There are many issues facing educators today, which impact the academic lives of today’s students. One issue at the forefront is the organization and implementation of a Response to Intervention model within school districts across the state. A Response to Intervention (RTI) model allows all school personnel to better integrate the services offered within districts or buildings, thereby enhancing the delivery of all available services.
RTI is composed of three main components: A tiered system of services, a problem-solving approach, and a data collection system. First, the tiered system allows each student’s individual needs to be addressed. Services are offered through tiers: universal services offered to all students, supplemental services offered to students who need some additional support, and intensive services for those students who need extensive support. Secondly, the problem solving approach allows teams of people to work together to meet those student’s needs. Finally, the data collection system is the key component to noting how the students are progressing and achieving the necessary benchmarks.
RTI allows for districts to increase involvement from all interested parties in a student’s education including: staff, students and parents. It automatically allows for the accountability required by federal and state legislation, and also increases student achievement. However, it is not without it’s detractions. RTI requires new skills and training across the field. Often the implementation of the data collection and management is overwhelming.
I believe that using an RTI model is beneficial when implemented in a thoughtful manner. The mind-shift and perhaps personnel shift that may need to occur should be provided through staff development and the implementation of coaching. Additionally, I believe that shifting the focus from how students are performing from where students are placed is singularly the biggest step forward in pre-referral and service delivery in decades.