What is RtI?
Response to Intervention (RtI) is a framework that leads to better teaching and learning through its integration of instruction, intervention, and assessment. RtI in the Burlington Area School District is depicted in a three-tiered delivery model. Tier I represents the core instructional program for all students. The guiding principle in Tier I that 80% to 85% of the students should be able to meet grade level performance standards with Tier I instruction and classroom differentiation. In Tier I, it is important to note that embedded literacy strategies across the content area are used. Tier II represents a level of intervention for students who are at risk for poor learning outcomes while Tier III typically represents the level of service for those who require specially designed instruction and additional interventions. This model is a preventative science approach and insists upon a focus where the needs of all students are met through a school-wide process that integrates instruction, intervention, and assessment.
One may think of RtI as an umbrella structure under which numerous evidence-based best practices are put to use with the ultimate goal of improving student learning. This structure when used in conjunction with a systematic professional learning community (PLC) approach builds the capacity of all staff members to meet the needs of all students. Teachers working in the PLC research what works, implement what works, and test those very same evidence-based strategies in order meet the needs of the students.
Universal screening of reading performance in the Burlington Area School District is currently accomplished with running records to ascertain the reading proficiency of students in kindergarten through grade four. The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a screener currently used in grades Kindergarten to grade 8. In the RtI framework, assessment data inform decisions about both the instructional program and the individual students. The proficiency benchmarks help determine whether the instruction is effective for most students. Screenings help to provide data that assists school personnel to identify and subsequently then target individual students who will most likely not make sufficient progress in the core curriculum without an intervention.
RtI promotes and supports the following: diverse teaching strategies, safe environments, use of assessment, multifaceted support systems, collaborative leadership, and shared vision. Interventions in an RtI framework are aligned to the student need. Data from progress monitoring in Tiers II and III are used to make timely and individualized adjustments and decisions in the instruction and in the intervention. Progress Monitoring determines a student's responsiveness to the intervention. The interventionalist makes adjustments to the instruction by trying a new strategy, increasing the frequency or duration of the intervention lessons, or a combination of these three. If assessment data show the ineffectiveness of the intervention, then the school will need to consider whether the selected intervention is appropriate and/or whether it was delivered adequately enough.
Tier III or specially designed instruction delivered by a special education teacher may or may not be the end result of RtI.