What We Know Now


In Wis­con­sin RtI (Response to Inter­ven­tion) is an orga­ni­za­tional frame­work for achiev­ing higher lev­els of aca­d­e­mic and behav­ioral suc­cess for all students.


RtI is a sys­tem­atic and sys­temic process through which schools ensure that stu­dents receive high qual­ity instruc­tion that includes dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion to meet their indi­vid­ual needs within the con­text of the class­room and pro­vides a sys­tem of mul­ti­ple lev­els of sup­port through inter­ven­tions for those stu­dents who are either strug­gling or exceed­ing expec­ta­tions of per­for­mance aca­d­e­m­i­cally and behav­iorally. The state of Wis­con­sin defines three lev­els of sup­port for both aca­d­e­mics and behav­ior of increas­ing inten­sity. The first level some­times referred to as Tier I is com­prised of uni­ver­sal instruc­tion within the class­room. The sec­ond level or Tier II is com­prised of selected inter­ven­tions which are designed to address a student’s spe­cific learn­ing needs, pro­vid­ing direct instruc­tion in a small group for­mat and mon­i­tors progress every two weeks. Based on data gath­ered from reg­u­lar progress mon­i­tor­ing, this instruc­tion is either con­tin­ued or mod­i­fied until the stu­dent achieves the goal. If a stu­dent fails to make sig­nif­i­cant progress toward the expected out­come or skill after con­sis­tent inter­ven­tion instruc­tion for 69 weeks and at least two dif­fer­ent types of inter­ven­tion have been tried, the stu­dent should be con­sid­ered for more tar­geted or Tier III inter­ven­tions. At the tar­geted or tier III level, a stu­dent receives inter­ven­tion which is either more intense (i.e. 35 days per week or designed to pro­vide more sup­port), or a com­bi­na­tion of inter­ven­tion ser­vices, deliv­ered con­sis­tently for 69 weeks and mon­i­tored an a weekly basis. Inter­ven­tions at both lev­els are pro­vided in addi­tion to the high qual­ity instruc­tion pro­vided at the Uni­ver­sal or Tier I level.

Considerations or implications:

As of June 2012 close to 50% of the schools in the state of Wis­con­sin are imple­ment­ing RtI and report­ing state level imple­men­ta­tion data. Closely sup­port­ive but not required for the imple­men­ta­tion of the new Spe­cific Learn­ing Dis­abil­ity Eli­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria, many schools have real­ized a sense of urgency around the topic of RtI.

The process of imple­men­ta­tion for both the aca­d­e­mic and behav­ioral com­po­nents of RtI closely aligns with many of the good instruc­tional prac­tices ini­tia­tives already being used in schools. The chal­lenge is the braid­ing of these ini­tia­tives and ensur­ing that they are imple­mented with fidelity. The use of Pro­fes­sional Learn­ing Com­mu­ni­ties (PLC’s), data-​driven deci­sion mak­ing, the expec­ta­tion that instruc­tion will be dif­fer­en­ti­ated in daily class­room prac­tices and that all of these be viewed through a cul­tur­ally respon­sive lens is crit­i­cal for the devel­op­ment of an RtI process. Because this process is at best com­plex, its imple­men­ta­tion requires thought­ful plan­ning and direc­tion from a dis­trict level team as well as indi­vid­ual build­ing lev­els teams. Ini­tial imple­men­ta­tion gen­er­ally takes at least three years and requires close to five years of effort to fully implement.

In the state of Wis­con­sin the avenues for imple­men­ta­tion can take sev­eral routes. Dis­tricts may tackle the plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion through local, national or regional exper­tise for devel­op­ment and train­ing. The Depart­ment of Pub­lic Instruc­tion has taken an active role in the devel­op­ment and dis­sem­i­na­tion of spe­cific model train­ing both for aca­d­e­mics and behav­ior through two aligned projects, The Wis­con­sin RtI Cen­ter and the Wis­con­sin PBIS Net­work. Through the Wis­con­sin RtI Net­work Dis­trict schools can receive sup­port through Foun­da­tional Overview Train­ing, Frame­work Map­ping and Screen­ing and Progress Mon­i­tor­ing. The PBIS Net­work pro­vides com­pre­hen­sive train­ing for schools for Tiers I-​III, requir­ing spe­cific mea­sures of fidelity to be iden­ti­fied as a Wis­con­sin PBIS school and iden­ti­fied coaches for the process.



Sally Habanek
CESA #1 RtI and PBIS Coach and Pro­fes­sional Devel­op­ment Specialist

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