Teaching and Learning » RTI


Response to Intervention (RTI)

Response to Intervention (RTI) also known as Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), evolved from efforts to improve identification practices in special education. In short, RTI is a process of systematically documenting the performance of students as evidence of the need for additional services after making changes to classroom instruction. RTI is also a process designed to help schools focus on and provide high-quality instruction and interventions to students who may be struggling with learning. Using the RTI process can help students get help promptly within the general education environment. RTI is a process designed as a preventative framework using student data from screen measures to identify students at risk for learning and behavioral difficulties and provide immediate instructional supports.

The goal of the RTI framework is to ensure high levels of engagement and achievement for all students utilizing a coordinated, collaborative, data-driven school-wide system.  Integrated, evidence-based instruction and intervention is delivered to students in varying intensities (tiers) based on individual needs and response to instruction so that each student is successful in meeting grade-level academic and behavioral expectations. RTI delivers a range of interventions based on demonstrated levels of need.



RTI includes a three-tier system.

  • Tier 1: Universal-this level applies to ALL students and includes the high-quality teaching and behavior support for all students in the school.


  • Tier 2: Targets-this level applies to SOME students and includes additional interventions for students who need more help in specific skills.


  • Tier 3: Intensive-this level applies to FEW students and includes interventions designed to address the unique needs of an individual student.


Parents Support

Parents are a critical piece to the RTI puzzle. There are many ways parents can support the RTI process at home.

  • Set the climate for learning at home. Provide a regular time and place for your child to read, complete homework, and study.
  • Talk with your child and engage your child in conversations. These are wonderful opportunities for your child to hear new words and express ideas.
  • Stay informed. Learn what your child should be doing to be successful. Partner with the school and communicate regularly with your child’s teachers.
  • Support your child at home using similar strategies as those provided at school.



How are students referred for (RTI) interventions?


Generally, students are referred for interventions by the general education classroom teacher. The teacher may utilize universal screening data such as NWEA MAP scores to determine student needs. Teachers may also utilize multiple data sources to determine student needs such as: classwork, homework, quizzes, weekly assessments, and unit assessments. When a teacher identifies a student as needing interventions; the teacher meets with the RTI team to determine research based instructional practices specific to the student’s demonstrated level of needs.  While this is the typical process, parents may also refer their child for RTI interventions. A parent that has an academic or behavioral concern for their child may complete the parent referral form. The completed form is submitted to the classroom or homeroom teacher. The teacher will submit the form to the RTI team. The RTI team will meet and discuss the parent’s concerns.


Is RTI Special Education? Are RTI interventions an indication of a learning disability?


No. Response to Intervention is a process intended to help students who are struggling with a specific skill, concept, or lesson. All teachers use interventions within their teaching procedures (Tier I). However, some students may need more help to succeed in the classroom (Tier II).  RTI is not just for children with special needs or learning disabilities.