Response To Intervention (RtI)


What is Response to Intervention Plan? (RtI)

Response to Intervention (RtI) is an approach for redesign­ing and establishing teaching and learning environments that are effective, efficient, and relevant for all students, families and educators. RtI is a general education initiative.

Response to Intervention (RtI) is also a process designed to help schools focus on and provide high-quality instruction and interventions to students who may be struggling with learning.

An intervention is a specific type of instruction that is used to help with a specific type of problem. Interventions are matched to student needs.

Student progress is monitored often to check the effectiveness of the instruction and interventions. The data collected on a student’s progress are used to shape instruction and make educa­tional decisions.

Use of an RtI process can help avoid a “wait to fail” situation because students get help promptly within the general education environment.

Materials and interventions used in the instructional program are of high quality and have been shown by research to be effective (research-based). Research-based interventions are teaching strategies or meth­ods that have been proven to be effective in helping children learn.

RtI has three important parts: 1) a three tier model of school supports, 2) a problem-solving method for decision-making, and 3) data-driven instruction.

Part 1: Three-Tier Model of School Supports:
In an RtI framework, resources are determined by a student’s needs. This framework is usually shown as a three-tier model that uses more and more intense instruction and interventions. The level of intensity of in­struction and interventions is determined by how a student responds to the instruction. Assessments determine the tier service each student receives. [Assessments]

Tier 1:
Tier 1 is the foundation. This is the instruction that all students receive in the general education classroom with their general education teacher. It is called the core instruction.  

Tier 2:
Tier 2 interventions are provided with an increased level of intensity in addition to core instruction for smaller groups of students who show some risk of not meeting grade level standards. With fewer students in a group, an individual student has more opportunities to respond, and the teacher has more opportunities to give immediate and appropriate feedback to each student. The teacher can more easily guide a student along the right course. Tier 2 interventions usually involve additional practice and skill building.

Tier 3:
Tier 3 interventions provide an even higher level of intensity from Tier 2 interventions and are also provided in addition to core instruction. Tier 3 interventions are typically provided to smaller groups of students. Interventions are tailored specifically to meet the needs of each student. Students may move fluidly from tier to tier as a result of their response to their interventions.

Part 2: The Problem-Solving Method of Decision-Making
In RtI, the problem-solving method is used to match instructional resources to educational need. The problem-solving method (see below) is as follows:  

Define the problem: Determine the gap or difference between what the student is expected to do and what the student is actually doing.

Analyze the problem: Use information collected from a variety of sources, such as school work, tests, parents’ input, etc., to determine why the student may be having problems with learning or behavior.

Develop and implement a plan:


Set a goal that describes the expected improve­ment in the student’s learning;


Choose the intervention(s) specific to the problem;


Identify how the student’s progress will be monitored


Carry out the interventions and check to make sure they are being done correctly.

Monitor Progress: Collect and use student data to determine if the intervention plan is working or if changes are needed. 

Part 3: Using Data to Inform Instruction

District 7 uses a universal screening process which includes multiple data sources to iden­tify students who are at risk for learning problems with the core instruction.

At Tier 1, data are collected and used for screening and benchmarking of all students in important areas such as reading, math, writing and behavior. This means that schools use the information to measure where all students are performing and how much progress they are making. The data also help schools determine if their core instructional practices are effective for most students.

When a screening shows that a student is at risk for a learning problem, the student will receive targeted interventions. The student may receive extra help in the general education classroom with the general education teacher as well.

At Tier 2, data are collected to determine whether the ex­tra instruction is making a difference. At Tier 3, data are collected for the same reasons as Tier 2, but are collected more often so that decisions and changes to the student’s instruction can be made sooner. In an RtI model, as interventions get more intensive, stu­dent progress is monitored more often.

The information collected from the screening and progress monitoring materials are used to help the team answer the following questions about the student’s learning:


Is the student making progress?


Are the current interventions helping the student learn in the identified problem area?


Is the student making enough progress to close the gap in the identified area?


If the interventions are no longer provided, is the student able to continue to make progress? If not, can the current interventions be continued with general education resources?


The Role of Parents in an RtI Process
Parents are important partners in all aspects of their child’s education. Concerns about a student ex­periencing academic and/or behavioral difficulties are pre­sented by the child’s teacher to a building-level team. The building team consists of school staff members who review avail­able student information and collect additional informa­tion from the parents to gain a better understanding of the student’s needs. As the process continues, parents should be active members of the team and participate in the problem-solving process.

If your child is identified as being at risk for learning or behavioral difficulties, to be involved you can:


Attend team meetings. Remember, you are the expert regarding your child!


Ask what interventions are being used for academic and/or behavioral problems.


When possible, use the same strategies or interventions at home.


Ask the school what formal guidelines they are using for progress monitoring.


Ask your school to provide you with regular progress monitoring reports.


Praise your child for any progress or general improvement in the area(s) of concern. 


Ask what interventions are being used for academic and/or behavioral problems.


Adapted from the Illinois State Board of Education, Response to Intervention (RtI): Chapter 2, June 2009.

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Last updated on: July 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM
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