Response to Intervention (RTI) in Georgia

Instructor: Eric Campos

Eric has tutored in English, writing, history, and other subjects.

The state of Georgia's Response to Intervention (RTI) initiative was developed to identify students in need of additional help and render the appropriate assistance. Read on to learn more about Georgia's RTI methodology.

What is Georgia's Response to Intervention (RTI)?

Like the other states, Georgia educators saw the need to have plans and procedures in place to help students whose skills and behaviors are not aligned with developmental expectations. Lacking federal guidance in developing an RTI framework, the Georgia Department of Education created its own RTI program. The primary goals of RTI are to first identify students who are struggling, and then help them past these difficulties through administering research-based interventions.

The Georgia RTI hinges around a 4-tier delivery model which increases the intensity of intervention based on the needs of individual students. The interventions are evidence-based, meaning that instructional interventions are prescribed based on how such methods have led to improvements documented before. Ongoing assessment of student data enables instructors to gauge progress, modify instruction, and assess if further intervention is necessary to help students achieve goals. Below are the tier levels that make up the RTI framework, and how they factor into student improvement.

Tier 1: Standards-Based Classroom Learning

At the base tier, students are instructed on the basic Georgia Performance Standards, which are designed to be flexible and incorporate various instructional methods to reach a broad scope of learners. During this time students are screened to see if any are in need of instructional and behavioral support. Progress is monitored through the use of assessments, and positive behavior supports are provided. If students are not meeting standards or behavioral expectations, the second intervention is initiated.

Tier 2: Needs-Based Learning

The second tier is applied in addition to the first tier and is exactly what the name implies. When a student is having learning/behavioral issues in one or more areas, instructors intervene with additional instruction. Often times, students encounter difficulty simply because they learn differently than the general population. This tier involves applying additional resources and intervention based on how much help they need. Student progress is monitored to see if the intervention takes. If basic assistance helps a student, this indicates that traditional evidence-based methods worked. However, if the student is still struggling, further intervention may be necessary.

Tier 3: SST-Driven Learning

SST-Driven Learning is a much more engaged intervention process. This entails intervention that is more individualized to the student in question. If the standard intervention methods have not been effective, this necessitates working with the student's parents and a team of specialists (e.g., school psychologist, behavior specialist, speech-language pathologist, and a social worker) to uncover why. Emphasis is placed on formal problem-solving methodologies to uncover student learning difficulties. Instruction is then tailored to assist the student in overcoming learning barriers to make improvement. Progress is monitored more frequently to uncover which instructional methods are working and which aren't. This tier is also applied simultaneously with the previous 2 tiers. If intervention fails at this level, a student may receive a referral for a special education evaluation to determine eligibility for these services.

Tier 4: Specially Designed Learning

The fourth tier marks the greatest level of intervention. These interventions are applied alongside the first and third tiers. If students are still struggling, the RTI dictates that more specialized instructional methods are necessary to help the student. This may include the utilization of special instructional deliveries and programs (e.g., ESOL, special education, gifted education) that will target the student's learning difficulties and address them in finer detail. Monitoring progress remains consistent to gauge what programs and methods work, as well as to plan the next steps in student development. Resources for RTI

As you delve further into RTI, has additional materials to help you identify strategies for helping struggling students.

Check out our Resources for Teaching Special Education course which covers a range of special education topics, including classroom strategies, social skills, advocacy, IEP resources, 504 planning, and differentiated instruction. This course on Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities is also a useful resource. It covers various learning disabilities, teaching strategies, assessment and monitoring, behavioral skills, and classroom adjustments. To help guide you in your implementation of RTI, we also offer an entire course on Using Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom.

Our courses are mobile-friendly and completely self-paced, allowing you to take full control of your research and studying experience. Lessons come equipped with video and written instructions, as well as practice quizzes and tests to make sure the material is sinking in. If you have any questions, our virtual instructors are available to answer them!

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