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What is MTSS/RtI?
Response to Intervention (RtI) is defined as “the change in behavior or performance as a function of an intervention" (Gresham, 1991). RtI is implemented as a leveled or tiered approach to instructional delivery that includes interventions of increasingly higher intensity, based on a student’s need; that is, a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). Assessment data provides the evidence of student learning and based on this information, decisions are made about the most appropriate instruction, including interventions, that will help a student learn. Likewise, behavior management is addressed in a leveled or tiered approach, and decisions are made about the best behavioral interventions to employ based on assessment and data. A problem-solving method of decision-making is employed and the results of efforts are documented. The process is intended to result in better learning opportunities (academic and behavioral) and higher achievement for all students.
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A Tiered System of Intervention Delivery
RtI is constructed around a 3-tiered model of intervention delivery (MTSS). Tier 1 is called “universal” because the methods used at this level are what all students receive. On the academic side, Tier 1 is the core curriculum, in each subject area, that all students receive in each classroom, at each grade level. On the behavioral side, Tier 1 is the school-wide/class-wide approach to behavior management used for all students (e.g., CHAMPs).Tier 2 is called “strategic” or “targeted” because these are interventions targeted to specific student problems. Tier 2 consists of strategies that are supplemental—that is, provided in addition to, not in place of, the core curriculum or behavior management approach. Tier 2 interventions are generally targeted to at-risk students and they are usually delivered in a small group format (e.g., a group of 5 struggling readers in a classroom is provided with supplemental reading instruction, from a reading coach, 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, in addition to receiving all core instruction in reading from the classroom teacher). Tier 3 is called “intensive” because at this level the student needs interventions that are specifically tailored to his/her needs and intensively focused. As at Tier 2, these interventions are supplemental—that is, provided in addition to all core instruction in the student’s area of difficulty.
(Florida Department of Education, 2008)