New Roles in Response to Intervention: Creating Success for Schools
Click here to download the complete set of fact sheets.
Click here to download NASP's Role of the School Psychologist in RTI fact sheet.
Introduction to Fact Sheets
The responsiveness to intervention (RTI) process authorized in IDEA 2004
is a multi-tiered approach to providing services and interventions to struggling
learners at increasing levels of intensity. RTI calls for early identification
of learning and behavioral needs, close collaboration among classroom teachers
and special education personnel and parents, and a systemic commitment to
locating and employing the necessary resources to ensure that students make
progress in the general education curriculum.
In February of 2006, the International Reading Association (IRA) convened
a group of education associations to discuss how best to communicate the
RTI process in a collective way to our various communities. NASP was an active
participant in this initiative. The discussions gave organizations the opportunity
to share information on what each organization was working on in terms of
RTI resources and activities and also to collaborate on this joint project.
- Background: As part of the information shared by individual organizations,
NASP circulated a fact sheet written in February of 2006 by Andrea Canter
entitled, “Problem Solving and RTI: New Roles for School Psychologists.”
The group decided that it would be a worthwhile endeavor to craft fact
sheets on the roles of the various team members and parents when implementing
RTI procedures and to disseminate a collective set of papers. While the
group was enthusiastic about developing a compendium of fact sheets, everyone
agreed that the final product would not be a consensus document and that
organizations would not endorse the separate fact sheets written by organizations
representing their own constituencies.
Summary: The project provides a great model to state and local
teams in terms of the importance of gathering parents, teachers, administrators
and related services personnel around the table to discuss and plan for
the implementation of RTI approaches. The team collaboration will allow
schools to reallocate staff time to better address prevention and early
intervention activities, and to serve more students up front rather than
at the point of special education referral and service.
- Template: A smaller workgroup developed a template outlining what
organizations should include as the major headings for their fact sheets.
- Introduction – covering the “big ideas” of RTI, the application for
general education, compensatory education, and special education, legal underpinnings
for RTI from IDEA 2004, and use of RTI approaches for academic and behavior
- Challenges and Opportunities –
covering the shifts from traditional approaches to focusing on measuring
individual performance over time, and the promise
for improving services for students from CLD backgrounds and reducing disproportionality.
- New and Expanded Roles –
covering new professional services, the importance of team collaboration,
serving individual students.
- Meeting the Challenge –
what it will take to successfully adopt and implement new RTI models, including
the need for professional development.
- Resources and References –
a couple of key references and resources.
- Common Introduction: The large group concluded that a common introduction
to the set of fact sheets would serve to unify the project and establish
some core beliefs and information. Once again, a smaller workgroup was
established to complete this task. Components of an RTI approach, collaborative
roles of parents and personnel, and legal underpinnings were overviewed
in the common introduction.
- Universal Themes: As representatives of our groups met and worked
through this project, some universal themes emerged. Several
important messages regarding RTI procedures were discussed in the meetings,
listed in the common introduction, or outlined in organizations’ individual
fact sheets. These themes include the following:
- RTI is an initiative for all education, cutting across general ed, compensatory ed, and special ed. As stated
in the common introduction, it can create a well-integrated and seamless
system of instruction and intervention guided by child outcome data from
frequent progress monitoring.
- In RTI, research-based instruction and intervention are provided by
qualified personnel, and are implemented with fidelity and integrity
at the needed level of intensity to address the student’s individual
- RTI is not owned by any one profession -- effective models require
authentic collaboration among administrators, educators, related services
personnel and parents.
- RTI provides opportunities for all team members to expand their traditional
roles and responsibilities, to engage in a broader array of service delivery
options, and to take on new leadership opportunities. This will require
systemic change in allocation of resources when conceptualizing personnel
- There is no “one size fits all” model for RTI. The federal government
purposely provided few details for the development and implementation
of RTI procedures, stating specifically that states and districts should
be given the flexibility to establish models that reflect their community’s
- RTI involves a shift from traditional psychometric standardized approaches
to assessment to a more pragmatic, educationally relevant model focused
on measuring changes in individual performance over time. This includes
moving away from a “within child” deficit paradigm to a contextual perspective
with greater emphasis on instructional intervention and progress monitoring
prior to special education referral.
- Involving parents and engaging them in a collaborative manner is critical
to the successful implementation of RTI. Informed and involved parents
are better equipped to support and reinforce academic and behavioral
interventions at home. In addition, parents should be informed that they
still have the right to request a special education evaluation for their
child at any time.
- RTI approaches show promise for closing the achievement gap and for
reducing disproportionality in special education for all student groups.
The collective set of papers is a valuable resource to teams as they engage
in these collaborative discussions. It is important that we all remember
that, "It is through cooperation, rather than conflict, that our greatest
successes will be derived."
Readers may click here for a PDF of the collective set of
fact sheets on the role of various team members in an RTI model.