What are some of the things you considered when planning for and implementing intensive intervention within your districts RTI model?

What are some of the things you considered when planning for and implementing intensive intervention within your districts RTI model?

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National Center on Intensive Intervention

In this video, Mike Jacobsen, Assessment and Curriculum Director, White River School District in Washington State discusses how their districts planned for and implemented intensive intervention within the districts RTI model.  






Question: What are some of the things you considered when planning for and implementing intensive intervention within your districts RTI model?

 Answer: One of the things that we discovered when we got our collaborative team together, we reviewed our results and our data and our interventions, is that we lacked a systematic system for students who had the most needs academically from [Kindergarten]  through 12th grade in our system. We had kind of a hodge-podge of interventions being used. One grade might use XYZ intervention or Read Naturally, another grade or grade band might use something else. So one of the things we did was to decide as a district where we wanted to be, and there were a couple of key elements to that vision statement — the strategic plan, as it were. And the first one was we wanted a guaranteed a viable curriculum. We tried that because that was what we were doing in general education. So what that meant is we wanted a consistent Tier III intervention at all of our buildings, so that if a student left one of our elementary and went to another elementary, that there would be continuity; there wouldn’t be a need for a lot of evaluation. What we wanted to do is make that move quickly, and be able to get the student right into an intervention. So that’s the first key part. The next key thing would be to put in place an evidence-based or research-based intervention that there was efficacy data supporting the use, and then the third component of that was everybody would be trained to use those. So we did the research on What Works Clearinghouse, looked at the Florida Center for Reading Research, used the National Center on RTI, National Center on Intensive Intervention and their best practices documents to determine the programs that gave us the most evidence of effectiveness on students that were in our building. So then we purchased those; we did training.  One of the things that we really wanted to make sure is that — in addition to the four items earlier — is that so a student as they moved from elementary to middle school then to high school, we wanted the same intervention, just different levels. So we were able to implement that in both reading and math, and we have evidence-based interventions for those Tier III students at all of those levels. We monitor the results from those and we always review at least yearly, are those interventions, one being implemented with fidelity, and secondly, and critically important is, are the students that are getting those interventions, are they being monitored using progress monitoring so we know whether or not that those interventions are making any difference. And that’s what we do. We’re following those students to make sure those interventions are having a difference. The other thing that comes along with that is staff training, so all of our Tier III interventionists are trained. And then, setting up those interventions dictated that we really needed to make sure those interventions were implemented for the full amount of minutes that they were supposed to being implemented for. So we found in some cases, that we might be providing a student who had significant reading challenges at a 25-35 minute intervention and the research told us really clearly, if we ever really wanted to make catch up growth with the student and make significant difference in their academic lives, we needed to ramp that up to 90 minutes. It helped us also to get a consistent amount of minutes throughout our school system for students in need. So reading was first, we’ve done that with math and now what we are looking at is bringing the PBIS piece, and looking at our behavioral interventions to determine, to put in place good interventions. So that has been very useful for our district. We’ve been monitoring students and know that we’re making progress. One of the next pieces, in addition to looking at behavior, is to review our results for Tier III students and review results not only against the Tier III interventions, but evaluate the results of those students against our State assessments because one of the challenges that come up is if you are really serious about making gains with intensive students at Tier III, you need to evaluate them and their ability to access the typical or the core curriculum and that’s been a concern. We have students who are making progress in their intervention, but a big question is — are they also then making progress toward meeting state benchmark targets. So we’re looking at, how do we begin to introduce those standards assessed by the State, and now assessed by the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the new common core standards. So that’s next work that’s going to face us. We’ve started on that now, and we’re excited to see where that takes us for next level. 


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DBI Process
Multi-Tiered System of Support
Implementation Guidance and Considerations
Policy & Guidance
Trainers and Coaches
State and Local Leaders