What is Response to Intervention?

What is Response to Intervention?

RTI is a general education framework that involves research-based instruction and interventions, regular monitoring of student progress, and the subsequent use of the data over time to make educational decisions. Key to the RTI process is the application of scientifically based interventions that have been demonstrated to work in randomized controlled trials (evidence-based). A goal of the RTI process is to apply accountability to educational program by focusing on programs that work rather than programs that simply look, sound, or feel good.

RTI follows a number of core assumptions:

1. The educational system can effectively teach all children

2. Early intervention is critical to preventing problems from getting out of control

3. The implementation of a multi-tiered service delivery model is necessary

4.  A problem solving model should be used to make decisions between tiers

5.   Research based interventions should be implemented to the extent possible

6.   Progress monitoring must be implemented to inform instruction

7.   Data should drive decision making

A learning disability is defined as a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, store, and respond to information. They are a group of disorders that can impact many areas of learning, including reading, writing, spelling, math, listening, and oral expression.

In the process of identifying learning disabilities, RTI differs from the formerly standard “ability–achievement discrepancy” approach in that decisions are based on outcomes of targeted interventions rather than mathematical discrepancies between scores achieved on standardized assessments.


In the RTI process, service delivery is divided into three levels (tiers) of support, with the intensity of interventions increasing with each level. Tier 1 is focused specifically within the core curriculum, with instruction and interventions targeting all students. Approximately 80% to 85% of the general student body should be able to meet grade level norms without additional assistance beyond the first tier. Students who consistently do not perform within the expected level of performance through Tier 1 instruction are then provided with additional supplementary interventions at Tier 2, which typically involves small group instruction. Approximately 3% to 6% of students will continue to have difficulties after Tier 2 interventions; these students will then receive Tier 3 intervention services, which is the most intense level of intervention (often one-on-one) provided in the regular education environment. As RTI is a regular education initiative, all three tiers of services are intended to be provided as supplements to, not replacements for, the regular education curriculum; there are some, however, who view Tier 3 as special education.

Step By Step Learning® works with school districts to implement a comprehensive evidenced-based approach to literacy that includes assessment, effective classroom instruction techniques, collaborative problem-solving and research-supported multi-sensory intervention models to ensure all students succeed in reading. Our proven methods have been evaluated by Lehigh University’s Center for Promoting Research to Practice since 2005. We have been successful in increasing learning skills in students, and are a valuable use of state funding.

To find out more information about our documented results, visit our website at https://sbsl.org/get-in-touch/ or call us at 610-398-1231 or email us today: info@sbsl.org