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Innovation & Response to Intervention (RTI) – The Role of Student Centric Data

November 11, 2021

By Viinko

Innovation & Response to Intervention (RTI) – The Role of Student Centric Data

In a classroom of students with diverse backgrounds, personalities, and learning preferences, a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching is bound to leave some students falling behind. At the same time, educators are given learning standards (such as the Common Core) for state and federal accountability purposes that often influence their curriculum. To balance these two goals, educators must ask themselves: How can I identify students who are struggling with a skill or concept? How can I monitor and support these students so they are empowered, rather than inhibited, by their education?

Response to Intervention: a Multi-Tiered Approach

Many schools use the Response to Intervention (RTI) process of early academic intervention to identify and assist students who are at risk of underperforming compared to their grade-level peers. RTI was introduced in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004. The framework takes a multi-tiered approach based in extensive scientific research:

  • Tier 1: Universal Interventions – All students receive high-quality classroom instruction and complete universal screening tests. Students whose scores put them as potentially at-risk receive additional screenings and instructions, and their progress is closely monitored.

  • Tier 2: Selective Interventions – The second tier uses more intensive interventions that target a student’s specific needs based on their baseline level of performance and rates of progress. Tier 2 interventions often take place in small-group settings.

  • Tier 3: Individualized Intensive Intervention – Tier three provides students with consistent, individualized support. If they still appear to be struggling academically, they are given a comprehensive evaluation to determine their eligibility for special education services outlined in IDEA.

What kinds of data are collected as part of RTI?

Often times, data collection is standardized across the school or district and educators are encouraged to collect additional data to identify and monitor at-risk students. Currently, many RTI approaches use curriculum-based measurements at the district level, such as reading fluency and math computation, universal screening test scores, and behavioral assessments such as attendance reports, suspensions, course failures, and homework completion. At the educator level, teachers are encouraged to develop observational checklists that rate a student’s ability to follow specific subskills.

While this data might be helpful for identifying potentially at-risk students, it doesn’t tell educators why students are underperforming. If educators could instead identify the underlying causes behind the student’s performance, they can actually take effective actionable steps to improve student outcomes.

Through innovative and exclusive data, a comprehensive executive functioning tool like Viinko enables educators to propel their RTI processes.

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