier One

Tier one is the foundation of response to intervention. RTI begins with high-quality instructional and screening of children in the general classroom setting (National Education Association, nd). Around 80% of the general school population is supported through Tier one instruction (Hernandez Finch, 2012). Tier one consists of academic services and behavior modifications that are designed and implemented for the general education population (Rush, Dobbins, & Kurtts, 2010). Quality core instruction takes place and addresses the needs of most students at Tier one (Burns, 2010).

Tier One Strategies:

-hands-on learning
-non-linguistic representations



-differentiated instruction

Tier Two

15% of the general school population is served in Tier two (Hernandez Finch, 2012). Students are moved to Tier two when they are not responding to current Tier 1 teaching and interventions. Tier two students are progress monitored on weekly or biweekly bases using research-based interventions. The goal of Tier two interventions is to move students from their current rate of learning to the actual rate of learning. Tier two focuses heavily on the problem-solving mode: 1. identify the problem, 2. analyze the problem, 3. develop and implement an intervention, and 4. evaluate for progress/modification (Hale, 2008).

Problem- Solving Method:(Hale, 2008)

1. Identify the problem

2. Analyze the problem

3. Develop and implement an intervention

4. Evaluate for progress/modification

Tier Three

Once adequate data has been collected at Tier two and shows limited to no progression from the research-based intervention, students are moved to Tier three in the model. Students in Tier three, which makes up approximately 5% of the general school population (Hernandez Finch, 2012), receive intensive and sustained interventions (Batsch et al., 2006). Students in Tier three will receive interventions that are highly targeted, provide an appropriate level of challenge, explicitly teaches a specific skill, allows an opportunity to respond, and provides corrective feedback (Burns, 2010).

-individualized interventions

-three to five times a week

-progress monitored once a week

Referral for Testing

After a review of the tier three data, school and parents may determine it is necessary to move a student to tier four, which is referral to special education (Georgia Department of Education, 2011). However, IDEA of 2004 allows for a parent or guardian to refer a child for testing at any time during the RTI process. The lack of data or interventions through the process cannot deny a parents request. If this action is chosen, the school-based team will collaborate on the referral to create a complete picture of the student's learning patterns, strengths, and areas of need based on a collection of student work samples, recent grades, assessment data, and all data collected through the targeted interventions. Once a referral has been submitted and adequate paperwork has been filled, a 45-day window opens up for testing. Testing will determine if the student qualifies for special education services. If the testing shows that the student does not qualify, the team should meet to create an individualized education plan that targets identified areas and creates accommodations to meet the needs of the student.

Cultural Aspects of RTI

The RTI model should include cultural competencies into the interventions. Recognizing students’ cultural backgrounds and native languages should be accounted for when implementing interventions. According to a review performed by Choi, Oh, Yoon and Hong (2012), English language learners should receive interventions and services equally in their first and second language in order to maximize the outcome. Likewise, educators who are involved in the implementation of RTI should be familiar with culturally sensitive pedagogy as well as language acquisition (Choi, et al, 2012). Intensive teacher training for both pre-service and veteran teachers would need to occur in order to equip educators with cultural competencies and culturally sensitive pedagogy.