The Response-to-Intervention for Literacy (RTI-Lit) Program provided technical assistance and supported five pilot schools to improve reading, writing, and language skills for students struggling with literacy. Schools were selected through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Personnel received on-site training and resources to develop recommended practices and strategies in reading instruction. Students were selected for the project based on their difficulties in demonstrating reading proficiency but who have not yet been identified as requiring special educational services.
Through this pilot program, classroom teachers, reading specialists and special educators received technical assistance and professional development related to literacy instruction. They also learned to use universal and student-specific assessment. Participating staff completed a needs assessment, created by this project, which indicated current literacy teaching practices and areas of difficulty. Half-day professional development workshops, based on the Response-to-Intervention model, focused on three tiers of increasingly intensive literacy instruction provided for struggling students. Educators from the five pilot schools came together to learn teaching strategies and techniques, the research supporting these strategies, and to have time to reflect with one another about the process of teaching older students literacy skills.
Response-To-Intervention for Literacy (RTI-Lit) teams was formed at each pilot school and consisted of 8-10 staff members, consisting of educators and administrators. Additional team members were computer technology support staff, librarians, speech and language pathologists, or others who may have provided support to staff or students as part of this project. The primary purpose of the RTI-Lit teams was to create a system to provide literacy support to struggling students. Each pilot school's RTI-Lit team determined: (a) eligibility criteria for students; (b) assessment procedures; (c) logistical support to teachers; and (d) evaluation of the project for the students in their school.
Project staff supported teachers to evaluate and monitor their students' progress within their classrooms. Teachers assessed students on a regular basis, identifying those in need of additional reading and writing support and instruction, and reporting assessment and progress results to the RTI-Lit team. Additionally, project staff informed the NH Department of Education of activities, data analysis results, and recommendations based on the work of the pilot schools. An evaluation of the overall program effectiveness was conducted using both formative and summative evaluation methods.