Response to Intervention (RTI)


Response to Intervention is a multi-tiered process used to identify and provide support to students who are struggling.  Students that are struggling with making academic progress (ex. meeting reading, writing, math or other educational goals) or students that demonstrate behavioral issues (ex. problems with follow through or listening goals) can use RTI to help get them on the right course.  RTI techniques employ a combination of high quality, culturally and linguistically responsive instructions, assessments and evidence-based interventions ensuring that the interventions used have merit and prove to help students succeed. Schools have been using RTI techniques for years, but may not have been calling it RTI.

This process works because teachers monitor a student’s progress. If progress is slow or stagnant, then adjustments will be made and interventions occur based on the individual student’s needs.  RTI’s intention is to provide each student with the best opportunities to succeed in school, provide a quality education and may assist in identifying students with learning or other disabilities.  Often, RTI techniques have been used prior to IEP or 504 implementation.  At any time during the RTI process, parents or teachers can request a comprehensive evaluation for special education services, which may be vital to the continued success of the student.  The evaluation process and adoption of an IEP or a 504 plan can ensure your child is on the right track academically, behaviorally, or socially.

RTI typically has 3 levels of intervention that increase in intensity as the child’s needs dictate.  Depending on the child’s need, interventions may occur in the General Education Classroom, Special Education Classroom, Resource room, in the full class, smaller group, or individually.

Tier 1

All students in the general education classroom are universally screened and use regular classroom curriculum to progress.  This is done to set a baseline of abilities with in the general education classroom and to identify those who are struggling in academic or behavioral areas.


Tier 2

This area consists of small groups of students that need a little extra support and supplementation to the regular curriculum.  Tier 2 uses the small group focus to work with students by reinforcing skills and academics in areas of struggle.  Small groups help each child to actively participate in learning by providing more one-on-one attention.  This can occur in the classroom or another quiet area.


Tier 3

In Tier 3, an even smaller group of students participate in the reinforcement of curriculum. Tier 3 is also used to help reinforce the areas of concern.  By participating in a much smaller group, the child is able to receive the maximum level of support.  This support can be provided in the general education classroom, a resource class or special education classroom.  The support is at an increased level where individualize attention can be accessed to facilitate learning.


RTI techniques are best reinforced when parents are involved in their child’s education.   Parents can be involved by monitoring their child’s progress and implementing instructions and interventions used at school.  Asking what types of instructions or reinforcements are used can help your child make progress towards goals by providing a consistent learning environment between home and school.

As military families move from one location to another, they may notice that each school uses different techniques to implement intervention programs.  Schools will format their programs to best fit the needs of their students by using a variety of techniques and evidence based interventions to effectively use resources to improve learning for all students.


“Working Together with Military Families of Individuals with DisAbilities!”

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