Scientific Research-Based Interventions

Federal laws, including No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), the reauthorization of the  Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA), have issued clear expectations for schools to ensure academic achievement of all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, fluency in English, disability, or socioeconomic status. School districts are allowed to use data from a process known as Response to Intervention (RTI) as part of the identification procedures for students with learning disabilities. RTI involves providing scientific, research-based instruction and intervention matched to student needs, with important educational decisions based on students’ levels of performance and learning over time.  

In Connecticut, the RTI process is referred to as scientific research-based interventions (SRBI) to emphasize the key role of general education in the intervention process and the importance of educational practices that are scientific and research-based.  

Key elements of SRBI include the following:

  • Core general education curriculums and instructional strategies that are comprehensive, culturally relevant, and research-based.
  • Differentiated instruction for all students, including those performing below and above grade level and English language learners (ELLs). 
  • School-wide systems of social-emotional learning and behavioral supports.
  • Early intervention for students experiencing academic and/or behavioral difficulties.
  • Educational decision-making that is driven by student performance data relative to peers. 

SRBI Triangle

SRBI is operationalized as a systematic approach with three tiers of intervention that increase in intensity based on students’ needs.  In Tier 1, all children receive a high quality curriculum and instruction in the general education classroom. The classroom teacher is responsible for delivering best practices and providing appropriate accommodations for all students when necessary. Tier 2 is a process in which students acquire more support than they are receiving from the general curriculum. Students may be pulled out during class times for additional support, or may have an interventionist or paraprofessional assisting in the classroom setting. While Tier 3 is a process in which students receive more individualized instruction based on support that is needed. Students will meet with an interventionist and/or paraprofessional daily to receive additional support. If students continue to demonstrate academic and/or behavioral difficulties with this level of support, they may be referred to an evaluation for special education services.  (Adapted from Connecticut’s Framework for RTI)

School SAT Process Manuals: JOEL  | ELIOT | MORGAN
Family Guide to SRBI
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DESSA Universal Screening

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