As many of you have noticed, education has changed over the past five years and there have been major initiatives adopted by schools to help all students succeed. One of these initiatives is Response to Intervention, or in the education world, RTI. As a resource for the school, RTI can be applied to a variety of settings: academic, behavioral, and social. It is, as its name implies, a series of interventions available to teachers and students to achieve a desired outcome.

RTI is built on a pyramid system made of three tiers. Tier one is at the bottom of the pyramid, tier two in the middle and tier three at the top. Tier one interventions include all of the universal teaching strategies that we use for all students. These can consist of lecture, small group, hands on activities, and projects; 80 to 85 percent of our students are successful using tier one interventions.

Tier two interventions are specific to a small group of students or an individual student; 10 to 15 percent of our students will need tier two interventions at some point throughout the year. Teachers discuss possible interventions and the time needed to help students understand important concepts. After a three-week period of using the interventions, teachers collaborate and discuss whether the interventions are helping the student(s) or if other interventions need to be implemented. Tier two interventions may include, but are not limited to, small group time with the teacher, modified homework with repetition of foundational skills needed to build on future concepts, or one-on-one with the teacher or another student in the classroom.

Tier three interventions are for the 1 to 5 percent of our students who continue to struggle and fall behind. Tier three interventions may alter the student's schedule and requirements in class. The total focus would be to help the student learn essential concepts and skills to bring them up to the standards required at their grade level. The intensity and one-on-one attention for tier three students create a learning environment that will offer the highest chance of ensuring success.

At Kingsland Middle School we will be using RTI by implementing a modified schedule twice a month to help our students achieve academic success while grouping them based on their individual needs. The time we meet with the students will be in a 35-minute block of time called WIN time (What I Need). The goal is to engage students, build on their prior knowledge, and introduce new skills that will enhance their learning.

In summary, RTI can be an effective model that uses student data and interventions to help our students succeed. Change can be difficult, but with the students' best interest in mind, we are able to challenge each other and our students to make sure we are creating a positive and relevant learning environment for all students.