– What is RTI in Education? –
Learn what Response to Intervention (RTI) is in education. Discover the three tiers of intervention and view examples on how to implement each in a classroom.
It is an early intervention tool that is intended to quickly identify students who require additional assistance, thereby preventing long-term failure.
Monitoring students allows teachers to identify specific skill areas where students require additional instruction that is tailored to their specific needs.
Key Characteristics and Components of RTI in Education
Some of the terms related to RTI include screening; progress monitoring; tiered instruction; high-quality, research-based instruction/interventions; differentiated instruction and fidelity of implementation.
Screening, School-wide Screening or Universal Screening
This is a quick assessment/test that measures students’ skills or behaviors to determine if they are achieving at the expected level for their grade.
These are used to identify learners who are considered at risk of not learning the foundational skills they need to meet state and national academic standards.
Teachers choose specific materials or methods (the instruction or intervention) to use with learners who need extra help and then track the students’ progress.
For students needing extra help, teachers frequently check the progress of pupils to see if the instructional support is working and to provide information on how to possibly adjust the instruction to best meet student needs.
Within the RTI structure in New York, there are three different levels, or tiers, of instruction.
The general education that all children receive in their regular classrooms is considered Tier 1. Tier 2 instruction is provided in addition to Tier 1 (not as a replacement).
Tier 3 interventions are for students who have not progressed under Tier 2 instructional strategies; learners in this tier are in very small groups and receive intensive instruction.
High-quality, Research-based Instruction/Interventions
Simply put, this means that all school staff members are using instructional methods and materials that have been proven (through scientific research) to work effectively.
Students have different learning styles; some may learn better by reading silently, while others may learn better by having teachers read to them or give examples and analogies.
Teachers are expected to recognize students’ different learning styles and adjust their instruction to meet the needs of all learning styles.
Fidelity of Implementation
When educators design good instructional methods and materials, they test them to be sure they work well.
When teachers use these methods and materials, it is important that they consistently use them the way they are supposed to be used; this is describe as fidelity of implementation.
How RTI Differs from Special Education
RTI strategies are used to determine the best educational approaches for all students, not just pupils who are struggling or who have learning challenges.
As such, it may be part of the process used to eventually identify students who may qualify for special education services, but that’s not the overall goal of RTI.
In fact, RTI may lead to fewer students being identified for special education services because specific skill deficiencies are identified and addressed more quickly than in the past.