At a Glance: What RTI Should and Shouldn’t Include

By Amanda Morin

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Response to intervention (RTI) aims to provide increasing amounts of extra help to struggling students. But there are some essential things the RTI process should and should not include.

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What RTI Should and Shouldn’t Include

If your child is struggling with academics, the school may use a response to intervention (RTI) framework to provide extra help and measure progress. Here’s what should and shouldn’t be part of the RTI process.

RTI should not include:
Relying on classroom observations to identify struggling students
More of the same type of classroom instruction and work
Special seat assignments or a reduced workload
Repeating a grade
Informal and infrequent communication with parents about their child’s progress
But RTI should include:
Screening the entire class and then frequently testing students identified as having skills gaps to see how well they’re responding to targeted help from teachers
Breaking into small groups and helping students work on skills using interventions that research has shown to be effective
A set of formal guidelines to follow when deciding which students aren’t making enough progress and need more intensive help from teachers, reading specialists and other professionals
A plan for determining what type of support is needed in an effort to help struggling students avoid having to repeat a grade
Consistent communication with parents, including discussion of when and how the school decides whether a child needs to be evaluated for special education services
Graphic of What RTI should and shouldn’t include
Graphic of What RTI should and shouldn’t include

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About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Elaine Niefeld

Elaine M. Niefeld is a consultant and former associate director of the RTI Action Network.

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