Lombard Elementary District 44

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Academic Services » RTI (Response to Instruction)

RTI (Response to Instruction)

Core Principles of RTI

We Will ...

  •   Effectively teach all children
  •   Intervene early  
  •   Use a multi-tiered model of service delivery
  •   Use a problem-solving methodology
  •   Use an integrated data collection / assessment system to inform decision making
  •   Use Data for
    • Screening
    • Diagnostics

And . . .

If a student is not progressing as expected, we will change what WE’RE doing . . .


What is “Response to Instruction” or RTI?

RTI is a federal and state initiative intended to meet a wide range of individual student needs through general education services.  The regular classroom teacher and other personnel (other classroom teachers and educational specialists) can help meet the needs of individual students.  The goal of RTI is to provide students with the help they need to be successful as early as possible in their school career.

What are Tiers of Intervention?

RTI is built on a system of tiered service delivery.

Tier 1 consists of the Core Curriculum and should sufficiently meet the needs of approximately 80% of students.  100% of students should be receiving this core instruction.   

Tier 2 is aimed at providing focused intervention to assist students not fully responding to the core instruction.  It is anticipated that 15% of students will need and adequately respond to this level of small to moderate sized group instruction designed to supplement the core.  

Tier 3 is the most intensive level of instructional intervention.  Approximately 5% of students may need this level of individual or small group intensive intervention in order to be successful.

How does RTI work?

District 44 uses a variety of assessment data to identify students’ instructional levels.  Grade level teams meet to review data collected through curriculum based measurements and multiple assessments.  These data teams identify students who may be in need of intervention or enrichment, and place students in instructional groups or interventions as appropriate to meet each one’s unique needs. When a child begins to exhibit concerns affecting his/her school progress, the team of educators will create an intervention plan in the classroom designed to improve the student’s performance.

Based on current data, including the above assessment scores and classroom performance, students may be placed by school personnel in an appropriate tiered intervention.  If the child continues to have difficulty, the teacher will meet with a team of other staff members to discuss the child’s needs, consider other interventions, and outline a method to carefully monitor the child’s progress.  The child’s progress is measured over time. If he/she makes acceptable progress, the interventions may be discontinued (if sufficient progress is made) or continued (if the team feels the interventions are needed to help the student succeed). If the child continues to struggle, then more intensive interventions may be tried.

Through screening, in-depth assessment, and progress monitoring, data collection becomes an on-going part of a student’s educational experience, and this data is continuously used to make educational decisions.

This team – referred to as the “Problem Solving Team” or IPS – uses the insight and expertise of several different school staff members.  IPS members contribute in different ways to the RTI process: offering suggestions, gathering data, and communicating with other staff and/or parents.  The IPS meets when needed to discuss individual student concerns.  Parents are an integral part of an individual child’s Problem Solving Team.  For additional information, refer to the IPS/RTI parent brochure.

What is the role of the Parent in RTI?

Parents have an important role throughout the RTI process. Teachers will communicate concerns regarding their student and invite parent participation in telephone conversations and/or team meetings regarding their child. Parents provide insight into a child’s learning and development to understand the problem and why it occurs, plan and implement an intervention plan, and measure and evaluate the plan’s effectiveness.  Parents should contact their child’s teacher with any concerns regarding academics or behavior.

What role does RTI play in Special Education Eligibility?

While the goal of RTI and the problem solving process is not to ultimately refer students for special education services, students who are shown to be non-responsive to tiered interventions may indeed be referred for a special education evaluation.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) and aligned state regulations offer greater flexibility to school teams by eliminating the requirement that students must exhibit a “severe discrepancy” between intellectual ability and achievement in order to be found eligible for special education and related services as a student with a learning disability.  RTI is now the alternative method to the traditional ability/achievement discrepancy comparisons.

  • Effective instruction and progress monitoring:  For students to be considered for special education services based on a learning disability they first must have been provided with effective instruction and their progress measured through “data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement.”  Furthermore, results of the student progress monitoring are provided to the child’s parents.
  • Evaluation procedures:  In District 44, RTI procedures are part of the evaluation procedures for special education eligibility. Comprehensive assessment is still required which means the school will carefully examine all relevant aspects of a student’s performance and history.  As before, schools must rule out learning problems that are primarily the result of factors such as poor vision, hearing, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, lack of appropriate instruction, or limited English proficiency.


Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions. We look forward to working together to help your child succeed.

What is Response to Instruction?

Response to instruction is a systematic and data-based method for identifying, defining, and resolving students’ academic and/or behavioral difficulties. (Brown-Chidsey and Steege,2005)  When student data indicates that one or more students are not making progress, then changes to the instruction need to occur and the right intervention needs to be implemented.  This is a multi-tier model in which students receive more individualized assistance on the basis of whether they respond to certain instruction (Brown-Chedsey and Steege, 2005).  RtI integrates assessment and interventions within a three-tiered model.

Response to Instruction is not . . .

There is a common misconception that RTI is “special education.”  IT IS NOT!  RTI is a regular education initiative. In fact, with RTI, schools must show what interventions and steps have been taken in the RTI three-tiered model BEFORE they can place a child in Special Education.