The Response to Intervention KnowledgeBase

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

Activity 2: Resources to Support RtI

Activity 3: Legal and Equity Issues

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

Activity 2: Collect Screening Data

Activity 3: Use Screening Data

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

Activity 2: Collect Progress Monitoring Data

Activity 3: Use Progress Monitoring Data

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

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

Activity 3: Use Data to Inform Instructional Decision-making

Task 1: Design and Deliver Secondary Prevention/Intervention


Guideline: Secondary intervention provides strategic, supplemental instruction to students who have not responded sufficiently to primary prevention. Targeted instruction is provided to struggling or at-risk students in a small group setting by a highly-qualified teacher or certified specialist; ongoing progress monitoring data is collected to determine student growth and make targeted instructional decisions. The following resources provide guidance in the design and delivery of interventions appropriate for the secondary level of a response to intervention (RtI) framework.

Academic Intervention Chart

This link is to the academic intervention chart compiled by the Center on Response to Intervention. 

Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention for Elementary and Middle Schools

This Institute of Education Sciences practice guide provides eight recommendations designed to help teachers, principals, and administrators use RtI for the early detection, prevention, and support of students struggling with mathematics.


Assisting Students Struggling with Reading: Response to Intervention and Mutli-Tier Intervention in the Primary Grades

This Institute of Education Sciences practice guide helps educators identify struggling readers and implement evidence-based strategies to increase academic achievement. It details screening students for reading problems, designing a multi-tier intervention program, adjusting instruction to help struggling readers, and monitoring student progress.


Interventions for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A Meta-Analysis With Implications for Practice

This Center on Instruction document provides educators research-based guidance for intervening with struggling adolescent readers.


Mathematics Intervention at the Secondary Prevention Level of a Multi-Tier Prevention System

This RTI Action Network article authored by Vanderbilt University's Lynn Fuchs, Ph.D., reviews six instructional principles associated with Tier 2 mathematics interventions.


Multi-Tier Interventions and Response to Interventions for Students Struggling in Mathematics

This Center on Instruction document provides a summary of nine studies with information about evidence-based practices for Tier 2 interventions and how to use RtI in mathematics.


Principles of Effective Instruction and Intervention

This link is to a list of research articles on various aspects of academic interventions compiled by the Florida Center for Reading Research.


RTI and Math Instruction

This RTI Action Network article addresses RtI implementation in mathematics. It presents three considerations required for decision-making in RtI: "Who needs intervention?", "What type of intervention is needed?", and "Is the intervention working?" It then discusses the importance of implementation fidelity and system change to ensure desired and sustainable outcomes for mathematical learning.

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

Activity 2: Secondary Prevention/Intervention (Supplemental Interventions)

Activity 3: Tertiary Prevention/Intervention (Intensive 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

Activity 2: Professional Learning

Element 7: Commit to Fidelity and Evaluation

Purpose: Fidelity refers to adhering to or exacting following the premises and/or principles associated with a program or initiative. With Response to Intervention (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

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

Element 8: Factors Supporting RtI Implementation

Purpose: In addition to the essential components of response to intervention (RtI), additional factors supporting its implementation include leadership, collaborative culture, acknowledging 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 about these factors.

Activity 1: Leadership

Activity 2: Collaborative Culture

Activity 3: Staff Member Roles and Responsibilities

Activity 4: Stakeholder Collaboration

Activity 5: Parental Involvement and Community Partnerships

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

Activity 2: Implementation of RtI in Secondary Schools

Activity 3: Resources and Tools

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

Activity 2: Gifted Learners

Activity 3: Early Childhood Learning