Response to Intervention

As a parent you may be wondering, what is Response to Intervention?  You may have heard about Response to Intervention, or RTI, or the term may be new to you, but it is a model that we are increasingly using at Maple East and throughout the Williamsville elementary schools.

Response to Intervention is one way to ensure all learners achieve their full potential. If a child is struggling academically, the school’s first thought under the RTI model is that maybe this child isn’t receiving the instruction that he or she needs to succeed. In other words, the student isn’t responsive to the core instruction in the classroom. Currently, RTI is most often used in the curriculum area of reading.

RTI is a multi-step process that includes screening or “benchmarking” all students three times per year. Screening is a quick assessment to help identify students who are considered at-risk of not learning the necessary skills expected for the student’s age or grade level. Based on the results of the screening, a school may provide additional research-based instructional support, often delivered in a small group, to address the student’s specific areas of need.

Students who are receiving specialized, additional instruction to the classroom core instruction will be “progress monitored.” Progress monitoring involves a frequent assessment of a student’s performance in a particular skill to determine whether the specific instructional support is working and to provide information to the student’s teacher on how to adjust instruction to meet the student’s need. For students who continue to struggle even with these additional supports, the school may determine it necessary to provide more frequent, smaller group instruction, and/or provide the intervention for a longer period of time than previously provided.

This school year, Maple East has been piloting AIMSweb as a benchmarking and progress monitoring system to assess reading skills at the first grade level, while other Williamsville elementary schools have piloted at various other grade levels. All students were screened in September and January, and will be screened the third time in June. Based on the results, some students have been receiving additional small group or individual support in the first grade classrooms or from a reading specialist, with progress monitoring occurring on a regular basis in order to track individual student progress.

Beginning in September, 2011, AIMSweb will be used to assess reading skills at grades kindergarten through fourth grade in all Williamsville elementary schools. An informational program on Response to Intervention and our use of AIMSweb will be held for parents at a fall PTA meeting. In the meantime, if you wish to know more about RTI, please feel free to visit any of the following websites: