The Response to Intervention KnowledgeBase is an online resource supporting educators in understanding and implementing the response to intervention (RTI) model. The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) has identified four stages in the implementation of evidence-based strategies such as RTI. The first stage is Exploration, and it involves consideration of the essential components of RTI models and the district or school's readiness to implement an RTI model with fidelity. During the second stage, Installation, a district or school selects an RTI model and works actively to put in place all of the supports necessary for implementing the essential components. These supports can include staff member training, policies, implementation guides, forms, assessments, instructional programs, and software. The third stage is Initial Implementation, and it involves implementing the essential components. Initial Implementation can involve just a few components or teachers, and then implementation expands over time. When the majority of teachers are implementing all components of RTI with fidelity, the district or school is in the fourth stage, called Full Implementation. This KnowledgeBase is geared primarily toward those in the Exploration and Installation stages, with some resources for those in the Initial Implementation stage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Guideline: School administrators and instructional leaders can help ensure primary prevention (or core instruction) is implemented effectively. Rather than thinking about fidelity to a specific program, educators should think about fidelity of effective instruction. This can be accomplished by (a) visiting classrooms and observing whether teachers are using small groups, assuring content is matched to students' assessed skills, and observing whether all children seem to be engaged in meaningful learning activities, and (b) applying frequent progress monitoring to the important skills. If all students are gaining skills at expected rates, the teacher would be considered to have achieved fidelity to effective instruction.
As noted at the Center on Instruction website, "This guide, designed to help principals monitor and support adolescent literacy instruction in their schools more effectively, can be used at the late elementary school level, in content-area classes in middle and high school, and with intervention groups or classes. It provides a scaffold to build principals' understanding of scientifically based reading instruction, as a means for a principal to gather information about the quality of literacy and reading intervention instruction in a school, and as a data collection guide for planning targeted professional development and resource allocation. It includes examples of what a principal might expect to see in a classroom as well as templates that states, districts, and schools may use or adapt."
This link is to the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk's Response to Intervention Data Management Tool (RTI-DMT). As noted at the Meadows Center website, "the RTI-DMT is a series of linked Excel spreadsheets to help campus leaders monitor progress to prevent learning difficulties within an RTI framework. Directions for using the RTI-DMT are provided in a User's Guide. Both the tool and the Guide can be downloaded for free."
This link to a Center on Instruction professional learning module provides a suite of materials designed as a tool for classroom walk-through implementation that can quickly and accurately identify research-based reading instruction in the classroom. Supporting materials to deliver the learning module are included.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.