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PALS November 2017 - RtII Recap

PALS Meeting Minutes

November 30, 2017 9:15 a.m.

Eat'n Park (meeting room)

849 Freeport Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238

If you've spent even a day working on something related to your child's education you know there is no shortage of acronyms. This actually sounds like a great opening line for a blog post dedicated to defining educational acronyms, but at today's meeting we focused on RtII (Response to Instruction and Intervention).

First things first; PaTTAN (Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Special Education Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network) is a great resource for all things RtII.


We took a look at the RtII in PA's Parent's Guide. Click on the image to download a copy.

The pyramid graphic below is one of the easiest ways to understand RtII.

Tier 1, at the base of the pyramid covers ALL students and is the instruction of the general classroom curriculum with progress monitored 3 to 5 times per year.

Tier 2, in the middle of the pyramid covers SOME students who are at academic or behavioral risk receiving interventions with bi-monthly progress monitoring.

Tier 3, at the top of the pyramid covers a FEW students who are significantly below grade level receiving interventions with progress monitoring on a weekly basis.

Checkout the RtII Glossary for Parents on pages 6 and 7 for the definitions of key terms.

RtII Parent Guide

Here are a few key take-aways from the Parent's Guide from page 5:

"The law gives school districts the option of using RtII procedures as part of the evaluation process to determine eligibility for specific learning disability (SLD) using multiple measures. A school must be approved by PDE/BSE before it is allowed to use RtII to determine eligibility."

We asked Tim Mahoney, director of special education for FCASD if the district was approved. Here's what he said, "At this time, the current RtII/MTSS initiative is not approved by the BSE for use in SLD determination. There are actually only 10 of the 500 total districts in PA that utilize this process as the state rolled it out in 2010 and has been consistently revising what RtI/RtII/MTSS is and how they would utilize the process for SLD. According to the PaTTAN trainers, the application takes 3 years and we are currently in the process of revising the FCASD MTSS plan to more appropriately reflect our intervention model as well as the requirements of the application if we choose to move forward when we are done."

"The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides for the use of up to 15% of federal special education funds to develop and implement early intervening services. Response to Instruction and Intervention is an Early Intervening strategy."


The RtII in PA's Framework is a great way to compare the 3 Tiers and garner a better understanding of how the they differ from one another. Click on the image to download a copy.

RtII Framework

Next we took a look at the RTI Action Network's RTI-Based SLD Identification Toolkit, a Case Study: Pennsylvania which included a RtII in PA Fact Sheet for Parents. Click on the image to download a copy.

The case study found that,"In fact, the PA-RtII Parent Work Group was instrumental in helping to ensure that accurate and timely information about RtII was provided to families, allaying any fears that schools would use RtII to delay a multidisciplinary evaluation."

RtII Fact Sheet for Parents

The RTI Action Network offers users a RTI-Based Specific Learning Disability Determination Worksheet. Click on the image to download copy.

RTI-Based Specific Learning Disability Determination Worksheet

Next Meeting: January 31,2018, 9:15 a.m. Eat'n Park (meeting room)849 Freeport Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Topic: Open Forum

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