The reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 2004 (IDEA) focused national attention on a growing practice in the general education classroom – Response to Intervention (RTI) as a tool for assessing and providing high quality instruction to all struggling learners and to students at risk for academic failure. The RTI process is a multi-tiered approach to providing interventions to students who struggle with learning at increased levels of intensity based on progress monitoring and data analysis. It is proactive and responsive system that provides intervention based on the integration of all resources and shared expertise to more completely respond to student needs. The RTI process has the potential to limit the amount of academic failure that any student experiences and to increase the accuracy of special education evaluations. This could also reduce the number of children who have been mistakenly identified as having learning disabilities when their learning problems are actually due to cultural differences or lack of adequate instruction. Information and data gathered by an RTI process can lead to early identification of children who have true disabilities and are in need of special education services. Successful implementation of RTI requires a number of essential components that ensure high-quality instruction, careful monitoring and documenting of progress, and close collaboration between general education and special education.
Essential Components of an RTI model
1. High Quality, Research-Based Instruction
2. Universal Screening
3. Problem Solving Teams
5. Outcome Oriented Research-Based Interventions
Written intervention plans should delineate:
• A description of the specific intervention being used (scientific, research-based intervention)
• The duration of the intervention (8-12 weeks, 30 minutes/day)
• The schedule and setting of the intervention
• The people who are responsible for implementing the intervention
• Measurable outcomes which can be used to make data-based adjustments as needed during the intervention process
• A description of the skill measurement and recording techniques
• A progress monitoring schedule (e.g. once/week) and results in quantitative data
6. Ongoing Progress Monitoring and Systematic Data-Based Decision Making
The data and progress are graphed and viewed regularly.
The data will provide a cumulative record of the student’s response to the intervention.
The RTI Guide: Developing and Implementing a Model in Your Schools, McCook, John E. 2006, LRP Publications
Idaho Special Education Manual 2007, Appendix 4D (A4-14 – A4-16)