Response to Intervention

A Quick Overview

What is RtI?

Response to Intervention (RtI) is a systematic approach designed to identify and help struggling students be successful in the classroom. Through interventions, and research-based instruction, students move through the three tiers of RtI in order to receive appropriate instruction needed to be successful. The interventions implemented with students are based on individual student needs.

Practical Implementation Strategies:

Tier 1:

  1. Teach essential skills and strategies.

  2. Provide differentiated instruction based on assessment results and adapt instruction to meet students' needs.

  3. Provide explicit and systematic instruction with lots of practice—with and without teacher support and feedback, and including cumulative practice over time.

  4. Provide opportunities to apply skills and strategies in reading and writing meaningful text with teacher support.

  5. Don't just "cover" critical content; be sure students learn it—monitor student progress regularly and reteach as necessary.

Tier 2

has three characteristics that distinguish it from core instruction:


1) it is evidence-based

2) it consists of small-group instruction

3) it involves a clearly articulated intervention implemented with fidelity


According to this definition, Tier 2 is meant to provide a limited, but targeted, support system for students who struggle to meet grade-level performance standards. The goal of Tier 2 is to remediate academic skill deficits with the idea that in doing so, students will be successful in the Tier 1 program without support.


Tier 3

services are designed to address the needs of students who are experiencing significant problems and/or are unresponsive to Tier 1 and Tier 2 efforts.


Specifically, an intervention plan should describe the following:

  1. What the intervention will look like (i.e., its steps or procedures)

  2. What materials and/or resources are needed and whether these are available within existing resources

  3. Roles and responsibilities with respect to intervention implementation (i.e., who will be responsible for running the intervention, preparing materials, etc.)

  4. The intervention schedule (i.e., how often, for how long, and at what times in the day?) and context (i.e., where, and with whom?)

  5. How the intervention and its outcomes will be monitored (i.e., what measures, by whom, and on what schedule?) and analyzed (i.e., compared to what criterion?).