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RTI2 Current Update

RTI2 COVID-19 Considerations

School closures and the implementation of distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic have raised questions regarding how schools can address the needs of our students receiving critical tiered interventions once they return to school.  The Response to Instruction and Intervention Reopening Guide is located here.  The table here provides guidance related to RTI2 based on frequently asked questions. As always, please continue to communicate intervention decisions and plans with parents.

Districts should consult with their local board attorneys to ensure their processes comply with state and federal law. As we learn more about school reopening and best practices, further guidance will be issued.

For questions related to RTI2, please contact

RTI2: Raising the Bar

Hear from our Tennessee Teacher Ambassador, Mark Wittman, to see how one Tennessee middle school is holding staff and students accountable and setting high expectations for progress in intervention.

District RTI2 Position Funding

The BEP allots funding for a minimum of one RTI2 position per district, with additional funding allotted at a ratio of 1 position to every 2750 students. The department has created a document to help guide districts in utilizing these new positions, including the potential roles and responsibilities, specific skill set needed, and benefits of these district-level positions. Further information and training for district RTI2 personnel is forthcoming over the next several months.RTI2 Report Release

In February 2018 the department released a report highlighting the current landscape of RTI2 implementation, successes and challenges, and identification of recommendations to increase success of implementation. The report can be viewed here.

Beginning of Year Action Steps for "Say Dyslexia" Law Requirements

Under the “Say Dyslexia Law,” districts are required to engage in several actions to support students who display characteristics of dyslexia. There are several things districts should think about at the beginning of the school year. This document provides resources to aid in understanding the legislation as well as specific considerations for the beginning of the school year.

RTI2 Listening Tour Takeaways and Next Steps

In spring 2018, the department conducted a statewide Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) listening tour to gather feedback regarding RTI2 implementation. The tour included visits to eight high schools and seven regional town hall meetings. The department released a three-part series of documents outlining results of the RTI2 Listening Tour and how this feedback will be utilized to support districts in their RTI2 implementation.

Framework Revisions

Enhancing Resources and Support

High School Specific Guidance and Support

RTI2 Manual

The department revised Components 1 & 2 of the RTI2 Framework Manual in spring 2017 (the full manual is here).

The manual was first developed in the 2013-14 school year and revised in January 2015 (the full manual is here). The goal of the manual is to support educators and empower districts in their continued implementation of RTI2 and to ensure that educators have the structure and resources necessary to provide all students with access to and support for reaching high standards and expectations.

The department has listened to feedback from the field and examined current research and best practice. This information has led to the following refinements in Components 1 and 2:

  • use of multiple sources of data for the universal screening process,
  • a more detailed description of Tier I instructional practices,
  • an expanded definition of ongoing assessment and data-based decision making,
  • stronger explanation of professional development, and
  • more closely connecting fidelity monitoring in Tier I to the educator evaluation model. 

The manual refinements also provide a stronger conceptualization of the “ready” student, consistency of language, and more autonomy for districts.

RTI2 in Tennessee

Across the country, states are focused on intervening at the first signs of academic challenges—often called a Response to Intervention (RTI) method—to address deficits in student learning. In Tennessee, we have taken a unique RTI approach called RTI2: Response to Instruction and Intervention.

Tennessee has been implementing RTI2 in elementary schools since 2014-15, middle schools since 2015-16, and in high schools since 2016-17. Implementation of Tennessee’s RTI2 Framework is mandatory for all K-12 public schools, in all grade levels.