The Virginia Department of Education defines Response to Intervention
(RtI) as “the practice of offering interventions provided
by the general education teacher, such as additional instruction
or small group instruction, and then systematically evaluating
the child’s response” (VDOE, 2007). Successful implementation
of RtI involves three important components: (1) universal screening;
(2) tiers of instruction, intervention, and support; and (3) progress
RtI is neither a method nor an instructional approach, but
a process that begins with universal screening. Fortunately, Virginia’s
Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI) and PALS provide an
existing infrastructure for RtI in grades K-3 for reading.
RtI and EIRI share common goals, rationale, and processes for
optimal literacy achievement. First and foremost, they require a
commitment to student potential and achievement. They seek to prevent
failure through universal screening and early intervention. The earlier
the intervention, the more likely students will succeed and the less
likely they will need special education services. Both RtI and EIRI
help participating school districts by:
In addition to administering PALS during the fall, mid-year,
and spring screening windows, PALS Quick Checks may be used to monitor
student progress on targeted literacy skill acquisition throughout
the year. PALS Quick Checks should be administered to K-3 students
who have been identified by PALS and are receiving intervention,
but need even more intensive, explicit instruction in a specific
skill. Once students reach mastery in the specific literacy skill,
the PALS Quick Check for that skill should be discontinued. PALS
Quick Checks provide charts for graphing student progress over time
and are a curriculum-based measurement.
identifying children at risk and in need of early intervention
services by requiring universal screening in early grades (PALS).
detecting reading difficulties and delays early and implementing
intervention. Research suggests that most reading problems can be
reduced from current levels of 70% to 3% or fewer (Vellutino, 1999).
employing on-going progress monitoring procedures to fine-tune
instruction and intervention.
Invernizzi, M. (2007). Universal literacy screening: First steps toward prevention and intervention. Paper presented at the Response to Intervention Institute, Roanoke, VA.
Vellutino, Frank R. and Scanlon, Donna. 1999. "Early intervention can reduce the number of children diagnosed as reading disabled." The New England Reading Assocation Journal, 35, 3, 3-13.
Virginia Department of Education. 2007. Responsive Instruction: Refining our work of teaching all children. Unpublished manuscript, Virginia Department of Education Office of Student Services, 6.