Response to Intervention (RtI) is an important tool for educators to use for addressing disproportionality. Starting with district and campus reviews of data on special education referrals and identification, schools can identify specific groups of students that are at the highest risk levels and focus on data-based decision making.
The mission of making sure that these students have access to coordinated early intervening supports may prevent the escalation of learning or behavioral challenges. Next, the use of early intervening supports for high-risk students extends to other essential components of RtI. Screening and Progress Monitoring allows teachers to identify learning or behavioral challenges while students are still in the regular classroom setting and provide data to help them modify or differentiate their core curriculum with a focus on the identified areas for improvement.
The use of tiered interventions is part of a multi-level prevention system which provides teachers with the instructional resources to respond to student learning or behavioral challenges in a general educational setting. Finally, the use of tiered instructional interventions that are evidence-based and culturally-responsive ensures that the RtI framework provides students with supports that are appropriate for their learning or behavioral needs. All of the resulting data on students’ responses to instruction and intervention then becomes useful data that can help identify those students who need additional support from special education.
In this way, we reduce the number of students who are inappropriately identified for special education and reserve that level of support for those students that need it most.
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