Principal's Message

October 2018


Response to Intervention- What is It and Why It’s Good for Kids

What is RTI or Response to Intervention?  Response to Intervention is an initiative that has been established to support all students in both academics and behavior.   Response to Intervention provides a 3-tier system for support in both academics and behavior. 80% of the student population will respond to tier 1 or core instruction in the classroom.  Tier 2 supports are more intensive interventions that support 15% of the population and tier 3 interventions support the needs of the remaining 5% of students. These interventions or supports are provided by the classroom teacher within the walls of the classroom.

Response to Intervention happens at least 3 times per week and can happen during a common block of time during the day or can be flexible within the classroom.  The goal is to provide each student with the reading intervention to support them in making gains in the areas of the foundations of reading-reading fluency, accuracy, and comprehension.  Data from benchmark testing is used to identify students that would benefit reading interventions.

Tier 2 and 3 interventions in grades K-second grades include letter identification, letter sounds, decoding, and comprehension. Students work on “Chanting the Chart” by chanting the letter names and the sounds the letters make.  Students work on sound boxes to identify the number of sounds in words, the sounds they hear, and finally blending the sounds in words. Oral reading fluency and comprehension becomes the focus in first and second grades with the implementation of QuickReads, Reciprocal Teaching, or timed fluency passages.  

Tier 2 and 3 interventions for intermediate grades focus on oral reading fluency and comprehension.  The intervention, Quickreads, provides a support in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Reciprocal Teaching is another intervention geared for students in intermediate grades to support comprehension skills through shared roles.  

Why is RTI good for kids?  Lewis students are gaining skills in reading through RTI. In one of many success stories, a student entered second grade reading at a DRA level 2 which is kindergarten and by the the end of second grade that student was reading at grade level.  In John Hattie’s work on “Visible Learning”, the effect size of RTI on students can be as high as 1.28. An effect size of 1.0 is equivalent to one grade level. Through targeted intervention students can increase their reading skills by at least 1 grade level.  

RTI is paying off for students across the country, including our own students at Lewis Elementary and other schools in the district. If you have questions about RTI, I would be happy to share more information with you. Jill