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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Problem Solving is an essential component of PS/RtI implementation:
Problem solving is done at all levels: District, School, Grade Levels, Departments, Problem Solving Teams, Professional Learning Communities, Classroom, and/or Student
Polk County is committed to PS/RtI in every school Pre K – 12 through the implementation of the following: