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áLoudon County Schools will graduate college and career-ready students through rigorous and relevant learning opportunities.
RTI Background

Implementation
During the 2006-2007 school year, the Loudon County School District initiated a Response to Intervention (RTI) Program in eight schools, first through eighth grade.

Rationale
Loudon County has been a leader in the RTI process at both the state and national level because we believe RTI is an effective method of delivering assistance to students as early as possible in their school career. In addition, RTI has been implemented to correct the problems associated with using the ability-achievement discrepancy model to identify students with learning disabilities. Decisions about students and services are based on data obtained in real classroom learning activities rather than standardized test scores.

Background
All parents and teachers want their children to do well in school. Children who have the most difficulty are often referred for an evaluation to determine if they need and qualify for special education services. The term “learning disability” has been used for many years to document a difference between the child’s ability to learn and their actual performance in learning basic skills like reading. Large enough differences needed to qualify a student as “learning disabled” are typically not found until second or third grade. As a result, children may not receive the remedial help at an early age when it is the most effective.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004 provided school districts with alternative ways of identifying students with “learning disabilities.” Response to Intervention is the most promising of these techniques. Response to Intervention is a process of providing research-based interventions early in a student’s program based on measures of academic performance and then using those same measures to assess progress over time to make educational decisions. Struggling students receive additional and increasingly more intense interventions before they have fallen significantly behind. The term “intervention” refers to the specific strategies, techniques, and/or programs used, in addition to the regular classroom instruction, to improve the student’s performance.

A learning disability is not suspected until the student shows a lack of response to the interventions attempted. Reading experts have stated that approximately 80 percent of the students identified with a learning disability could have been remediated before labeling if intensive early intervention had occurred.

Thus, the primary purpose of a Response to Intervention program is to provide an appropriate intervention before any consideration of a disability. In addition, there is a requirement to use scientific, research-based interventions, which simply means we need credible evidence to indicate that the intervention has been effective. Data is gathered frequently to determine if an intervention is working for each student in the RTI process. If an intervention is shown to be ineffective, a new intervention is initiated.

Benefits
  • Provides a picture of a student’s performance compared to others in the Loudon County School System
  • Calls immediate attention to students who are having difficulty
  • Initiates research-based interventions early in a student’s program when that help is most beneficial
  • Frequently monitors student progress and uses that information to make decisions regarding program changes
Last Updated: 3/1/10
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