Q and A for Parents

The Background:

Changes in federal and state laws have directed schools to focus more on helping ALL children learn by addressing problems EARLIER, within the GENERAL EDUCATION setting. These new laws emphasize the importance of providing high quality, scientifically-based instruction and INTERVENTIONS, and holding schools accountable for adequate yearly progress of ALL students. This new process of providing INTERVENTIONS to students that are at risk for academic or behavioral problems is called RTI – Response to Intervention.

What is RTI?

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a process designed to help schools focus on “high quality” INTERVENTIONS that are matched to student needs and monitored on a frequent basis. The information gained from the RTI process is used by school personnel and parents to adjust instruction and to make decisions regarding the student’s educational program.

What are the benefits of RTI?

Perhaps the greatest benefit of an RTI approach is that it eliminates a “wait to fail” situation. Students get help promptly within the general education setting. As soon as assessment data indicates a problem area for a student or a group of students, INTERVENTIONS are put into place to address these concerns. While the INTERVENTIONS are taking place, school staff monitors the progress that these students are making in their area(s) of concern. These progress monitoring techniques, used within the RTI process, provide information that allows teachers to better evaluate student needs and match instruction, resources, and INTERVENTIONS appropriately.

What is the RTI Process?

Most RTI systems are divided into a three-tier INTERVENTION model:

  • Tier 1 = “Whole group” Core Curriculum used with ALL students in the classroom.
  • Tier 2 = “Small group” interventions used with some students in addition to the Core Curriculum.
  • Tier 3 = “Intense” intervention(s) for individual or a very small number of students in addition to the Core Curriculum and previous interventions.

How are students identified for the RTI Process in reading?

Three times a year, district schools administer the DIBELS screening to identify students who are not making adequate progress in reading. These students receive Tier 2 interventions.

How can parents be involved?

  • Frequently communicate with your child’s teacher(s).
  • Attend school functions such as parent-teacher conferences.
  • Monitor and assist with your child’s homework assignments.
  • Implement and reinforce any strategies or interventions at home.
  • Ask questions. How did my child qualify for addition interventions? What interventions are being used? What techniques are being used to monitor student progress? How will I be informed of the results?