What is this talk about RtI?

Stephanie Backof Holmes, Ph.D.

In the past, children in our public schools have required a minimum of a diagnosis and/or psychological testing in order to receive special services to meet their needs. Today, the story is different. Thanks to Response to Intervention (RtI), children can receive help at the first sign that they show a need for extra instruction.
RtI is defined as “a systematic and data-based method for identifying, defining, and resolving students’ academic and/or behavioral difficulties” (Brown-Chidsey & Steege, 2005). In a nut-shell, it is a data-driven process used to help meet students’ needs with an appropriate intensity of resources.

Data? Intensity of resources? What does that look like? It looks somewhat different at each tier of the process:

Tier I: Each fall, winter, and spring, Florida public schools conduct a school-wide screening of students’ skills in reading and math. (This is the data.) The screenings help identify which students are falling behind on basic reading and math skills. When students are identified as falling below a particular level of achievement, these students receive extra services in addition to their regular curriculum.

Tier II: Although services at this tier can vary, typically services involve small-group instruction in the specific skill area (e.g., phonics, reading fluency, addition, division) of need. These services are more intensive than at Tier I, because in addition to being exposed to the regular school curriculum (i.e., Tier I instruction), students receive small group instruction in their area of need. At this stage, data is collected on the students’ learning in the skill(s) being targeted, to ensure that students are appropriately responding to the Tier II interventions. This data collection process is called progress monitoring, and generally occurs once per week, to every other week. When progress monitoring data indicate that students still are not achieving, then students have the opportunity to receive Tier III interventions.

Tier III: Typically, these interventions involve individual instruction in the skill area(s) of need. Progress monitoring of students’ learning is still maintained, but students’ achievement is monitored more frequently than at Tier II (e.g., once per week or even daily). When the level of services required to see progress in achievement mimics special education services, then a multidisciplinary team (including parents!) makes a decision as to whether the student qualifies for special education services. At this time, psychological testing is sometimes requested to inform decisions with educational planning.

So…if you feel that your child demonstrates a need for extra services, please don’t hesitate to inquire about how RtI can help meet your child’s needs!

Comments are closed.

« »

Address: 6867 Southpoint Drive North, Jacksonville, FL 32216
Phone: 904.619.6071 | Fax: 904.212.0309 | Email: info@keystonebehavioral.com
Copyright © 2018 Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics. All Rights Reserved.

eLYK innovation, inc. Jacksonville, Florida - Web Design Company