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Evidence-based Practice: Response to Intervention


Response to Intervention (RTI) is an early detection and prevention strategy that combines universal screening for all students with instructional interventions targeted to students who need additional support. Universal screening is a critical first step in identifying students at risk of falling behind. The WWC recommends screening all students at the beginning of each school year and again in the middle of the year. The WWC recommends that once students have been identified for support, schools should select an intervention that provides an explicit instructional focus to meet each student’s identified learning needs. The greater the instructional need, the more intensive the intervention should be in the size of instructional groups and amount of instructional time. Students who score below benchmark should receive intensive instruction in small homogenous groups ranging from three to four students, using curricula that address foundational skills, and should meet approximately three to five times per week for 20 to 40 minutes. The WWC is a good source for examples of specific instructional intervention programs that have proven effective for particular subjects, grades, and student needs (for example, Leveled Literacy Intervention for struggling readers in K–2 or Read180 for struggling readers in grades 4–10). Intensive instructional support may need to be provided by trained specialists.


The framework's recommendations are based on syntheses of existing research. Please see the framework report for a list of works cited.

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