What is RtI

What is Response to Intervention (RTI)? Response to Intervention, commonly referred to as RTI, is a multi-level approach often used in classrooms to identify students who are struggling and to provide the interventions necessary to help them succeed. RTI is usually separated into three levels or RTI tiers:

  • RTI Tier 1 is general education. It is important that this instruction is research-based and follows the Common Core standards. Students in Tier 1 are performing on or above grade level.
  • RTI Tier 2 is targeted instruction given to students, often in small groups within the classroom, who are one level below grade level. Students who do not respond to Tier 2 interventions are assigned into Tier 3 instruction and are given more intensive support and instruction.
  • RTI Tier 3 is more intensive intervention and often done on an individual basis and is usually for students more than one level below grade level.

RTI is a preventative measure for all children—not just those who may ultimately be identified for special education services. Children need different levels of intervention for different reasons at different times, and a child’s need for intervention will likely change over the course of a year depending on the subject matter, level of difficulty, and each child’s unique development.

Assessment is an integral part of instruction and can help determine the level of RTI needed, providing educators with the information they need to understand students’ strengths and weaknesses and to adjust instruction accordingly. According to the National Center on Response to Intervention:

  • A comprehensive assessment system integrates assessment and instruction, so that educators can continually use data to ensure they are meeting the needs of all students (National Center on Response to Intervention, 2010; Smith, 2010).
  • Assessment data should track student growth, identify students who are not demonstrating adequate progress and need more intensive intervention, and determine the efficacy of instructional programs (National Center on Response to Intervention, 2010).