Responsiveness to Instruction is an approach to providing services and interventions to students who are not experiencing academic success. In this approach, student difficulties are specifically defined, possible solutions are determined, and targeted instruction is provided within the regular education classroom at increasing levels of intensity. The impact of this instruction is carefully monitored and evaluated to determine if the instructional plan selected has made the desired difference for the student.

The severity or intensity of the problem will determine which school support staff will work with parents and teachers to try to solve the problem. The consideration of the level of difficulty a student is experiencing, along with a specific match between area of difficulty and the necessary resources, will often be referred to as "tiers" within this approach. Problem solving will occur at one of four different tiers.

The RtI approach has the potential to limit the amount of academic failure that any student experiences by providing critical information about the instructional needs of the student, which can be used to create effective educational interventions.

The philosophy behind RtI includes:
  • All children can learn
  • Focus on meeting the needs of all children
  • Wealth of knowledge and partnership from parents
  • Work collaboratively to develop solutions and strategies
  • Proactive instruction within general education
  • Prevention more cost effective than remediation
  • Utilize resources necessary to meet the educational needs of all children
  • Evaluate effectiveness of educational strategies frequently
  • Communicate accurate information about student progress regularly
  • Provide opportunities for all children to achieve their goals
  • Best educational strategy: the one that works!

Important Points include:
  • School-based collaborative process
  • Uses problem solving approach to identify academic/behavior needs
  • Involves data-based decision-making
  • Primary purpose is to design useful interventions in the regular education environment
  • The focus is on Problem-Solving NOT a mechanism for referring students to special education
  • Is NOT a pre-referral team
  • Assessment is functional & diagnostic
  • Interventions based on data NOT a guessing game

Challenges for Implementation of RtI model
  • Fidelity of Implementation
  • Resource variances among counties
  • Funding Concerns/Issues
  • Issues surrounding transition from discrepancy model to RtI model
  • Ownership for implementation to effect system change
  • Staff concerns regarding job security

To learn more, review the following PowerPoints & PDF documents:

Link to Federal Initiatives

Fall of the IQ Discrepancy Model
Information from 2007 DPI Training

5 Steps to Facilitating Change
Information from 2010 DPI Training

RtI & PLCs

RtI "The What"
Information from 2007 DPI Training

RtI Overview
Information from 2010 DPI Training

Information from 2007 DPI Training

Information from 2010 DPI Training

Comprehensive Assessment of Need

Information from 2007 DPI Training

Information from 2010 DPI Training

Curriculum-Based Measurement
Information from 2007 DPI Training

Information from 2010 DPI Training

Progress Monitoring
Information from 2007 DPI Training

Avoiding Pitfalls