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Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²), which is Tennessee’s framework for teaching and learning that begins with high-quality, differentiated instruction throughout the day and emphasizes intervening with students when they first start to struggle to avoid prolonged academic difficulties.

RTI² also offers additional instruction with multiple entry and exit points based on students’ needs: a student who is on grade level may receive high-quality Tier I instruction and enrichment; another student who is showing slight deficits in specific areas may receive targeted interventions through Tier II for a specific period of time; alternately, a student who has significant needs may receive extended, intensive interventions through Tier III.

Special education services are a continuation of the path through the RTI² tiers. A student who does not show growth in response to an appropriate intervention that is delivered with fidelity in Tier III may be eligible for the most intensive services available, special education services. However, the RTI² model provides instructional opportunities for all students and is not exclusively a path to special education eligibility.