RTI Toolkit: A Practical Guide for SchoolsDeveloping Effective Tier 2 & Tier 3 RTIReading Interventions: Guidelines forSchoolsJim Wright, Presenter 7 February 2013 CCIRA Conference: Denver, COContents Critical RTI Elements: A Checklist.02Tier 1, 2, 3: Internet Sources for Research-Based Interventions. 07Academic Interventions 'Critical Components' Checklist. .08Elementary Schools: .Scheduling Supplemental RTI Services.12Middle & High Schools: Scheduling Supplemental RTI Services.13Intervention Integrity: Methods to Track 'Intervention Quality'.16Intervention & Related RTI Terms: Definitions.23Using Accommodations With General-Education Students: Guidelines.24Setting Individual RTI Performance Goals for the Off-Level Student.27Setting Up & Interpreting Time-Series Charts.31Classroom Reading Interventions: A Sampling.40Jim Wright364 Long Road Tully, NY 13159Email: [email protected] Materials Available at:

‘How RTI Works’ Series 2013 Jim Wrightwww.interventioncentral.org1Critical RTI Elements: A ChecklistThe elements below are important components of the RTI model. Review each element and discuss how to implementit in your school or district:Tier 1 Interventions: Evidence-Based & Implemented With IntegrityTier 1: Classroom Interventions. The classroom teacher is the ‘first responder’ for students with academic delays.Classroom efforts to instruct and individually support the student should be documented.AdequatelyRTI ElementIf this element is incomplete,Documented?missing, or undocumented YESTier 1: High-Quality Core Instruction. The student receives highInadequate or incorrectly NOquality core instruction in the area of academic concern. ‘High quality’ focused core instruction mayis defined as at least 80% of students in the classroom or grade level be an explanation for theperforming at or above gradewide academic screening benchmarksstudent’s academic delays.through classroom instructional support alone (Christ, 2008). YESTier 1: Classroom Intervention. The classroom teacher givesAn absence of individualized NOadditional individualized academic support to the student beyond that classroom support or a poorlyprovided in core instruction.focused classroom interventionplan may contribute to the The teacher documents those strategies on a Tier 1student’s academic delays.intervention plan. Intervention ideas contained in the plan meet the district’scriteria as ‘evidence-based’. Student academic baseline and goals are calculated, andprogress-monitoring data are collected to measure theimpact of the plan. The classroom intervention is attempted for a periodsufficiently long (e.g., 4-8 instructional weeks) to fullyassess its effectiveness. YESTier 1: Intervention Integrity. Data are collected to verify that theWithout intervention-integrity NOintervention is carried out with integrity (Gansle & Noell, 2007; Roach data, it is impossible to discern& Elliott, 2008). Relevant intervention-integrity data includewhether academicinformation about:underperformance is due to thestudent’s ‘non-response’ to Frequency and length of intervention sessions.intervention or due to an Ratings by the interventionist or an independent observerintervention that was poorly orabout whether all steps of the intervention are beinginconsistently carried out.conducted correctly.Tier 1: Decision Point: Teacher Consultation/Team MeetingDecision Points: At Tier 1, the school has set up procedures for teachers and other staff to discuss students who needintervention, to analyze data about their school performance, to design intervention and progress-monitoring plans, and toschedule follow-up meetings on the student(s).AdequatelyRTI ElementIf this element is incomplete,Documented?missing, or undocumented YESTier 1: Classroom Teacher Problem-Solving Meetings. TheIf the school does not provide NOschool has set up a forum for teachers to discuss students who need teachers with guidance andTier 1 (classroom) interventions and to schedule follow-up meetingssupport in creating Tier 1to evaluate progress. That forum takes one of two forms:intervention plans, it cannotanswer whether each teacher is Consultant. The school compiles a list of consultants in theschool who can meet with individual teachers or grade-level consistently followingrecommended practices inteams to discuss specific students and to help the teacherdeveloping those create and to document an intervention plan. Grade-Level Team. The school trains grade-level teams toconduct problem-solving meetings. Teachers are expected

‘How RTI Works’ Series 2013 Jim Wrightwww.interventioncentral.org2to bring students to regularly scheduled team meetings todiscuss them and to create and document an interventionplan.Tier 2/3 Interventions: Evidence-Based & Implemented With IntegrityTiers 2 & 3: Supplemental Interventions. Interventions at Tiers 2 & 3 supplement core instruction and specifically target thestudent’s academic deficits.AdequatelyRTI ElementIf this element is incomplete,Documented?missing, or undocumented YESTier 2/3 Interventions: Minimum Number & Length. The student’s A foundation assumption of RTI NOcumulative RTI information indicates that an adequate effort in theis that a general-educationgeneral-education setting has been made to provide supplementalstudent with academicinterventions at Tiers 2 & 3. The term ‘sufficient effort’ includes thedifficulties is typical and simplyexpectation that within the student’s general education setting:needs targeted instructionalsupport to be successful. A minimum number of separate Tier 2/3 intervention trialsTherefore, strong evidence (i.e.,(e.g., three) are attempted.several documented, ‘good Each intervention trial lasts a minimum period of time (e.g.,faith’ intervention attempts) is6-8 instructional weeks).needed before the school canmove beyond the assumptionthat the student is typical toconsider whether there arepossible ‘within-child’ factorssuch as a learning disabilitythat best explain the student’sacademic difficulties. YESTier 2/3 Interventions: Essential Elements. Each Tier 2/3Supplemental intervention NOintervention plan shows evidence that:programs are compromised ifthey are not based on research, Instructional programs or practices used in the interventionare too large, or includemeet the district’s criteria of ‘evidence-based.students with very discrepant The intervention has been selected because it logicallyintervention needs. Schoolsaddressed the area(s) of academic deficit for the targetcannot have confidence in thestudent (e.g., an intervention to address reading fluencyimpact of such potentiallywas chosen for a student whose primary deficit was incompromised supplementalreading fluency).intervention programs. If the intervention is group-based, all students enrolled inthe Tier 2/3 intervention group have a shared interventionneed that could reasonably be addressed through the groupinstruction provided. The student-teacher ratio in the group-based interventionprovides adequate student support. NOTE: For Tier 2,group sizes should be capped at 7 students. Tier 3interventions may be delivered in smaller groups (e.g., 3students or fewer) or individually. The intervention provides contact time adequate to thestudent academic deficit. NOTE: Tier 2 interventions shouldtake place a minimum of 3-5 times per week in sessions of30 minutes or more; Tier 3 interventions should take placedaily in sessions of 30 minutes or more (Burns & Gibbons,2008). YESTier 2/3 Interventions: Intervention Integrity. Data are collected to Without intervention-integrity NOverify that the intervention is carried out with integrity (Gansle &data, it is impossible to discernNoell, 2007; Roach & Elliott, 2008). Relevant intervention-integritywhether academicdata include information about:underperformance is due to the

‘How RTI Works’ Series 2013 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.orgFrequency and length of intervention sessions.Ratings by the interventionist or an independent observerabout whether all steps of the intervention are beingconducted correctly.3student’s ‘non-response’ tointervention or due to anintervention that was poorly orinconsistently carried out.Decision Point for Tier 2: Data Analysis TeamDecision Points: At Tier 2, the school has set up procedures for teachers and other staff to discuss students who needintervention, to analyze data about their school performance, to design intervention and progress-monitoring plans, and toschedule follow-up meetings on the student(s).AdequatelyRTI ElementIf this element is incomplete,Documented?missing, or undocumented YESTier 2: Data Analysis Team. The school has established a DataIf the school lacks a functioning NOAnalysis Team at Tier 2 to evaluate the school-wide screening dataData Analysis Team, there arecollected three times per year and to place students who need Tier 2 likely to be several importantinterventions. The Data Analysis Teamquestions left unanswered,such as the following: is knowledgeable of all intervention personnel and evidencebased programs available for Tier 2 interventions. Are screening data beingused to bring consistency knows how to identify students who have failed to meetand objectivity to theexpected screening benchmarksselection of students who can use the benchmarks to estimate the risk for academicneed Tier 2 intervention?failure of each student picked up in the screening Are the intervention is able to match identified students to appropriate interventionsprograms at Tier 2while providing students with sufficient instructional support.'evidence-based'? can document the Tier 2 intervention set up for each student Is the progress of studentsreceiving Tier 2NOTE: It is also recommended that the Data Analysis Team meet atintervention reviewedleast once between each screening period to review the progress ofevery 6-8 instructionalstudents on Tier 2 intervention, to apply screening benchmarks, andweeks to ensure thatto decide for each student whether to maintain the currentstudents don't remain inintervention, change the Tier 2 intervention, move the student toineffective interventionsmore intensive Tier 3 intervention, or (if improved) discontinue theand don't continue toTier 2 intervention and transition the student to Tier 1 support alone.occupy intervention 'slots'after they have closed theacademic gap with peers?Decision Point for Tier 3: RTI Problem-Solving TeamDecision Points: At Tier 3, the school has set up procedures for teachers and other staff to discuss students who needintervention, to analyze data about their school performance, to design intervention and progress-monitoring plans, and toschedule follow-up meetings on the student(s).AdequatelyRTI ElementIf this element is incomplete,Documented?missing, or undocumented YESTier 3: RTI Problem-Solving Team. The school has established anThe RTI Problem-Solving Team'RTI Problem-Solving Team' to create customized intervention plansis the 'decision point' in the NOfor individual students who require Tier 3 (intensive) that ensures thatThe RTI Problem-Solving Team:students with Tier 3 academic has created clear guidelines for when to accept a Tier 3 student or behavioral needs receiveinterventions that are wellreferral. follows a consistent, structured problem-solving model during its documented, well-implemented,and sufficiently intensive tomeetings.match the student's serious schedules initial meetings to discuss student concerns anddeficits. Most Special Educationfollow-up meetings to review student progress and judgeEligibility Teams use Tier 3whether the intervention plan is effective.

‘How RTI Works’ Series 2013 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.orgdevelops written intervention plans with sufficient detail toensure that the intervention is implemented with fidelity acrosssettings and people.builds an ‘intervention bank’ of research-based interventionideas for common student academic and behavioral concerns.4Problem-Solving Teams as aquality-control mechanism andgate-keeper that preventsstudents from being referred forpossible special educationservices until the school hasfirst exhausted all generaleducation service options.School-Wide Academic Screenings: General Outcome Measures and Skill-BasedMeasuresPeer Norms: The school selects efficient measures with good technical adequacy to be used to screen all students at agrade level in targeted academic areas.AdequatelyRTI ElementIf this element is incomplete,Documented?missing, or undocumented YESSelection of Academic Screening Measures. The school hasAcademic screening measures NOselected appropriate grade-level screening measures for theprovide a shared standard foracademic skill area(s) in which the target student struggles (Hosp,assessing student academicHosp & Howell, 2007). The selected screening measure(s):risk. If appropriate gradewideacademic screening Have ‘technical adequacy’ as grade-level screeners—andmeasure(s) are not in place, thehave been researched and shown to predict future studentschool cannot efficiently identifysuccess in the academic skill(s) targeted.struggling students who need Are general enough to give useful information for at least aadditional intervention supportfull school year of the developing academic skill (e.g.,or calculate the relativeGeneral Outcome Measure or Skill-Based Masteryprobability of academic successMeasure).for each student. Include research norms, proprietary norms developed aspart of a reputable commercial assessment product, orbenchmarks to guide the school in evaluating the risk levelfor each student screened. YESLocal Norms Collected via Gradewide Academic Screenings atIn the absence of regularly NOLeast 3 Times Per Year. All students at each grade level areupdated local screening norms,administered the relevant academic screening measures at leastthe school cannot easily judgethree times per school year. The results are compiled to providewhether a particular student’slocal norms of academic performance.skills are substantially delayedfrom those of peers in the sameeducational setting.ReferencesBurns, M. K., & Gibbons, K. A. (2008). Implementing response-to-intervention in elementary and secondary schools.Routledge: New York.Christ, T. (2008). Best practices in problem analysis. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in schoolpsychology V (pp. 159-176). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.Fuchs, L. (2003). Assessing intervention responsiveness: Conceptual and technical issues. Learning DisabilitiesResearch & Practice, 18(3), 172-186.Gansle, K. A., & Noell, G. H. (2007). The fundamental role of intervention implementation in assessing response tointervention. In S. R. Jimerson, M. K. Burns, & A. M. VanDerHeyden (Eds.), Response to intervention: The science andpractice of assessment and intervention (pp. 244-251). New York: Springer Publishing.

‘How RTI Works’ Series 2013 Jim Wrightwww.interventioncentral.org5Hosp, M. K., Hosp, J. L., & Howell, K. W. (2007). The ABCs of CBM: A practical guide to curriculum-basedmeasurement. New York: Guilford Press.Howell, K. W., Hosp, J. L., & Kurns, S. (2008). Best practices in curriculum-based evaluation. In A. Thomas & J.Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp.349-362). Bethesda, MD: National Association of SchoolPsychologists.Roach, A. T., & Elliott, S. N. (2008). Best practices in facilitating and evaluating intervention integrity. In A. Thomas & J.Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp.195-208).Shapiro, E. S. (2008). Best practices in setting progress-monitoring monitoring goals for academic skill improvement. InA. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp. 141-157). Bethesda, MD: NationalAssociation of School Psychologists.Witt, J. C., VanDerHeyden, A. M., & Gilbertson, D. (2004). Troubleshooting behavioral interventions. A systematicprocess for finding and eliminating problems. School Psychology Review, 33, 363-383.

Tier 1, 2, 3: Internet Sources for Research-Based InterventionsListed below are Internet sources to help schools to find or evaluate academic and behavioral intervention programsand strategies appropriate for Tiers 1, 2, and 3.Internet Intervention SourceBest Evidence Encyclopedia ( This site provides reviews of evidence-based readingand math programs. The website is sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center forData-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE).Evidence-Based Intervention Network ( Sponsored by the School Psychology program atthe University of Missouri, this site contains academic and behavioral intervention scripts suitable for classroom use.Florida Center for Reading Research ( This website contains a search tool to find lesson plansto teach the five components of reading: Search Tool/FAIR Search Tool.aspxInstructional Intervention Tools Page ( Sponsored by the NationalCenter on RTI, this page provides ratings to intervention programs in reading, math, and writing. Users can streamlinetheir search by subject and grade level.Intervention Central ( The site includes a range of academic and behavioralintervention ideas suitable for classroom use.What Works Clearinghouse ( Sponsored by the US Dept. of Education, this website hastwo major sources of intervention information: (1) Practice Guides: These free 60-100 page guides summarize currentresearch for teachers on intervention topics such as math instruction, reading interventions, and behaviormanagement; (2) Program Reviews: This website reviews core instruction and intervention programs inreading/writing, math/science, and other academic areas. The site reviews existing studies and draws conclusionsabout whether specific intervention programs show evidence of effectiveness.RTI: Screening & Progress-Monitoring ToolsCheck out these 'tools' pages to evaluateRTI screening and progress-monitoring assessments:Internet Assessment SourceNational Center on RTI ( This site includes two 'tools' pages that offer descriptions andratings for assessments: RTI School-Wide Screeners ( RTI school-wide academic screenersare administered at least 3 times per year to compare local students to research-derived benchmark norms. Theresults are used to identify students who need Tier 2/3 intervention services. RTI Progress-Monitoring Mastery Measures eryTools).Students on RTI interventions are monitored (2x per month for Tier 2; 1x per week for Tier 3). This Tools pagecompares sets of RTI progress-monitoring tools.

‘How RTI Works’ Series 2011 Jim Wrightwww.interventioncentral.org1Academic Interventions ‘Critical Components’ ChecklistThis checklist summarizes the essential components of academic interventions. When preparing a student’s Tier 1, 2,or 3 academic intervention plan, use this document as a ‘pre-flight checklist’ to ensure that the academic intervention isof high quality, is sufficiently strong to address the identified student problem, is fully understood and supported by theteacher, and can be implemented with integrity. NOTE: While the checklist refers to the ‘teacher’ as the interventionist