Student Services and Support

Response to Intervention (RTI)

  • Definition of Problem Solving:

    Response to Intervention is the practice of (1) providing high quality instruction/intervention matched to student needs and (2) using learning rate over time and level of performance to (3) make important educational decisions. These components of RtI are essential to the development of a successful RtI implementation strategy.
    • High Quality Instruction/Intervention is defined as instruction or intervention matched to student need that has been demonstrated through scientific research and practice to produce high learning rates for most students. Individual responses to even the best instruction/intervention are variable. Selection and implementation of scientifically based instruction/intervention markedly increases the probability of, but does not guarantee positive individual response. Therefore, individual response is assessed in RtI and modifications to instruction/intervention or goals are made depending on results with individual students.
    • Learning rate and level of performance are the primary sources of information used in ongoing decision making. Learning rate refers to a student's individual growth in achievement or behavior competencies over time. Level of performance refers to a student's relative standing on some dimension of achievement/performance compared to expected performance (either criterion- or norm-referenced). Learning rates and levels of performance vary significantly across students. Most students with achievement or behavioral challenges respond positively to explicit and intense instruction/ interventions. Decisions about the use of more or less intense interventions are made using information on learning rate and level. More intense interventions may occur in general education classrooms or pull-out programs supported by general, compensatory or special education funding.
    • Important educational decisions about intensity and the likely duration of interventions are based on individual student response to instruction across multiple tiers of intervention. Decisions about the necessity of more intense interventions, including eligibility for special education and / or exit from special education or other services, are informed by data on learning rate and level.

    Benchmarking Periods:

    Fall Benchmark: September 2 through September 26
    Winter Benchmark: January 12 through January 22
    Spring Benchmark: May 5 through May 15

    Useful Resources:


    Kurns, Sharon M.A., Tilly, W. David Ph. D. Response to Intervention Blueprints: School Building Level. National Association of State Directors of Special Education Council of Administrators of Special Education.