The Response to Intervention KnowledgeBase

Task 1: Be Aware Of The History of RTI


Guideline: Possessing a historical perspective of Response to Intervention (RTI) lays the foundation for learning about how, why, and when this multi-level prevention model came about and its effectiveness in improving student achievement. This task provides resources with information on the history of RTI.

Using A Response to Intervention (RTI) Framework to Improve Student Learning

This pocket guide explains how leaders can use a research-based framework for response to intervention (RTI) to improve learning for all students. The majority of states have some form of RTI initiative in place already. This guide can help states leverage existing initiatives to support the statewide school improvement efforts spelled out in their ESEA flexibility plans. Using a Response to Intervention (RTI) Framework to Improve Student Learning is designed to help state and local policymakers and practitioners implement ESEA flexibility plans. The Pocket Guide includes:

·      A description of the essential components of RTI; 

·      Requirements for Principle 2 in the application for building state, district, and school capacity to improve learning in all schools—particularly low-performing          schools and those with the largest achievement gaps;

·      Discussion of how applications of a research-based RTI framework address Principle 2 in approved plans; and 

·      Considerations (based on rigorous research) for the implementation of RTI frameworks to address the proposed reforms.

Response to Intervention NASDSE and CASE White Paper on RtI

The National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) in partnership with the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) at the Council for Exceptional Children produced this 2006 white paper that provides an overview of Response to Intervention (RtI).


Revitalizing Special Education for Children and Their Families

This 2002 U.S. Department of Education document summarizes the findings of the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education. As noted in the transmittal letter, "the report outlines findings and recommendations for improving the educational performance of children with disabilities."


Why Adopt an RTI Model?

This link to the RTI Action Network website provides an article reviewing the historical context of RtI authored by Dr. David Prasse of Loyola University (Illinois).

Element 1: Learn About Response to Intervention (RTI)

Purpose: As defined by the National Center on Response to Intervention (RtI), "response to intervention integrates assessment and intervention within a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and to reduce behavior problems." Although RtI may have a different name in some states, the basic approach remains the same. Schools use data to identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student's responsiveness, and identify students with learning disabilities or other disabilities. Element 1 provides overview information on RtI.

Activity 1: An Overview of RTI

Activity 2: Resources to Support RtI

Activity 3: Legal and Equity Issues

Element 2: Understand Universal Screening

Purpose: Identifying students at risk for poor learning outcomes is an essential component of response to intervention (RtI). Universal screening is a brief assessment given to all students focusing on specific skills. Possessing a basic understanding of the role universal screening plays in RtI is essential in understanding the RtI concept. Element 2 provides information on universal screening.

Activity 1: Universal Screening

Activity 2: Collect Screening Data

Activity 3: Use Screening Data

Element 3: Become Familiar with Progress Monitoring

Purpose: The National Center on Student Progress Monitoring defined progress monitoring as "a scientifically based practice that is used to assess students' academic performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring can be implemented with individual students or an entire class." As an essential component of response to intervention (RtI), teachers need to understand its principles and application in practice. This task provides resources explaining progress monitoring.

Activity 1: Progress Monitoring

Activity 2: Collect Progress Monitoring Data

Activity 3: Use Progress Monitoring Data

Element 4: Use Data-based Decision-making

Purpose: Data analysis and decision making occurs at all response to intervention (RTI) implementation and instruction phases. Data teams use screening and progress monitoring data to make decisions about instruction and movement of students within the model. This element provides resources to inform teachers about using data to make applicable decisions within the RTI model.

Activity 1: Data-based Decision-making

Activity 2: Strategies for Reviewing Data and Making Data-based Decisions

Activity 3: Use Data to Inform Instructional Decision-making

Element 5: Become Familiar with Tiered Instruction

Purpose: As defined by the National Center on Response to Intervention, "tiered instruction describes levels of instructional intensity within a multi-tiered prevention system." The primary prevention/intervention level comprises the core instruction. The secondary prevention/intervention level consists of supplemental instruction, while the tertiary prevention/intervention level provides intensive interventions to those students showing minimal response to the secondary interventions. This element provides resources on the tiered instruction concept.

Activity 1: Primary Prevention/Intervention

Activity 2: Secondary Prevention/Intervention (Supplemental Interventions)

Activity 3: Tertiary Prevention/Intervention (Intensive Interventions)

Element 6: Improve as a Teacher

Purpose: Planning for professional growth is part of a career-long learning process. Adjusting teaching practice to incorporate response to intervention (RtI) strategies is part of that process. This Element provides information on developing a professional learning plan and resources for professional growth.

Activity 1: Individual Professional Learning Plan

Activity 2: Professional Learning

Element 7: Commit to Fidelity and Evaluation

Purpose: Fidelity refers to adhering to and/or principles associated with a program or initiative. With Response to Intervention (RTI) fidelity represents adherence to the principles outline in its essential components. Element 7 provides resources to help educators adhere to the RTI model principles.

Activity 1: Evaluation of Model Implementation

Activity 2: Use Fidelity and Achievement Data to Inform Continuous Improvement

Element 8: Factors Supporting RTI Implementation

Purpose: In addition to the essential components of Response to Intervention (RTI), additional factors supporting its implementation include leadership, collaborative culture, changing staff member roles, stakeholder involvement, and parent and family partnerships. Being aware of the role these factors play with supporting RTI may enhance its successful implementation. Element 8 provides resources that aid these factors in supporting RTI implementation.

Activity 1: Leadership

Activity 2: Collaborative Culture

Activity 3: Staff Member Roles and Responsibilities

Activity 4: Stakeholder Collaboration

Activity 5: Parental Involvement and Community Partnerships

Element 9: Be Familiar with RTI Implementation at the Secondary Level

Purpose: Response to intervention (RTI) is an instructional framework frequently used at the elementary school level, but the implementation of tiered interventions in middle and high schools is becoming increasingly popular. Though there is very little research on such frameworks at the middle school level and no research yet supporting the use of tiered interventions in high schools, "professional wisdom" is emerging to guide practitioners wishing to move forward with such implementation at the secondary level. Element 9 provides resources to assist educators in becoming familiar with the emerging research in this area, deepening their knowledge of how the essential components of RTI may translate to the middle and high school levels, and providing tools and resources that will guide the use of assessment and effective instruction within a tiered system of delivery.

Activity 1: Current Research

Activity 2: Implementation of RTI in Secondary Schools

Activity 3: Resources and Tools

Element 10: RTL with Diverse Learners

Purpose: The response to intervention (RTI) model is intended to support all learners regardless of learning challenges. For example, some students facing learning challenges due to language and cultural differences and/or who show traits of giftedness may require interventions. This element provides educators information on applying the RTI model to English language and gifted learners.

Activity 1: English Language Learners

Activity 2: Gifted Learners

Activity 3: Early Childhood Learning