By Jana Echevarria
With the current emphasis on high academic standards and college and career preparedness, it has never been more essential to have safeguards in place for those students who struggle to learn, those who are not yet proficient in English, and those who need a boost in skill development. Response to Intervention (RTI) is just such a safeguard and, when implemented well, offers support to learners who need it.
The intent of RTI , also referred to as a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS), is to identify at-risk learners e early and provide them with appropriate instructional support services which typically include small group, focused teaching (commonly referred to as Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention). These services increase in intensity, duration and frequency depending on the student’s need. The RTI or MTSS process is promising for English learners because of its emphasis on the individual learner; for too long English learners have been lumped together as a group without regard to their individual differences. An effective RTI process documents the academic progress of each student and puts in place programs to advance each student’s achievement. Rather than looking at the struggling student as having an inherent problem, schools search for instructional solutions and provide the needed supports.