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Response to Intervention (RTI) in Texas

Instructor: Melinda Santos
Explore Response to Intervention programs in Texas. Learn about the RtI method, who it helps and how it works. You can also find additional RtI teaching resources below.

Response to Intervention in the Classroom

Response to Intervention (RtI) programs in Texas schools establish an evaluation and support system for all students in an effort to provide successful learning opportunities and identify areas where students may need additional instructional support.

RtI strategies are not just reserved for students with special needs or learning disabilities. While RtI methods are effective in those situations, the idea behind RtI is to help all students learn to their ability and grade level. This includes every student in any given classroom. Strategies such as differentiated instruction and providing students with activity choices are commonly used to meet the needs of each student, while still participating collectively as a class.

What makes these RtI strategies most effective at this level is that instruction is varied based on students' learning styles, abilities and interests. These type of RtI strategies generally meet the educational needs of most students in the class. However, the RtI method involves a tiered system that enables support for all students, especially those that continue to struggle and/or indicate behavioral issues despite the use of RtI strategies in the general classroom curriculum. Below is a breakdown of each of the three tiers of RtI.

Response to Intervention Model

The RtI model incorporates specific strategies and interventions at three different levels to support the diverse range of student abilities and needs. Each level, or tier, is more progressive than the next to meet the level of support needed according to student evaluations and monitoring. To move beyond the first tier, students must be evaluated to assess for appropriate intervention needs. The level of intervention for each tier is as follows:

  • Tier 1
    • Incorporates RtI strategies into the class's core curriculum
    • Targets all students through the use of basic strategies, such as differentiated instruction and learning style grouping
    • Implements strategies in the general classroom taught by the lead teacher
    • Provides students with a Universal Screening three times during the academic year
  • Tier 2
    • Focuses on students who continue to exhibit learning difficulties even after the use of Tier 1 strategies and whose evaluations indicate the need for additional intervention
    • Puts students to work in small groups either in the general classroom or a designated area with the teacher or specialized instructor
    • Groups students according to their instructional needs (e.g. dyslexia support, English Language Learners, etc.)
    • Requires evaluation and monitoring of progress on a weekly basis
  • Tier 3
    • Supports students who fail to respond to interventions employed at the other two levels
    • Includes the development and implementation of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student at this level performed with instruction provided by a teacher, specialist, interventionist or educational aide
    • Incorporates both individual and small group instruction in addition to regular classroom time, if needed
    • Requires progress monitoring on a weekly basis

Resources for Implementing RtI Strategies

Evaluating the needs of each student, recognizing learning disabilities and providing differentiated instruction are all cornerstone components of the RtI model. The resources below will help you identify some of the indicators of specific learning disabilities and outline various teaching strategies that can be used in the classroom that are in line with the RtI model.

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