Response to Intervention (RtI)

Response to Intervention (RtI)

What is Response to Intervention (RtI)?

Response to Intervention (RtI) is a three-tiered model intended to prevent students who struggle in the general classroom setting from failing. RtI involves identifying the underlying reasons for the student’s difficulties (learning and/or behavioral) and providing appropriate levels of support through intervention and instruction.

RtI allows for rapid response and timely intervention so that students receive the help they need when they need it. It is intended to prevent students from being incorrectly identified as having disabilities, helping to ensure that schools appropriately support each student who requires some level of intervention.

How does RtI work?

RtI generally includes three levels, or tiers, of intervention. Tiers 1 and 2 take place in the general education classroom while Tier 3, the most intensive level, is for students who require special education services to address identified disabilities.

According to the RtI Action Network, there are four components to the RtI model:

  1. High-quality, research-based classroom instruction for all students
  2. The use of a multi-level system that ensures instruction and intervention are appropriate to individual students
  3. The use of screening to identify those students who might be at risk of failure and continuous monitoring of student learning to determine progress as well as effectiveness of the intervention methods used
  4. Parental involvement, to ensure that parents are informed about their child’s progress and the instruction and interventions their child receives, the staff providing instruction and support, and the academic and/or behavioral goals for their child

How does CES help in this work?

CES helps school districts and schools to identify and implement an array of research-based intervention programs, including:

Programs for English Language Learners

To learn more, contact Albert Mussad,

Evaluations and IEP support for special education and assistive technology

To learn more, contact Sherry Smith,

Reading Recovery

In a three-tier model of reading instruction designed to promote successful reading for all children, Reading Recovery is available to the first-graders needing instruction beyond the core classroom program. Individual tutoring and extensive professional development to support contingent teaching are likely to be a critical component of an RtI system. Many schools are using Reading Recovery as a part of the Response to Intervention (RtI) required under the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).

To learn more, contact Laurel Dickey,


In addition, CES provides supports for school improvement programs in relation to Massachusetts Tiered Systems of Support. Please visit our page on MTSS for more information.