Skip Navigation

Response to Intervention KnowledgeBase

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The Response to Intervention KnowledgeBase is an online resource supporting educators in understanding and implementing the response to intervention (RTI) model. The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) has identified four stages in the implementation of evidence-based strategies, such as RTI. The first stage is Exploration, and it involves consideration of the essential components of RTI models and the district or school's readiness to implement an RTI model with fidelity. During the second stage, Installation, a district or school selects an RTI model and works actively to put in place all of the supports necessary for implementing the essential components. These supports can include staff member training, policies, implementation guides, forms, assessments, instructional programs and software. The third stage is Initial Implementation, and it involves implementing the essential components. Initial Implementation can involve just a few components or teachers, and then implementation expands over time. When the majority of teachers are implementing all components of RTI with fidelity, the district or school is in the fourth stage, called Full Implementation. This KnowledgeBase is geared primarily toward those in the Exploration and Installation stages, with some resources for those in the Initial Implementation stage.

Element 1: Learn About Response to Intervention (RTI)

Purpose: As defined by the National Center on Response to Intervention (RTI), "response to intervention integrates assessment and intervention within a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and to reduce behavior problems." Although RTI may have a different name in some states, the basic approach remains the same. Schools use data to identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student's responsiveness, and identify students with learning disabilities or other disabilities. Element 1 provides overview information on RTI.

Activity 1: An Overview of RTI

Task 1: Be Aware of the History of RTI
Task 2: Learn About RTI 's Essential Components
Task 3: Examine Positive Behavior Supports
Task 4: See RTI in Action
Task 5: Be Familiar with Important Terminology

Activity 2: Resources to Support RTI

Task 1: Identify Financial Resources
​​​​​​​Task 2: Be Aware of Non-Financial Resources

Activity 3: Legal and Equity Issues

Task 1: Review Legal and Equity Issues
​​​​​​​Task 2: RTI and Students with Learning Disabilities
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sub-Task 1: Measurement Issues with Discrepancy Model

Element 2: Understand Universal Screening

Purpose: Identifying students at risk for poor learning outcomes is an essential component of response to intervention (RTI). Universal screening is a brief assessment given to all students focusing on specific skills. Possessing a basic understanding of the role universal screening plays in RTI is essential in understanding the RTI concept. Element 2 provides information on universal screening.

Activity 1: Universal Screening

Task 1: Be Familiar with the Purpose of Universal Screening 
​​​​​​​Task 2: Learn About the Research Supporting Universal Screening

Activity 2: Collect Screening Data

Task 1: Select Screening Tools
Task 2: Establish Processes for Collecting Data
Task 3: Manage and Share Screening Data

Activity 3: Use Screening Data

Task 1: Analyze Screening Data
​​​​​​​Task 2: Discuss Data with Others

Element 3: Become Familiar with Progress Monitoring

Purpose: The National Center on Student Progress Monitoring defined progress monitoring as "a scientifically based practice that is used to assess students' academic performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring can be implemented with individual students or an entire class." As an essential component of response to intervention (RTI), teachers need to understand its principles and application in practice. This task provides resources explaining progress monitoring.

Activity 1: Progress Monitoring

Task 1: Be Familiar with the Purpose of Progress Monitoring
Task 2: Learn About the Research Supporting Progress Monitoring

Activity 2: Collect Progress Monitoring Data

Task 1: Select Data Collection Tools
​​​​​​​Task 2: Establish Processes for Collecting Data​​​​​​​

Activity 3: Use Progress Monitoring Data

Task 1: Analyze Progress Monitoring Data​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Task 2: Discuss Data with Others

Element 4: Use Data-Based Decision-Making

Purpose: Data analysis and decision making occurs at all response to intervention (RTI) implementation and instruction phases. Data teams use screening and progress monitoring data to make decisions about instruction and movement of students within the model. This element provides resources to inform teachers about using data to make applicable decisions within the RTI model.

Activity 1: Data-Based Decision-Making

Task 1: Be Familiar with the Purpose of Data-Based Decision-Making

​​​​​​​Task 2: Learn About the Research Supporting Data-Based Decision-Making

Activity 2: Strategies for Reviewing Data and Making Data-Based Decisions

Task 1: Use Grade-level and School-wide Data Teams
Task 2: Establish Problem Solving Process
Task 3: Learn About Other Types of Assessment

Activity 3: Use Data to Inform Instructional Decision-Making

Task 1: Determine Decision Rules for Movement Between Tiers

Element 5: Become Familiar with Tiered Instruction

Purpose: As defined by the National Center on Response to Intervention, "tiered instruction describes levels of instructional intensity within a multi-tiered prevention system." The primary prevention/intervention level comprises the core instruction. The secondary prevention/intervention level consists of supplemental instruction, while the tertiary prevention/intervention level provides intensive interventions to those students showing minimal response to the secondary interventions. This element provides resources on the tiered instruction concept.

Activity 1: Primary Prevention/Intervention

Task 1: Implement Primary Prevention/Core Instruction
Task 2: Monitor Primary Prevention/Core Instruction

Activity 2: Secondary Prevention/Intervention (Supplemental Interventions)

Task 1: Design and Deliver Secondary Prevention/Intervention
Task 2: Monitor Secondary Prevention/Interventions

Activity 3: Tertiary Prevention/Intervention (Intensive Interventions)

Task 1: Design and Deliver Tertiary Prevention/Intervention
Task 2: Monitor Tertiary Prevention/Interventions

Element 6: Improve as a Teacher

Purpose: Planning for professional growth is part of a career-long learning process. Adjusting teaching practice to incorporate response to intervention (RTI) strategies is part of that process. This Element provides information on developing a professional learning plan and resources for professional growth.

Activity 1: Individual Professional Learning Plan

Task 1: Identify Areas for Professional Growth
Task 2: Set Goals for Individual Professional Growth

Activity 2: Professional Learning

Task 1: Identify Resources for Professional Growth
Task 2: Monitor Individual Professional Growth

Element 7: Commit to Fidelity and Evaluation

Purpose: Fidelity refers to adhering to and/or principles associated with a program or initiative. With RTI fidelity represents adherence to the principles outline in its essential components. Element 7 provides resources to help educators adhere to the RTI model principles.

Activity 1: Evaluation of Model Implementation

Task 1: Understand Implementation Fidelity
Task 2: Measure Implementation Fidelity

Activity 2: Use Fidelity and Achievement Data to Inform Continuous Improvement

Task 1: Learn about Continuous Improvement and Fidelity

Element 8: Factors Supporting RTI Implementation

Purpose: In addition to the essential components of RTI, additional factors supporting its implementation include leadership, collaborative culture, changing staff member roles, stakeholder involvement, and parent and family partnerships. Being aware of the role these factors play with supporting RTI may enhance its successful implementation. Element 8 provides resources that aid these factors in supporting RTI implementation.

Activity 1: Leadership

Task 1: Define and Communicate the Vision for RTI
Task 2: Make Organizing Decisions

Activity 2: Collaborative Culture

Task 1: Communication
Task 2: Teaming

Activity 3: Staff Member Roles and Responsibilities

Task 1: Changing Roles of Staff Members

Activity 4: Stakeholder Collaboration

Task 1: Collaborate with Others

Activity 5: Parental Involvement and Community Partnerships

Task 1: Resources for Parents and Families

Element 9: Be Familiar with RTI Implementation at the Secondary Level

Purpose: Response to intervention (RTI) is an instructional framework frequently used at the elementary school level, but the implementation of tiered interventions in middle and high schools is becoming increasingly popular. Though there is very little research on such frameworks at the middle school level and no research yet supporting the use of tiered interventions in high schools, "professional wisdom" is emerging to guide practitioners wishing to move forward with such implementation at the secondary level. Element 9 provides resources to assist educators in becoming familiar with the emerging research in this area, deepening their knowledge of how the essential components of RTI may translate to the middle and high school levels, and providing tools and resources that will guide the use of assessment and effective instruction within a tiered system of delivery.

Activity 1: Current Research

Task 1: Learn About Research on Secondary Level RTI

Activity 2: Implementation of RTI in Secondary Schools

Task 1: Explore the Use of RTI in Secondary Schools
Task 2: Learn About RTI in Secondary Schools

Activity 3: Resources and Tools

Task 1: Learn About Tools and Resources to Support RTI in Secondary Schools

Sub-Task 1: Assessment
Sub-Task 2: Primary Prevention/Core Instruction
​​​​​​​Sub-Task 3: Literacy
Sub-Task 4: Mathematics
​​​​​​​Sub-Task 5: Interventions - Literacy
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sub-Task 6: Interventions - Mathematics​​​​​​​

Element 10: RTI with Diverse Learners

Purpose: The response to intervention (RTI) model is intended to support all learners regardless of learning challenges. For example, some students facing learning challenges due to language and cultural differences and/or who show traits of giftedness may require interventions. This element provides educators information on applying the RTI model to English language and gifted learners.

Activity 1: English Language Learners

Task 1: Learn About Current Research
​​​​​​​Task 2: Identify Resources and Tools

​​​​​​​Activity 2: Gifted Learners

Task 1: Learn About Research and Issues
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Task 2: Identify Resources and Tools

Activity 3: Early Childhood Learning

Task 1: Federally Funded Research Centers
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Task 2: Learn About Research on RTI and Early Childhood Learning

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.