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Reading List: RTI and Secondary Education

**Response to Intervention (RTI). Student Services Division. High School Principal’s Meeting. January 14, 2009. PowerPoint presentation. Not available online.


This PowerPoint presentation reviews the fundamental components of RTI (such as early intervention, progress monitoring, research based intervention, and multi-tiered supports), questions for principals to ask themselves about their school’s use of different types of data, research-based interventions, and student supports. The PowerPoint summarizes CDE recommendations for benchmark, strategic, and intensive high school interventions. It also describes the components each tier of the multi-tiered behavior support model and includes an example breakdown of what would be included in each of the three tiers when looking at staff support.


**Duffy, H. Meeting the Needs of Significantly Struggling Learners in High School: A Look at Approaches to Tiered Intervention. Palo Alto, CA: National High School Center. Available at


This brief defines the RTI model and explores the challenges and implications of applying RTI—which has thus far primarily been implemented in early elementary—to high school. The author posits that RTI holds much promise for monitoring instruction for all students in high school, and especially for monitoring the success of targeted interventions focused on transitions and dropout prevention. The brief then provides resources to assist in applying RTI to secondary education.


The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement Newsletter. Response to Intervention: Possibilities for Service Delivery at the Secondary School Level. June 2008. Available at


This newsletter focuses on the challenges and possibilities of implementing RTI at the secondary level. The newsletter illustrates these with an example of how RTI was implemented at Thomas B. Doherty High School in Colorado and highlights their subsequent gains in student achievement. It then provides tips for high school RTI implementation.


The following two articles comprise a two part series that explores different aspects of RTI. The first article gives a general explanation of RTI and a description of the components of effective RTI programs, while the second article explores the more specific topic of tiered interventions and how they make RTI initiatives successful.


1. Canter, A., Klotz, M.B., & Cowan, K. (2008, February) Response to intervention: The future for secondary schools. Principal Leadership 8(6), 12-15. Available at


This article describes RTI’s tiered process for implementing evidence-based instructional strategies in the regular education setting while frequently measuring student progress to determine whether these practices are effective. It specifies some common components of strong collaborative teams and elements of effective RTI programs.


2. Burns, M.K. (2008, March). Response to intervention at the secondary level. Principal Leadership 8(7), 12-15. Available at


This article illustrates how RTI can be used to improve the literacy skills of middle and high school students who are not meeting grade-level standards. The article explores the use of assessment, service delivery, and problem solving toward this end, and describes the student achievement and school-wide improvement outcomes found in RTI research.


Feldman, K. (2004). Secondary school literacy: A framework for school-wide intervention. Literacy in High Schools: The Special EDge Insert. Available at


This document provides an outline for a secondary school RTI framework. It discusses the fundamental steps necessary for a successful direct reading intervention and literacy acceleration, specifies the three critical variables essential to reading interventions. The document provides resources for overall interventions, as well as ones specific to three levels of intervention—specialized to non readers, students functioning at 3-5 grade level, or students functioning at 5-7+ grade level.


**This document is considered a priority reading.