What Is RTI?
Georgia has implemented a four-tier Response to Intervention (RTI) model in a) identifying and b) addressing students' academic and/or behavioral needs. Standards-based instruction, universal screening, and progress monitoring are the critical foundation elements of our model (Tier 1). Every public school in Georgia is mandated to teach the standards to all students based on their grade level and/or content area.
Universal screening helps teachers identify students who will need more individualized assistance. Progress monitoring allows teachers to assess the effectiveness of instruction and to differentiate their assistance based on the instructional and/or behavioral needs of the students. When a variety of Tier 1 strategies are utilized and the student is not showing significant improvement, this should be the trigger that activates the school’s RTI plan to bring more focused attention and more intensive instructional assistance that comprises Tier 2. Tier 2 is characterized by the addition of more concentrated small-group or individual interventions that target specific needs and essential skills. All Tier 2 Interventions must be research proven and aligned to the needs of the student and resources of the school.
Interventions may involve an increase in intensity, frequency, and duration of the strategies utilized in Tier 1, or they may be entirely different based on information shared among staff members. Collaboration by staff in delivery of rigorous instruction and appropriate Tier 2 interventions is vital in order to ensure a transfer of learning from Tier 2 to Tier 1 activities. Progress monitoring is more frequent and is vital in order to judge the effectiveness of the interventions based on the student’s response to them.
If such appropriate interventions-- implemented with fidelity and for an established duration-- are not effective then the staff must call upon the assistance of the Student Support Team (SST), which is Tier 3. In Tier 3, SST is the structure and RTI is the process. Team members now individualize appraisal and interventions to determine barriers to learning and develop appropriate individual interventions for the student. If a variety of SST/Tier 3 interventions are finally determined not to be adequate and the need for more individualized assistance is thus documented, the SST will make an appropriate referral for consideration of placement of the student in an appropriate Tier 4 program. If found eligible, this student may be placed in Special Education, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Gifted or other programs that are delivered by specially trained teachers.
Source: Georgia Department of Education