Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Sue Poppink

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Reeves

Third Advisor

Dr. Julia Reynolds

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This paper demonstrates how the Response to Intervention (RTI) system was implemented in one district and school, and may serve as a model for others to follow. The RTI framework has the capacity to push participating schools to examine the quality of instruction and, more importantly, to use ongoing student assessments to determine the instruction each student needs to be academically successful. The leadership and policy literature as well as legislative and other reforms such as RTI, systematic assessment, instructional strategies, is reviewed. The results of the RTI implementation at the district and building level are shared. For example, in February of 2007, 49.8% of kindergarten students made benchmark as measured by the DIBELS Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF). In January of 2008, 89% of this same group of students, now first grade students, made benchmark. Thus, an additional 40.8% of students made the benchmark after 11 months. Not all results were as promising. Early in the 2012–2013 school year, 75% of third grade students were proficient as measured by the Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) test, while 73% were proficient near the end. District and building observations as well as documents of the RTI implementation over a five-year period are also provided. Finally, suggestions for next steps for both the building and district are provided. Suggestions include analyzing why third grade saw a slight decrease in ORF scores from 2012 to 2013, working more collaboratively as district administrators to develop RTI into more of a systematic process district-wide, continuing collaborative conversations which include benchmark and progress monitoring meetings at the building level, and other suggestions.