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What is an Intervention?. Rhode Island RTI Initiative Module Two 2007. Goals of This Module. 1. To develop an understanding of … the importance of a school-wide approach to interventions; why interventions are needed after examining student / school data. what an intervention is; and

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what is an intervention

What is an Intervention?

Rhode Island RTI Initiative

Module Two


goals of this module
Goals of This Module

1. To develop an understanding of …

  • the importance of a school-wide approach to interventions;
  • why interventions are needed after examining student / school data.
  • what an intervention is; and
  • the difference between Standard Treatment Protocol and Problem Solving approach to intervention

2. To consider and discuss with colleagues what you already have in place for interventions in your school and district and what your next steps are in developing a school-wide model of instruction and interventions.

what is an intervention1
What is an Intervention?
  • Instruction that Supplements and Intensifies classroom curriculum / instruction to meet student needs

-Academic or Behavioral

-Standard Treatment Protocol / Problem Solving Model

  • ALL interventions must have:

-a plan for implementation (e.g. PLP, IEP, 504)

-evidenced-based pedagogy

-criteria for successful response

-assessment to monitor progress


Building a School-Wide Model Intervention System








Core Curriculum

Picture retrieved from: sneakers.pair.com/ l/school.jpg, 3/2005


“If you teach the same curriculum, to all students, at the same time, at the same rate, using the same materials, with the same instructional methods, with the same expectations for performance and grade on a curve you have fertile ground for growing special education.”

Gary Germann, 2003

first floor primary core curriculum
First Floor – PrimaryCore Curriculum
  • All students
  • Comprehensive core curriculum
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Flexible grouping
  • Benchmark assessments 3 times a year on grade level
  • Preventative and proactive
  • 75-80% of students
secondary roof targeted interventions
Secondary – RoofTargeted Interventions
  • Targeted group and individual interventions
  • Programs, strategies, procedures to enhance and support primary program
  • Aligned with primary program
  • High efficiency, short term
  • Progress Monitoring assessments at least once a month – twice a month is recommended
  • 10-15% of students
the chimney tertiary intensive interventions
The Chimney – TertiaryIntensive Interventions
  • Different
    • Architecture
    • Scheduling
    • Delivery
  • High intensity
  • Longer Duration
  • Specifically designed intensive intervention for individual students
  • Frequent progress monitoring assessments
  • 5-10% of students

Discussion of examples

  • Core
  • Targeted
  • Intensive

Intro to next section… What is an Intervention?

things to think about when planning more intensive intervention
Things to Think About When Planning More Intensive Intervention
  • WHAT: Targeted need for support (DATA)
  • WHAT: Instructional pedagogy (Evidence of effectiveness)
  • Progress Monitoring Assessment
  • HOW: Group size Number of sessions per week Length of sessions Number of weeks till review
  • WHO: Interventionist (teacher, para, specialists)

Big Question:

How is this intensifying the instruction

happening in the classroom?


Define Problem




Develop a Plan

Evaluate Intervention


Implement Intervention

what is not an intervention
What is Not an Intervention
  • Guided reading group or use of leveled reading materials
  • Small flexible groups for projects
  • Scaffolded instruction
  • Review and practice
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Guided writing and conferencing
  • Word walls, editing check lists etc.
  • Regular best teaching practices automatically used in response to an immediate need such as extended time, repeated directions
examples of interventions
Examples of Interventions
  • Targeted instruction in writing strategies provided by classroom teacher while other students complete independent activity or work in centers (2-3x/wk for 30 mins.)
  • Explicit instruction in rhyming for two 1st graders provided during enrichment 3 times a week for 15 minutes by reading consultant
  • Daily supplementary practice in math calculations provided by support personnel or by parent at home using Computer-Aided instruction.
intervention or not

Turn and Talk

Intervention or Not?

A group of 6 students in Mrs. Jones’s 3rd grade class is receiving guided reading using Level L materials 3x per week for 20 minutes with the classroom teacher.

2. A group of 4 students in Mr. Smith’s 4th grade are working with the teacher 4 times a week for 15 minutes to increase math fact fluency. Immediate feedback is provided and motivational activities are used. Progress monitoring data was collected at the end of each session.

3. A student was not able to have his materials ready at the start of each period; thereby impacting the student’s overall academic performance in the classroom. The teacher charted how often this was an issue as compared to his peers. The teacher designed a file system for the boy and monitored his assignment completion each period for 3 weeks.

two approaches to intervention in rti
Two Approaches to Intervention in RTI
  • Standard Protocol ∙ Problem Solving

∙ Combination

superintendent s announcement at january faculty meeting
Superintendent’s Announcement at January Faculty Meeting




  • I would like to implement a standard-protocol approach to instruction and interventions in the intermediate grades starting in the fall. Training in the literacy protocol will be provided for reading specialists, special educators and classroom teachers in two two-day sessions in the coming months.”
          • Mr. Alba, Superintendent, Rhodeville, RI

It is about time!

You have got to be kidding!

problem solving approach
Problem Solving Approach

1. Problem Identification

5. Plan Evaluation

2. Problem Analysis




With Expanding Support

4. Plan Implementation

3. Plan Development


Class-wide assessment is administered. Struggling readers are identified.

Frequent progress monitoring is done to assess struggling students’ performance levels and rates of performance.

Struggling students are presented with one standard validated intervention. Everyone who didn’t meet benchmark will be in the Tier 2 intervention group. Instructor differentiates as necessary.

Students whose progress is insufficient in Tier 2 may receive even more intensive instruction that is individually designed to meet his/her needs. Some may qualify for special education services based on the progress monitoring data.

standard treatment protocol
Standard Treatment Protocol


  • What are the pros and cons of Problem Solving and Standard Protocol Approaches to Interventions?
  • How do you respond to Superintendent Alba?
rti models protocol model school prescribes and isolates specific intervention
+ School team controls quality of intervention

+ All faculty trained

+ Intervention/ evaluation less confounded

+ Less team time

- One size fits all

- “One shot” intervention

- Potential for limited buy in

RTI Models Protocol Model: School prescribesand isolates specific intervention
rti models problem solving team evaluates curriculum need and type of intervention
+ Relies on existing expertise

+ Provides increased flexibility

+ Uses existing school data

+ choice = Buy in

- Increased complexity in training and implementation

- More confounded… more susceptible to anecdotal/subjective analysis

RTI ModelsProblem solving: Team evaluates curriculum , need and type of intervention
comparison of rti approaches
Comparison of RTI Approaches

Major Similarities:

  • The use of validated practices in the core classroom instruction
  • The provision of instructional intervention to those who need it early
  • Progress monitoring to inform decision-making
  • Evidence-based interventions of a variety of intensities
  • Reduced inappropriate referrals for special education services
four organizing principles
Four Organizing Principles
  • Earlier rather than later -- Prevention and early intervention are supremely more effective and efficient than later intervention and remediation for ensuring reading success.
  • Schools, not just programs -- Prevention and early intervention must be anchored to the school as the host environment and primary context for improving student outcome
  • Evidence, not opinion -- Prevention and early intervention pedagogy, programs, instruction and materials should be based on trustworthy scientific evidence.
  • Each and All-- To teach all children to read, we must teach each child to read.
  • Kameenui, E.J., Simmons, D.C.
next steps questions to think about
Next Steps: Questions to think about
  • How are interventions currently determined in your school/district? Is this consistent with either approach?
  • In what areas of literacy/math/behavior do we have a variety of instruction/intervention available?
  • In what areas of literacy/math/behavior do we need to become more effective in meeting the variety of needs of students?