Response to Intervention problem solving has been evolving over the past 15 years in school districts across the United States. School-based problem solving teams are currently well versed in understanding the theory behind RtI. There has been tremendous growth is the use of data to drive strong instructional practices allowing many to design a better framework that increases levels of academic and behavioral supports for struggling learners. Also there is far greater systematic use of progress in monitoring student responses to tiered interventions. This is exciting for educators and parents as they watch student success increase over time.
The challenge for educators who are implementing a multi-tiered system of academic and behavioral supports lies with the school district and campus ability to sustain their RtI practices over time. Current barriers to sustainability involve staff mobility and the drift that occurs when practices are not routinely evaluated and updated. It is vitally important for school district and campus staff to stabilize practices while ensuring a vertically and horizontally aligned framework of supports. Continued use of research-based assessment and intervention tools is important. Ongoing professional development is also vital for success. I encourage all districts to consider conducting an audit of their current RtI practices in an effort to ensure system sustainability over time. Remember, the best RtI problem solving practices involve shared responsibility and a collaborative effort between all areas of curriculum, instruction, and student support services. There is much to celebrate as RtI continues to evolve in our schools.
“It has been an incredible journey into the problem solving world of RtI- I am honored to be a part of the wonderful things many of our school districts have accomplished over the years. Thank you for all the hard work you have done and continue to do on behalf of our students!”