George Lucas Educational Foundation

RTI How it's done at your school

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I'm wondering how other schools incorporate RTI at their schools. We have the two grade-level classes get together and divide into 3 groups. An aide takes the 'middle' group, I have the 'high' group and the other Kindergarten teacher takes the 'low' group. We are currently doing math two days a week and reading three days. We have a teacher who part-time is in charge of RTI and has made a lot of materials for us to use but it's not very set what we are supposed to be doing. This is the first year we have done it and I am looking for ideas and looking to see how it is done in other districts.

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Michelle Provost's picture

My school does RTI. I work in a K-3 building and teach second grade. Each grade has an uninterrupted 45 minute reading block. During this time we teach Shared Reading (whole group with a basal), and Guided Reading (small reading groups taught at their reading level). During the Guided Reading time a part time reading teacher pushes in to take small groups also. When a student is not in a small reading group he is working at a reading center. I meet with two groups a day and my reading teacher meets with two groups. I also have three students that are reading chapter books. They are high enough above grade level that I feel confident in giving them more independence. I meet with them two times a week mostly just to touch base with what they are reading and writing in response to their reading. "Red" students are pulled out for 30 minutes a day to receive extra reading instruction (Tier 3). Additionally all the students are instructed for 30 minutes a day at their phonics level (Tier 2). We test reading fluency using DIBELS. "Red" students are tested every other week. Students have to read 90 words per minute by the end of second grade to be at grade level. Phonics skills are tested using PASI or PSI. We use On-The-Mark for the students' reading levels. We have a reading room in our building that has multiple copies of leveled reading books. The reading room also has supplies for reading centers and activities and lesson plans for phonics levels. It seems to be working. I work in a low income school. We have made AYP for several years. I am amazed every year at the progress the students make.

Kelly Harrison's picture

Jen and Michelle,
I also have RTI at my school and from what you have posted, mine seems to work a little bit differently. This is the second or third year of implementing RTI, and I truly think it is working wonderfully for my school and the students. I teach Kindergarten so in early November, students are 'targeted' that need help with letters/sounds. My school has an entire committee (ESL, resource, reading teachers, principal) that gets together, talks about students in RTI, and the best method of how to push into the classrooms to help with these interventions. Hopefully that helps!

traci's picture


I was going to type a whole long explaination about how RTI works in my school, but since Michelle already did it for me (we work in the same building)I will just say the way we have it organized I think it is working very well! This year,I only have 2 students who "qualify" for Tier 2 pull-out help based on their test scores. Because there are so few students, we are able to support the grade level students with extra help in small gorups too!

Jessica's picture

We have just began RTI training for this upcoming year. Last year we used AIMS Web as our data collector for all students and are continuing to use it this year. We are going to use the information provided from the AIMS Web piece to identify the students in each Tier of the RTI process. From there we are going to divide the entire grade level (approx 60 students) between the three teachers, the special ed teacher and two aides (myself and one other) we have our degrees in education and this will allow the teachers and special ed teachers to work with those tier 2 and 3 students. We are pretty excited to get this process started. It sounds like a lot of work this year but should have a great outcome. I love hearing other success stories so I can share them with my colleagues. Or any great ideas we can implement with this system.

SMcCarthy's picture
K-12 special education teacher

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I am a true believer in RTI. When our school first jumped on the wagon, it quickly became confusing and overwhelming to many of us. I suggest taking it slow and putting specific organizational and management systems in place before starting. Otherwise it's easy to become consumed with paperwork and assessment data and not have time for the teaching and interventions! The process and the organization of a schoolwide RTI process starts in each individual classroom. Getting everyone on board and on the same page is tough, but necessary.
I am in charge of implementation at our school and we had a difficult time with the issues above and that made it very hard to decipher the impact of RTI at our school. Last year we implemented a awesome RTI management tool called, "Ready to Iniciate Response To Intervantion.". We put one of the kits in each classroom and our teachers were all trained in it. We saw amazing results in just weeks. Teachers commented that the system finally made RTI clear and kept them on track and organized so that they had more time to work with the students. I was in charge of monitoring the kits and coordinating meetings. At the end of the year I collected the data from the kits and easily organized the data for each student. This year we have a collection of completed data forms on every student that received interventions last year. The teachers have a wonderful resource for this year and we are extremely excited to see how it goes.

Here is some info on the kits:
RTI RTI is a complete management system that includes step by step documentation forms and a filing process that was developed and designed by educators, for educators. Each classroom based kit includes
color coded, systemized forms and an organizational format that guide every teacher through the RTI process. Precise and simple to complete RTI/RTI covers all necessary documentation while outlining the implementation of RTI at your school.

Lucy's picture

We are starting RTI for next school year at an elementary school K-5. We have a new principal who is asking tenure teachers to move rooms for new teachers to be closer to their grade level. This is causing tension among our teaching staff. She strongly feels this is needed in order for RTI to work at our school. Has anyone experienced this arrangement? Does it work when teachers work together no matter where the classroom is located?

Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT's picture
Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT
Middle school English/Digital Design/Broadcast Media teacher

Hi, Lucy! Many years back I taught at a school where the decision was made to move teaming teachers so that they taught near each other. The idea was that if teachers were housed near one another, they could collaborate more often and more effectively. But as we often see with teaching, we were all so busy day in and day out, that our next-door location didn't make that much difference. And now, with so many easy ways to communicate digitally, collaboration doesn't have to mean face-to-face. I know my interdisciplinary team and I often collaborate on a shared Google Doc because that's a lot easier than meeting face-to-face. If I were in your shoes, I think my next step would be to sit down with the principal to find out how she envisions this set-up working for teachers. How does she see the location of classrooms helping you all with RTI? Do you think she would be willing to talk about this?

Lucy's picture

Thank youn Laura,
This is a new principal who is trying to impress her superiors during her first year. So I did talk to her briefly and will have further conversations with her to see how we can collaboratively work this out.
Since we are teaching 21st century students, the digital collaboration is a great selling point!
Thank you for your time and sharing this information.

Casey S.'s picture

Our school implemented a thirty-five minute instructional focus period. Interventions occur during this time. It is the last segment of the school day. All teachers and paraprofessionals are utilized to help with scheduling. Intervention groups are pulled into various rooms- libraries, labs, etc. for interventions. Also, during this time, students who are not receiving an intervention remain in their classrooms for acceleration. Students with disabilities remain in the classroom as well. The main issue that we have been experiencing is who should administer the interventions... general ed. teachers or special ed. teachers? What is the best way to support students with disabilities if special education teachers are implementing RTI interventions? Behavior also increases during this segment. This could be due to time of day or because students with disabilities are in the general education setting without support.

*SWD IEP services times are not being interrupted... all services are written into academic subject segments. However, students are still in the general education setting without support of any kind. General ed. and special ed. teachers agree that this is an issue. However, general ed. teachers feel the need to remain with their homerooms instead of administering interventions.

I think the instructional focus period can be successful, but we still some issues to work out.

Does anyone have any insight or a similar plan in place?

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