Response to Intervention (RTI) Information for Parents
What is RtI?
RtI stands for Response to Intervention. It is an approach schools use to help ALL students, including average, gifted and struggling learners. It is not a special kind of program or book; rather it is a systematic approach to providing every student within a school the support they need on a regular basis.
Many schools in the State of Wisconsin are using this approach to make sure that every student has opportunities to learn at high levels. The goal of RtI is to help all students be successful. Wisconsin’s vision for RtI addresses both academics and behavior, and uses a strengths-based model to systematically provide ALL students with the supports they need to succeed. Various stakeholders from across the state have developed the following guiding principles that provide the vision for an RtI framework in schools and also to serve as a reference point for assessing an enacted system:
• RtI is for ALL children and ALL educators
• RtI must support and provide value to effective practices
• Success for RtI lies within the classroom through collaboration
• RtI applies to both academics and behavior
• RtI supports and provides value to the use of multiple assessments to inform instructional practices
• RtI is something you do and not necessarily something you buy
• RtI emerges from and supports research and evidence-based practice.
(Wisconsin Response to Intervention: A Guiding Document, Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction, 2010)
Why is RtI discussed so frequently in schools?
RtI is getting a lot of attention now. Some new federal laws have directed schools to focus more on helping all children learn by addressing problems earlier, before the child is so far behind that a referral to special education services is warranted. These laws include the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004. Both laws underscore the importance of providing high quality, scientifically-based instruction and interventions, and hold schools accountable for the progress of all students in terms of meeting grade level standards.
Do all schools in the State of Wisconsin have to implement RtI?
Although districts are encouraged to fully implement an RtI framework, RtI, as articulated by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), is not required. However, it should be noted that schools that have embraced the RtI process, as envisioned by the State of Wisconsin, are seeing great things happen. These schools see results because they have established a clear organizational framework for achieving higher levels of academic and behavioral success for ALL students. The framework the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction envisions for full implementation of RtI is one that applies to the education of ALL students and it requires significant systems change in order to support ALL students.