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Understanding RTI²

The Sevier County School System is dedicated to insuring the success of ALL students. In collaboration with parents, school personnel provide children a healthy and safe learning environment where they develop critical skills needed in the 21st century.

Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) is a framework for teaching and learning. It is a model that provides evidence-based instructional strategies by highly-qualified staff that is matched to student needs and monitored on a frequent basis. The information gathered by this model is used to make decisions regarding the student’s educational programming.



Instructional Focus: A Multi-Tiered Framework

RTI² is a process used to determine if a student is responding to classroom instruction and progressing as expected. The RTI² process has three tiers, or levels, that build upon one another. Each tier provides more intensive layers of support:

Tier I includes high quality instruction.

The school provides all students with high quality and culturally responsive instruction in the areas of academics, attendance, and behavior.

Tier II includes targeted, extra instruction and interventions. 

The school provides strategic interventions to small groups of students who need more support than they are receiving through Tier I.

Tier III includes intensive interventions. 

The school implements and monitors intensive interventions to meet the individual needs of students.

Key RTI² Terms

Universal Screening is a step taken to determine which students are “at risk” for not meeting grade level standards. Universal screening assessments are given at set times throughout the year. Those students whose test scores fall below a certain target may be considered for needing more specialized academic interventions.

Progress Monitoring is a scientifically-based practice that is frequently used to assess students’ academic performance. It also can evaluate the effectiveness of instruction and intervention.

Scientific Research-Based Instruction (also called evidence-based) refers to specific curriculum and educational interventions that have been proven to be effective. This research has been reported in scientific peer-reviewed journals.


Quick Facts - RTI² Includes:

  • High quality, research-based instructional support in general education.
  • School-wide screening to determine which students need closer monitoring or additional interventions. 
  • Multiple tiers of increasingly intense, research-based interventions matched to the needs of students.
  • Use of collaborative problem solving to develop, implement, and monitor interventions.
  • Continuous monitoring of student progress to determine if instruction and interventions are effective in meeting the needs of students.
  • Follow-up to insure that instruction and interventions were im-plemented as planned.
  • Active parent involvement throughout the process of pursuing solutions that lead to increased success.


  • What is screening? 

    Screening is a quick assessment that measures a student’s skills which are expected for his or her grade level.  Screenings are conducted three times per year. 

    How are results of screening used? 

    Results from screenings  help school personnel identify students who are considered at-risk of not learning the necessary skills expected for the student’s age or grade level. Depending upon the results of initial screening, personnel  may recommend that a student be provided additional instructional support to address the student’s areas of need. 

  • An RTI²process begins with providing appropriate instruction to all students by the classroom teacher in the general education class (Tier I).  Appropriate instruction means the methods and materials a teacher uses are based on research showing that most  students will be successful if taught in this manner. Within the RTI²model, targeted intervention is provided with increasingly intense levels or tiers of support.  Increased intensity can mean more time, smaller groups, and/or more instruction focused on the specific areas in which the student is having difficulty.

  • If a student is identified as needing additional instructional support, a team will review information from the student’s classroom work and screenings, as well as State and district-wide assessments. The team will recommend the type of instructional support the student needs and how often and for how long the instructional support will be provided.

  • Progress monitoring involves frequent assessment of a student’s performance in specific skill areas and is used to determine whether the specific instructional support is working.  It also provides information to the student’s teacher so that instruction can be adjusted.

  • All parents should receive screening results from the school, as well as regular updates on his/her child’s progress in the classroom. Parents of students requiring Tier II or Tier III support must be provided with information as noted below:

    • amount and type of student performance data that will be collected, and the general education services that will be provided;
    • strategies for increasing the student’s rate of learning; and
    • parents’ right to request an evaluation for special education programs and/or services.