This video goes over the concept of a Response to Intervention (RTI). In discussing the Individualized Education Program (IEP), you (the parent) should first understand the concept of an RTI, as the term will likely be used when discussing an IEP. An RTI is a low-level intervention that happens in your child’s classroom instead of formal special education services, that is designed to help your child along in school. An RTI can work wonderfully for some children who may not qualify for special education services, but we should note that if your child needs an evaluation, an RTI should not prevent or delay you from conducting one. RTIs are a great way to assist your child , but they should not replace proper special education services if your child needs them.
While there is not a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for an RTI and it is not part of the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA), the concept of an RTI is still referenced in the IDEA, and there are still a few guidelines and principles that RTIs follow.
An RTI as a response using scientific and researched-based methods of intervening in the education of a child who generally has a specific learning disability (though it’s not necessary that the child have one for an RTI to occur). An RTI is generally conducted by what’s usually called a School Assistance Team (SAT), which is a team within the school. Again, it’s important to remember that an RTI does not replace and cannot delay a proper evaluation of the child. An RTI can work better than an evaluation and IEP for a child’s needs in some cases, but an IEP should take precedence in cases where the two would conflict, or if an RTI is not working.
An RTI works by using scientific and researched-based methods to continuously monitor and screen for academic or behavioral problems. There are multiple tiers of instructional intensity, and they are as follows:
Tier 1– Screening of students and core instruction.
Tier 2– Targeted instruction matched to the student (small group instruction)
Tier 3– Direct and systemic instruction
If a tier of instruction does not work, the SAT will move on the the next tier. If Tier 3 does not work for a child, then the SAT will recommend that a child have an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services.
That, in a nutshell, is an RTI. Because an RTI can eventually lead to an evaluation, we cannot stress enough that an RTI should not replace an evaluation and IEP. If you have any questions about RTIs, please visit the Nebraska Department of Education Response to Intervention website.