RTI In Natick

Understanding Natick's RTI Program



What is Response to Intervention (RTI)?

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a proactive approach to measuring all students’ skills in order to identify students who are struggling so that additional support can be provided. The RTI process begins with high-quality instruction and universal screening of all children in the general education classroom. For those students who need additional academic and/or behavioral support, the RTI process identifies targeted teaching practices that meet their needs. RTI isn’t special education, a specific program or type of teaching.

What is the RTI process?

The RTI process has 3 tiers:  Tier 1 supports the whole class; Tier 2 provides small group intervention for students not making adequate progress;  Tier 3 is intensive intervention providing very tailored support to the student. If the student doesn’t make adequate progress in Tier 3, it’s possible the school will recommend an evaluation for special education services.  

The RTI process begins with your student’s teacher assessing the skills of everyone in the class. These assessments help the school’s RTI team tell which students need instructional interventions. That’s the term for focusing on specific skills in an effort to improve them.  Interventions can be part of classroom-wide instruction. The teacher may break students into small groups tailored for different skill levels or learning styles. This is also known as differentiated instruction. Students who don’t make enough progress getting this kind of help during class would begin more intensive interventions.  

How is my student monitored when receiving RTI?

An essential component of RTI is progress monitoring. The school frequently assesses your student’s skills to determine whether an intervention is working. During an intervention, your student’s teacher or another member of the RTI team uses an assessment tool that research has shown to be an effective way to measure certain skills. This tool is used to assess your student’s skills every week or every other week.  Each assessment only takes a few minutes to complete.

Will I be notified my student is receiving RTI?  Who should I ask if I am unsure if my student is receiving RTI?

When a student is receiving Tier 2 support the student’s teacher will typically notify the parent/caregiver.  If you have concerns regarding your student’s progress please reach out directly to your student’s teacher - they can guide you if your student is receiving RTI and answer your questions.  Parent/Teacher conferences provide a good opportunity to share any concerns and enquire if targeted instruction (RTI Tier 2 or 3) has been implemented.

What can I ask from my student’s school if my student is receiving RTI?

You can request from your student’s teacher a written intervention plan to help you take an active role in RTI. There are others ways you can be involved in the process:

  • Ask the school for more information about the intervention your student is receiving, such as which studies show it is effective
  • Ask the school to give you a copy of your student’s progress monitoring graph after every assessment
  • Give the intervention time to work. To know if it’s helping, the school needs data. Wait at least a few weeks before you ask the school if it’s time to try something different
  • Ask the school how you can help your student at home

What if my student continues to struggle even with RTI support?

If your student continues to struggle even with RTI support or you suspect your student has a learning disability you may want to request an evaluation for special education.  You have the right to make this request at any time regardless of whether your student is receiving extra help through RTI.  Special education is tailored to meet the needs of students with disabilities and documented in an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  Natick Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), a parent volunteer group, can provide guidance on the process to request an evaluation for special education.  Natick SEPAC can be contacted at naticksepac@gmail.com or visit www.sepacnatick.org.

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