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The three tier model of Response to Intervention for school education

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What is Response to Intervention or RTI?
The recent amendments made in the federal laws and the state laws instruct the schools to help each and every student with the right kind of educational tools. The new laws believe that by learning about the individual needs of the students, dealing with their problems at an earlier stage within the general education environment will result in less failure of schools.

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These new set of laws highlight the significance of presenting the expert guidance based on scientifically developed instruction along with interventions. They are clear on holding the schools liable for the ample yearly progress of each student. This innovative process of intervention as and when required for the students who need academic assistance or are dealing with behavioral issues is termed as RTI (Response to Intervention).

The Response to Intervention Framework

The RTI approach of education is based on the following framework:

  • There must be a multi-level teaching and behavioral observation system throughout the school to prevent the failure of the students.
  • Each and every student must go through screening to pick out the students who are struggling and need intervention in education
  • The results of the screening must be collected to form the Data that helps the educators, parents and school administration in taking decisions for instruction.
  • Collection of the facts based on performance shall all enable segmentation of the students in a multi-level classification to provide the right kind of and ample amount of assistance. RTI thus, results in identification of the students with the learning disability, far before they realize they realize their special needs.
  • There must be thorough and continuous monitoring mechanism to assist the student during education.

Broadly speaking, Response to Intervention is a multi tier approach to assist students as and when they need it. Usually, it is divided into a three-tier or four-tier and is based on functional aspects of education. The three-tiered approach of RTI enables the parents, mentors, teachers, and the school administrators, associate with each other and help the students achieve better.

The Response to Intervention approach of education perceives that the parent and teachers together are responsible for the student. They must work together for betterment of the kids. The three-tiered approach of RTI enables the parents, the teachers, and the school administrators help the students based on their individual performance.

The Three-Tier Model of Response to Intervention
Tier one: Research based classroom education, tests for all the students
All students must be provided with high quality research based education. There must be a qualified educator to ensure that the students does not just understand the terms but also grasp the functioning of the concepts. There must be regular assessments to understand if the students have grasped to concepts. Furthermore, results will enable the teachers in segmenting the students based on their performance and even in identifying the struggling students. The data analysis reveals the students that need intervention and the concepts that they need intervention in, on an individual basis.

At the max, a student’s growth is observed for 8 weeks using curriculum-based program for progress measurement. The students who do not show ample development and yet need intervention are moved to tier two.

Tier two: Targeted intervention for the struggling students’ segment
Students who are not able to make ample development in tier one or regular classroom education, are presented with more exhaustive lessons to based on their performance. As per their need, the amount of intervention varies as per the group size and the need and level of assistance required. In tier two, the interventions are given in small groups that are formed on based on the students’ performance. The students who still show comparative less progress or display signs of behavioral issues are made a part of tier three.

Tier three: Intensive interventions based on individual needs
The students who display very little progress after the classroom with regular instructions as well as in the group based interventions are now provided with individualized care. Here the student receives personal care as per his/her skills and grasping ability. There is ample of data collected by now with past performance records. If there is not much of progress, the student is referred for special education or for counseling based on behavior pattern as per the guidelines of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004).

Benefits of the RTI (Response to Intervention)

RTI implementation enables

1. the teachers, parents, and school administrators to intervene at an early stage to fill in the requirements of the struggling students.
2. the regular screening gives the data of the test-score to analyze the discrepancy in education as well as behaviors and understanding patterns of each of the students on an individual basis.
3. in identifying the students with learning disability; with intensive interventions from the parents and usual classroom teachers, many of them receive ample help even before they visit a counselor or a therapist.
4. Identify the instructional methods that cause poor understanding and lead to bad results or methods that cause the delay in the student’s learning.
5. Discover explicit instructional approach to benefit each student on an individual basis.
6. "close the space between detection and cure". The importance is of the "treatment validity" (Fuchs & Fuchs, 1998), which shifts the detection away from identifying the deficits to inspect the students’ results.

Furthermore, RTI process under IDEA 2004 permits, the parents to formally call for the evaluation of the child in order to determine if the child needs assistance for special education.

The latest developments encourage the teachers to focus more on research and find more innovative approaches to make students understand the concepts. Each student must understand how the core concepts work and if observed carefully it is too much excessive work for the educators. Practically, without the help of the modern day technology and adaptive learning techniques, it is next to impossible to meet the rising demands of the education evaluation. The healthiest part of it is that at the end of the toil, the students will be better-learned individuals and not merely educated.

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