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Implementing principles of the Response To Intervention model: One school's application of the model



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A current model for the early identification of students with academic struggles that is recognized by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education is that of Response to Intervention (RTI). While the Ministry espouses the use of RTI, it does not mandate its application, nor identify which principles of the model are considered most effective. I conducted a qualitative, instrumental case study involving one rural school identified by the school division as effectively applying the principles of RTI. Using a semi-structured interviewing technique, and working with three participants, I identified which of the RTI principles the school believes to be effective, how the school implemented these principles, and the factors and conditions that contributed to their implementation. Along with interviews, documents collected from the school and school division that pertain to the application of RTI principles were analyzed. Finally, a narrative description of the research was completed. In total, ten themes were identified and further differentiated into four categories. The categories and corresponding themes are: 1) Attributes of the model that are considered critical: tiered intervention, assessment practices and division based supports. 2) Implementation strategies used: professional development, access to resources, and support provided when needed. 3) District and school factors that contribute to effectiveness of model: student and staff engagement and staff teaching philosophy. 4) Extraneous factors that contribute to the effective implementation: staffing and time. The implications of these findings are that effective implementation and maintenance of RTI principles requires careful planning, communication and a team approach. The principles of the model must be a priority for all staff involved in whatever capacity they contribute.



Response To Intervention I



Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Educational Psychology and Special Education


School and Counselling Psychology


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