RtI is a process for achieving higher levels of academic and behavioral success for all students. The three essential elements of high quality instruction, balanced assessment and collaboration interact within a multi-level system of support to provide structures that increase success for all students.

Change and implementation of a multi-level system of support often occurs on a building-by-building basis within a district. The RtI system of support includes:

  • meaningful family engagement
  • data-based decision making
  • effective leadership

Comprehensive RtI implementation contributes to increased instructional quality, equitable access to high-quality and effective programming and assists with the identification and support of learners with varied abilities and needs.

Culturally responsive practices are central to an effective RtI system and are evident within each of the essential elements. In a multi-level system of support, districts and schools start by building consensus on how to utilize the RtI model then employ elements of RtI at varying levels of intensity, based upon student responsiveness to instruction and intervention.

RtI in Wisconsin

Wisconsin stakeholders have developed the following guiding principles that provide the philosophical underpinning to RtI and also serve as a reflective checkpoint to assess your RtI system: 

  • RtI is for ALL children and ALL educators. 
  • RtI must support and provide value to effective practices. 
  • Success for RtI lies within the classroom through collaboration. 
  • RtI applies to both academics and behavior. 
  • RtI supports and provides value to the use of multiple assessments to inform instructional practices. 
  • RtI is something you do and not necessarily something you buy. 
  • RtI emerges from and supports research and evidence-based practice.


Keys to Success

  1. Start the conversation.
    Successful RtI systems can start at the school or district level, with the ultimate goal of evolving to district-wide implementation.  A successful RtI initiative may begin with one or more educators or administrators who want a framework to guide their efforts to improve student learning.  RtI can help educators overcome the feeling that they are implementing many different programs that are unrelated.  RtI connects efforts being done to improve student learning, giving schools and educators a powerful process they can use to get results.
  2. Build consensus.
    It takes a building to successfully implement RtI.  Because RtI requires such widespread support and adoption to be successful, it is critical to build consensus among educators.  Before making the decision to bring RtI to your school or district, involve educators in the decision-making process.  Help them understand the power this framework holds and how your district will use it to meet the needs of all students.
  3. Acknowledge and honor the current work.
    Many educators are already doing great things with limited time and resources. RtI may already be happening in your building, but may not be systematized. Take time to review all the work that is being done, and look for successes that could become systematic throughout the building and district.