Response to Intervention (RTI) in Illinois

Instructor: Eric Campos

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

Every student is unique; they learn differently and respond to different instructional techniques. To help every student reach their potential, the state of Illinois uses the Response to Intervention initiative to develop strategies to meet student needs. Learn more about it below.

What Is Response to Intervention (RTI)?

The goal of Illinois' RTI program is to increase student learning by analyzing areas that students struggle in and applying differentiated instructional techniques - all of which have been researched for effectiveness - to address any learning or behavioral issues early on. This program can also be used to help identify students who are eligible for special education services.

RTI consists of three components, each of which are outlined below.

Three Tier Model of School Support

In order to give the appropriate academic and behavioral help to students, a three-tier model was created to assess the level of need and direct assistance accordingly. The three levels, or tiers, increase in both intervention and intensity.

The first tier consists of the basic instructional strategies used to teach all students undergoing the general core curriculum. Teachers can differentiate instruction at this level to help students who are struggling with their coursework. If these measures prove ineffective, the second tier brings in additional intervention, which can include group instruction as well as instruction outside of normal class time.

The third tier represents the highest level of need. Students are given more intense interventions, such as individual or small group instruction, to ensure that they understand the material covered in their core coursework.

Problem-Solving Method for Decision-Making

This component of RTI outlines the process used by schools to identify struggling students and determine which intervention strategies might best help them be successful in their academic careers.

The process begins by determining which students are not meeting behavioral or learning expectations as well as the particular areas where they are having trouble. The next step involves analyzing data collected, such as student work, assessment tests, or progress reports, to uncover why a group of students or a particular individual is not meeting expectations.

Once these reasons have been targeted, instructors can develop a plan that will help students around the issue. This plan includes a performance goal and a specific intervention plan tailored to address student needs as well as the methods used to monitor student progress and the effectiveness of the intervention.

Integrated Data System

The use and collection of data is very important in the RTI framework. Collected data of a student's progress in class is the first, and biggest, indication of whether a student requires help.

In the first tier, data is collected up to three times a year to screen all students and determine if the core instructional methods are having an effective impact on the general student population. If students are having trouble with the material, it is the data gathered during this stage that will give educators the information needed to start forming an intervention plan.

In the second tier of the model, data is collected up to twice a month after an intervention plan is put into place in order to determine if intervention is helping a student in his or her studies. It's also used to decide whether further changes are needed to instruction.

The same kind of data is collected in the third tier, but more frequently - up to once a week - in order to adapt intervention plans more fluidly for students of greater need.

Learn More

Learn more about the role of the Response to Intervention initiative with these lessons on Special and Inclusive Education. You can also examine strategies for developing intervention plans, creating assessments, and identifying students who need special attention with this Fundamentals of Early Childhood Special Education course.

Both resources provide detailed information through video lessons, practice quizzes, and lesson transcripts. They're also fully mobile, which gives you the freedom to research whenever and wherever you want!

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