Response to Intervention (RTI) programs are offered in almost all school districts in the United States. It is a program that is intended to support children who are falling behind in certain subjects. RTI originally began with reading interventions, but since then, most districts have added math as well.
The schools use a solid universal screener to test all the students three times a year, and then they determine which of the students need support by considering those scoring underneath the 25th percentile. It is all well-documented and the schools are able to see not only their students’ scores but the average scores of millions of students across the country. This way they can compate what is average at their own school and what is considered average compared to millions of students in thousands of schools across the nation.
If the child is struggling with reading and has fallen below the 25th percentile, there is a very good chance that they will start receiving interventions from the school’s Reading Specialist. As a certified Reading Specialist for ten years, I am very familiar with the process. Depending upon how far below the 25th percentile they scored, they could receive anywhere from two to five research-based reading interventions a week.
However, parents must give the approval for their child to receive RTI before it can begin. Most of the time this is completed by a paper being sent home and it is returned to the school signed and approved by a parent. If the okay is not given, then the school cannot start with the RTI process.
Over the years, I have had talks with many parents who did not understand the purpose of the RTI system. They were hesitant in approving their child for RTI because they believed it to be some sort of special education where the student is taken out of the regular classroom. RTI was designed to help catch the students up before they fell too far behind, before the need for special education services. It is not something to be feared at all. It is just a chance to realize that your child is scoring below average in a certain subject and it is up to you, the school’s interventionist, and the classroom teacher to remedy the situation.
If they are behind in Reading, they will still receive their normal Reading lessons in the classroom with all their other classmates. The only difference is later on in the day, maybe when there is a study hall or something similar, the student would be taken out so they can get extra help in the subject they are struggling with. It’s like having your child receive free tutoring through the school. And as a parent, you will be able to see if your child has improved through monthly assessments conducted by the interventionist. It is really a good program designed to find the students that need some assistance and strengthen their skills in the process of it all.
Hopefully, this will give you a bit of peace of mind if your child has needed RTI in the past or will need it in the future. If you believe additional tutoring outside of school would help as well, iAchievecan be of some assistance. We offer tutoring in all subject areas and grade levels. If your child has fallen behind, the summer is the perfect time to encourage them to strengthen their skills.
Written by Ryan Crawley
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