Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-step approach to providing services to struggling students. Teachers provide instruction and interventions to them at increasing levels of intensity. They also monitor the progress students make at each intervention level and use the assessment results to decide whether the students need additional instruction or intervention in general education or referral to special education.

RTI models have several components in common: RTI uses tiers of intervention for struggling students, relies on research based instruction and interventions, uses problem-solving to determine interventions for students, and monitors students regularly to determine if they are progressing as they should academically and/or behaviorally.

Many models are based on three or four tiers. Generally, in Tiers 1 and 2 general education teachers provide instruction and interventions. When students fail to respond to small group and intense individualized interventions, they are referred for special education. Special education teachers may help develop interventions and/or plan assessments for students receiving instruction and interventions in Tiers 1 and 2. They may not provide instruction to students until Tier 3 or 4, when the student could be referred and identified for special education.

Read the IDEA Partnership RTI Collection.