The Response to Intervention KnowledgeBase

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

Task 2: RTI and Students with Learning Disabilities

Guideline: The term "specific learning disability" is defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004. Teachers need to be aware of how specific learning disabilities are defined and identified and how RtI is linked to this topic. This task's resources may help teachers under the concept of specific learning disabilities within the scope of IDEA 2004.

Federal Definition/Criteria for Specific Learning Disabilities

This link to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website provides the federal definition of specific learning disabilities and criteria for determining the existence of a specific learning disability.

Questions & Answers on RTI and Early Intervening Services

This 2007 question and answer document prepared by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) provides guidance to states and districts in complying with the requirements regarding early intervening services and response to scientific research-based interventions.

Identification of Specific Learning Disabilities

This 2006 document prepared U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) explains the reauthorized IDEA 2004 regulatory requirements regarding procedures for identifying a student with a specific learning disability.

Memo: A Response to Intervention Cannot be Used to Delay-Deny an Evaluation for Eligibility Under IDEA

This link is to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) January 21, 2011, memo stating RtI cannot be used to delay or deny evaluation for students suspected of having a disability. The memo aims to clarify the use of RtI within the evaluation system and asks states to examine their procedures and practices to ensure districts implementing RtI are doing so appropriately and not using RtI to delay or deny timely evaluations and services to students suspected of having a disability.

IDEA 2004 Close Up: Evaluation and Eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities

This article at the website reviews the IDEA 2004 provisions related to evaluation and eligibility for specific learning disabilities. Authored by The Advocacy Institute's Candace Cortiella, the article explores the role RtI plays in identifying specific learning disabilities.

National Research Center on Learning Disabilities

The National Research Center on Learning Disabilities website provides information on specific learning disabilities and RtI's role in that process. Though last updated in November 2007, the content may still be useful to teachers becoming familiar with specific learning disabilities.

Resource List: Specific Learning Disabilities and Responsiveness to Intervention

This link to the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities website provides a resource list on specific learning disabilities and RtI.

Timeline of Learning Disabilities

This link to the LD Online website provides a timeline of the history of learning disabilities.

How Does RTI Differ from Previous Approaches to Providing Interventions

This link to a February 2011 Center on Response to Intervention video brief discusses how RtI differs from previous intervention approaches. The video brief runs 5 minutes. Closed captioning within the video and a transcript are provided.

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 or exacting following the premises 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, acknowledging 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 about these factors.

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: RtI 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