RTI (Response to Intervention) is a process used to shift educational focus away from identifying students as “learning disabled” toward the delivery and evaluation of targeted instruction. This process is designed to provide struggling students with a specific course of action to help them succeed. Reading intervention programs for elementary schools like those produced by Essential Skills provide schools with valuable tools that will support all stages of the RTI process.
The RTI Process
- Screen: Early recognition that a child is struggling is key to timely intervention. Some schools use standardized testing, but often it is the classroom teacher that may refer a child to an RTI. The use of a recognized online reading intervention program can provide valid, measurable information to support the referral.
- Teach: In the classroom, all teachers are highly qualified and are working from approved curricula. Teachers should use assessment tools to help them identify when a child may be struggling and take appropriate action.
- Intervene: Children "at-risk" are provided with enhanced opportunities to learn. These may involve focused small group instruction, the use of RTI reading programs such as those from Essential Skills, or the intervention of special education professionals.
- Probe: The progress of each child is frequently monitored to ensure the interventions are working. Essential Skills’ reading intervention programs for elementary schools continually record students’ progress and identify areas where they may need more help.
- Chart: It is important to chart progress as it is tested and monitored. Online RTI reading programs can produce accurate charts and graphs that will give a visual representation of students’ successes and further needs. These charts can be used as a quick way to show progress to parents, administration, and special education personnel. They also function to compare one student’s advancements to the classroom or school averages.
- Adjust: As results are gathered, it may become necessary to adjust implementation of the program. Some students may merely need a shift of focus, while others who are still struggling may require a Tier III 3 level of intervention. During the process of adjustment, the other components of the RTI will still be in effect.
Implementation of RTIs
Most schools use a Tier system, with Tier I representing a child responding as expected to classroom instruction. These children normally proceed successfully without extra measures being put in place. When indicated, a child may be recommended for Tier II placement. Interventions at Tier II are targeted and personalized and may involve one-on-one in-class help, more frequent testing, and the use of online reading intervention programs for elementary schools. The programs developed by Essential Skills give children the opportunity to practice literacy skills and to see their own success while giving teachers reliable feedback. Tier III students are those who are at risk even with interventions in place. These students may be placed in a special education program or receive additional help from professionals in the field. Essential Skills’ pretest and placement feature can be used to provide Tier III students with the targeted support they need.