What is PS/RtI?

Problem Solving/Response to Intervention (PS/RtI) is a multi-tiered approach to meet the needs of all students. It provides for the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. Learners are provided with instruction and interventions at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate their rate of learning. These services may be provided by a variety of personnel, including general education teachers, special educators, student services personnel, and other specialists. Progress is closely monitored to assess both the learning rate and level of performance of individual students. Educational decisions about the intensity and duration of interventions are based on individual student response to instruction.

Tiers as Resources

PS/RtI is designed for use when making decisions in both general education and special education, creating a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention guided by student assessment data. For implementation to work well, the following essential components must be implemented with fidelity and in a rigorous manner:

  • High-quality, scientifically based classroom instruction. All students receive high-quality, research-based instruction in the general education classroom.
  • Problem solving. Problem solving is an ongoing process that utilizes a data based decision making approach to define district, school, grade level, class, and/or student progress. The problem solving team then analyzes the concerns, develops and implements appropriate interventions, monitors progress, graphs the results, and evaluates the outcomes.
  • Ongoing student assessment. Universal screening and progress monitoring provide information about a student’s learning rate and level of achievement, both individually and in comparison with the peer group. These data are then used when determining which students need closer monitoring or intervention. Throughout the PS/RTI process, student progress is monitored frequently to examine student achievement and gauge the effectiveness of the curriculum. Decisions made regarding students’ instructional needs are based on multiple data points taken in context over time.
  • Tiered instruction. A multi-tier approach is used to efficiently differentiate instruction for all students. The model incorporates increasing intensities of instruction offering specific, research-based interventions matched to student needs.
    Parent involvement. Schools implementing PS/RTI will frequently provide parents information about their child’s progress, the instruction and interventions used, the staff delivering the instruction, and the academic or behavioral goals for their child.

The Three-Tier Model is described as:

Tier 1: Core Instruction: High-Quality Classroom Instruction, Screening, and Whole Group Interventions

Within Tier 1 Core Instruction, all students receive high-quality, scientific/evidence based instruction provided by qualified personnel to ensure student success. Universal screening is provided to all students to establish an academic and behavioral baseline. There are two subsequent screenings to track student progress throughout the year. Students identified as being “at risk” through these screenings and/or results on state- or district wide tests receive supplemental instruction during the school day in the regular classroom. Students not showing adequate progress are moved to Tier 2 Strategic Services.

Tier 2: Strategic Interventions

Students not making adequate progress in the regular classroom with Tier 1 Core instruction are provided with increasingly intensive instruction matched to their needs on the basis of levels of performance and rates of progress. Intensity varies across group size, frequency and duration of intervention, and level of training of the professionals providing instruction or intervention. These services and interventions are provided in small-group settings in addition to instruction in the general curriculum. Students who do not show adequate progress at this level of intervention are then considered for more intensive interventions as part of Tier 3 Services.

Tier 3: Intensive Interventions

Intensive academic and/or behavioral interventions are characterized by their increased focus for students who fail to respond to less intensive forms of instruction (Tier 1 or Tier 2). Intensity can be increased through many dimensions including length, frequency, and duration of implementation.

Comprehensive Evaluation

If a student demonstrates the need for more intensive support, he/she may be referred for a comprehensive evaluation. The data collected during Tiers 1, 2, and 3 are used as documentation as part of the eligibility criteria needed to make Exceptional Student Education decisions.

PS/RtI = All Students

Problem Solving is an essential component of PS/RtI implementation:

Problem Solving Process

Problem solving is done at all levels: District, School, Grade Levels, Departments, Problem Solving Teams, Professional Learning Communities, Classroom, and/or Student

RTI Umbrella
View a larger version of the umbrella here.

Polk County is committed to PS/RtI in every school Pre K – 12 through the implementation of the following:

  • A written District PS/RtI Implementation Plan
  • Professional Development with multiple groups
  • State of Florida PS/RtI Pilot District
  • Three PS/RtI coaches
  • Incorporated PS/RtI into School Improvement Plans and Student Progression Plan
  • Florida Positive Behavior Supports are implemented in 80 schools. Of the schools that have received the training, 16 are Model Schools.
  • Universal Screening for Behavior for Tier 1
  • Tier 2 Evidenced-based Intervention Professional Development for RtI/PBS Model Schools
  • Formative Assessment/Universal Screening system in Discovery Learning
  • Standardized forms for PS/RtI Implementation
  • Aligned eligibility process forms and manual for PS/RtI
  • IDEAS data system gives access to current and historical student data
  • Creation of RtI Flow Chart
  • Integrated tiers with Learning Focused Strategies
  • Principals’ PS/RtI Flipchart
  • School Self-Assessment Checklist PS/RtI