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Response to Intervention integrates assessment and intervention within a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and to reduce behavioral problems. With RTI, schools use data to identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student’s responsiveness, and identify students with learning disabilities or other disabilities.
The graphic above depicts the progression of support across the multi-level prevention system. Although discussions in the field frequently refer to “tiers” to designate different interventions, we intentionally avoid the use of this term when describing the RTI framework and instead use “levels” to refer to three prevention foci: primary level, secondary level, and tertiary level. Within each of these levels of prevention, there can be more than one intervention. Regardless of the number interventions a school or district implements, each should be classified under one of the three levels of prevention: primary, secondary, or tertiary. This will allow for a common understanding across schools, districts, and states. For example, a school may have three interventions of approximately the same intensity in the secondary prevention level, while another school may have one intervention at that level. While there are differences in the number of interventions, these schools will have a common understanding of the nature and focus of the secondary prevention level.