Response to Intervention (RtI)
Response to Intervention (RtI) is the practice of providing high-quality instruction/intervention matched to student needs and using learning rate over time and level of performance to make important educational decisions about an individual student.
RtI represents an important educational strategy to close achievement gaps for all students, including students at risk, students with disabilities and English language learners, by preventing smaller learning problems from becoming insurmountable gaps. It has also been shown to lead to more appropriate identification of and interventions with students with learning disabilities.
RtI begins with high quality research-based instruction in the general education setting provided by the general education teacher. Instruction is matched to student need through provision of differentiated instruction in the core curriculum and supplemental intervention delivered in a multi-tier format with increasing levels of intensity and targeted focus of instruction. As a consequence of school-wide screenings of all students and progress monitoring, students who have not mastered critical skills or who are not making satisfactory progress can be identified for supplemental intervention. If the student continues not to make sufficient progress after receiving the most intensive level of instructional intervention, it may be determined that a referral for a comprehensive evaluation to determine eligibility for special education is needed.
Reading in the early grades is a primary focus of the RtI process, as this is the area in which most of the research is available and the curriculum area in which the most students are identified with learning difficulties. However, the process of databased decision making and the principles of RtI can apply to other content areas as well as to behavioral issues that impact learning.