(RTI) isn’t a specific program or method of instruction. It’s a framework that an increasing number of schools use to provide struggling students with extra help. Different schools approach RTI in different ways. If your child is struggling, here are some questions to ask about how the school provides extra help and how you can participate in the process.
What to Ask the School About RTI
- Does the school use a systematic approach to provide extra help for students? What do you call this approach? Response to intervention (RTI)? Multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS)?
- Do you have any written information you can give me about this approach?
- What screening process do you use to identify students who need extra help?
- Are all parents notified of their child’s screening results?
- What process do you use to determine which intervention to provide?
- Who will be providing intervention services for my child, and what are their qualifications?
- What interventions and instructional programs are used? Can you provide information about the research supporting their effectiveness?
- What training do teachers get on each intervention program?
- How much time will my child spend each week in intervention?
- How often will you assess my child’s progress, and how is progress measured?
- How long will you try an intervention before determining whether or not my child is making adequate progress?
- In what way and how often are parents updated about progress?
- Can you give me a written intervention plan for my child?
- Will I get information about how to support my child’s learning at home?
- Will students receiving interventions miss important instruction in the classroom?
- How does the school make sure that all students are receiving high-quality instruction?
- At what point in the RTI process are students who are suspected of having a learning disability referred for a special education evaluation?
- Will RTI data be used to help determine the need for special education?
- If my child is already receiving special education services, how can RTI help?
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About the author
About the author
Amanda Morin is the director of thought leadership at Understood and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.” She worked as a classroom teacher and early intervention specialist for more than a decade.
Elaine M. Niefeld, MA, MBA is a consultant and former associate director of the RTI Action Network.