Is a three-tiered approach to identifying learning disabilities, intervening to address, accommodate, and remediate students identified with these disabilities and helping them to be successful in school. Under the RTI model, it is often a teacher who notices a problem with student progress and initiates the process. Teachers then implement interventions in a series of tiers.
A Tier I intervention is a simple change, as it involves teachers using differentiated instruction to assist the student in learning the material. The teacher documents the adjustment and any other action taken, and monitors the student’s progress from that point forward, to see if the adjustment is effective.
If the Tier I intervention strategies are ineffective, it may be time for Tier II intervention, which involves the formation of a student support team (SST). The SST includes classroom teachers, a counselor, special education teachers, and administrators who meet with the student and his or her parents to develop a list of targeted interventions. The SST coordinates an individualized learning plan to accommodate the student’s weaknesses.
If Tier II strategies are not working, then it may be time for Tier III. Tier III differs from Tier I and Tier II in that it involves increased intensity – more instructional time, smaller group size and increased explicitness – more focus on teaching specific skills.
If Tier III intervention strategies have no impact, then it may be time for Tier III, which is generally rapidly evident, provided teachers are conducting adequate monitoring—students may require special services beyond the Tier III intervention level. Sometimes this involves removal from the general education classroom for more intense individual instruction, such as small-group classes or alternative assessment, and the development of an IEP (Individualized Education Program).
Often the IEP for a student with learning disabilities requires placement in the general education classroom, with modifications such as extended time for tests and quizzes, a set of teacher notes, preferential seating, permission to voice-record the lecture or the presence of a paraprofessional or team teacher (special education teacher) co-teaching in the regular classroom.