Response to Intervention: A Primer For Parents

Response to Intervention (RTI): A Primer for Parents

RTI is an intervention approach that intervenes before children get too far behind. Most school districts mandate that students what are behind be caught up before they need to be referred to special education services. In addition, RTI holds schools accountable for students that do not make adequate yearly progress.
Students are tested early in the school year. This is an indicator as to whether or not students will master standards at a certain grade level. Those who fall below a certain level, are given special services. The services are scientifically-based best practices.
Even still, before students are assigned to special education, there must be documentation that shows the student has been receiving effective instruction, and there must be documentation showing their progress. This includes databased instruction. Teachers must prove they have modified instruction based on assessments, and implemented new strategies. In addition, progress reports are sent to parents daily.


With a disproportionate number of minorities in special education classes, RTI seeks to filter out children who are not in need in special services. This can uplift the self-esteem of minority students, and help them develop socially in the classroom and society.

What it means to us

Under the RTI plan, teachers are held to higher standards, and forced to use data driven instruction. In addition, teachers must modify lessons accordingly, distribute assessments, and then modify lessons based on student results. This accountability system will reduce the number of students in special education.

Koltz, Mary Beth, & Canter, Andrea (2007). Response to Intervention (RTI): A Primer for Parents. LD Online

Submitted by Travis Bouldin