What is Response to Intervention (RTI)/or Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS)
According to national researchers and practitioners, RTI/MTSS is “the practice of providing high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals and applying child response data to important educational decisions.” NASDE 2005
Put more simply, RTI/MTSS is a method of identifying student needs early and targeting instruction to match those needs. We do this first by providing high quality, research-based core instruction to all students. (Tier 1). This instruction should meet the academic and behavioral needs of the vast majority (75-80%) of students. For a small percentage of students (20%) we supplement that instruction with additional research-based interventions where needed (Tier 2). There may be an additional 1-5% of students who need short term intensive support to meet instructional or behavioral benchmarks (Tier 3).
Why are we using RTI/MTSS?
RTI/MTSS is supported by state and national laws including Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA 2015) and the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) that provide for the use of RTI/MTSS as a part of the process to determine eligibility for SLD. Illinois Rule 226.130 requires the use of “a process that determines how the child responds to scientific, research-based interventions as part of the evaluation” for SLD.
What are the essential components of RTI/MTSS?
- Students are supported through the use of a coordinated, multi-tiered system of student support.
- RTI/MTSS is not just a general education nor a special education initiative, but an ‘every-ed’ initiative. Personnel, materials, and expertise are merged to meet the academic and behavioral needs of ALL students.
- RTI/MTSS is an intervention for students who are at risk. These are students who may fail to achieve instructional and behavioral milestones necessary for ongoing school success without additional instruction and support.
- RTI/MTSS is not ‘wait to fail’, but a proactive approach to identifying students’ needs early before failure is experienced and while learning ‘gaps’ are easier to address.
- RTI/MTSS uses research-based, scientifically validated instruction and intervention that is matched to student need. Data is used to make educational decisions about instruction and materials. Interventions are documented and delivered with integrity.
- RTI/MTSS uses a problem-solving method to identify the problem, analyze the cause, develop and implement a plan, and evaluate plan effectiveness. This procedure may be used on a school, class, small group, or individual level.
Core Principles of RTI/MTSS
- We can effectively teach all children.
- Intervene early.
- Use a multi-tier model of service delivery.
- Use a problem-solving method to make decisions within a multi-tier model.
- Use research-based, scientifically validated interventions/instruction to the extent available.
- Monitor student progress to inform instruction.
- Use data to make decisions. A data-based decision regarding student response to intervention is central to RTI/MTSS practices.
- Use assessment for three different purposes: screening to identify struggling students, diagnostics to further assess students' needs, and progress monitoring to determine if interventions are benefiting students.