Monday, February 6, 2012

What is RtI to you?

This quick post is more of a question than a post.  The RtI concept was introduced to our district several years ago but never as a cohesive how-to.  Therefore, RtI became a typical speech therapy session without an IEP.  As I was new to this building this year, I have been piloting a new RtI program at my K-5 building which may be taken district-wide next year.  I was curious what, if any, RtI model your school does.  The big questions being:
  • Are there grade-wide screenings done and if so, which grades?  Who does this?
  • If no, how are students recommended for services.
  • Do you follow a tiered system (3-tiers is the typical model with this) and if so, what does each tier look like.
  • What are your responsibilities at each level of intervention?
  • What else can you tell me?  Any resources on the web that you refer to for RtI?

In Missouri we can do Speech, Fluency, and Voice RtI as those are the areas which typically do not impact education enough to qualify a student.  We do not do Language RtI as that is an IEP kiddo.  ANY help would be very much appreciated.

The topic is RtI, discuss discuss...


  1. I'm an SLP in Illinois who is hesitant to embrace RTI with speech kids. Yes, I like the idea of getting some trial therapy in before plunging into an IEP if the kid is going to make quick progress. But, in my school district the only "work" we are given credit for is the number on our official caseload list.

    Therefore, my preference is to provide the "intervention" during the 60 day interval that is given to complete the initial evaluation. At the end of the 60 days, both eval and short-term intervention will easily guide the decision of whether or not the student qualifies for continued special education services.

    Here's my question for all of you: Is it only the SLP doing the "speech RTI" in your buildings?

  2. I have worked in 2 different school systems in Georgia, and RTI looked very different in each one. In my current school system, the SLPs screen EVERY kindergarten student during the first full week of school. So most of our referrals start there...we do occasionally get a 2nd or 3rd grade teacher refer a student to us as well. At tier 2, I may see a group of 2-3 students for about 10 minutes once per week. If they move up to tier 3, I see them individually for about 15 minutes per week. With students who are obviously going to need more in-depth therapy (severe artic., etc.), I complete the RTI interventions during the evaluation period. My biggest problem with this set-up is that parents are often confused about RTI vs. speech (IEP kids).

    In the other school system, I only saw students once they were moved up to tier 3. At tier 2, I provided teacher/parents/parapros with articulation word lists or language activities to use at home and in the classroom. Once students were on tier 3, I started seeing them.

    Hope that helps! I would love to hear more about how other states are implementing RTI:)

  3. Hi Danielle,

    I work in the public school setting doing preschool speech therapy. I am also on our screening team. I am really big on parent involvement, especially with younger kids/early speech/language. I have felt that with a few simple tricks (like putting your finger under bottom lip to model "f") kids can often pick up sounds. I decided to create a site where parents can watch free videos to learn to model speech sounds and tips (model/expand, comment vs. question)to improve language skills. I am able to use this for RTI and have seen good results. You can view it at I hope you can check it out and give me any feed back and hope you find it helpful!