RTI Tier 1

The most important part of the proverbial tiers is the first one: regular classroom instruction.

Richard Allington

What We Understand About Tier 1

The foundation for Response to Intervention is a research-based, consistently-implemented core curriculum in all district classrooms. Over time, Mamaroneck has developed a balanced literacy curriculum for the elementary grades which is described in detail on the Elementary Literacy Page of the Curriculum and Instruction website. The balanced literacy model enables teachers to differentiate instruction to meet a wide range of student needs.

Our Approach

In Tier 1, teachers use assessment data to plan and implement small group instruction based on students’ needs. Assessments are outlined on our Elementary Assessment Framework. Our framework includes universal screening, a school-wide screening that is administered at consistent times across the school year. Additionally, teachers confer with individual students, determine appropriate next steps, and respond by providing on-the-spot instruction. For a small percentage of students, the Tier 1 strategies may not yield sufficient progress toward district reading benchmarks. In such cases, the district’s multi-tier intervention model provides a range of supplemental interventions with increasing levels of intensity to address these needs. The balanced literacy model in Mamaroneck is well-supported by research cited on the site. This model provides explicit and systematic instruction in reading, writing and word study.

To support consistent implementation of the balanced literacy curriculum, the district equips each classroom with a robust classroom library of collection of several hundred books reflective of students’ interests and capabilities.

How We Support Our Teachers in Tier 1

In Mamaroneck, teachers are supported by administrators and a trio of peer leaders: our literacy ambassador who supports teachers in enriching classroom libraries and meeting the needs of all of readers; our literacy coach, who supports her colleagues by providing meaningful professional development matched to their needs; and our RTI coach, whose job it is to strengthen the program designed to identify and support students with learning and behavior needs. The ongoing goals for all three of these literacy leaders is to build professional capacity and community while promoting student growth and achievement in reading and writing.