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RTI Tier 2

If we took the research on effective teaching and learning and condensed it into a simple formula for learning, it would look like this:

Targeted Instruction + Time = Learning

Because learning styles and instructional needs vary from student to student, we must provide each student with targeted instruction—that is, teaching practices designed to meet his or her individual learning needs. We also know that students don't all learn at the same speed. Some will need more time to learn. That is the purpose of RTI—to systematically provide every student with the additional time and support needed to learn at high levels.

Buffum, Mattos & Weber

What We Understand About Tier 2

Tier 2 intervention is typically small-group supplemental instruction delivered by a reading specialist in addition to, and not in place of, balanced literacy instruction delivered in Tier 1.

Our Approach

To design and monitor Tier 2 interventions, we consider many variables focused on students’ assets and assessed areas of need. While delivery models vary somewhat, all Tier 2 reading intervention sessions adhere to research-based principles. Interventionists anchor their planning in seminal professional texts including What Really Matters in Response to Intervention (Allington, 2009), RTI From All Sides (Howard, 2009) and The RTI Daily Planning Book (Owocki, 2010). The following outlines specific details related to Tier 2 intervention.


Tier 2

Frequency/Length of Intervention Lessons/Sessions

2-3 times per week

Amount of Time per lesson/session

30-45 minutes

Duration of Intervention Cycle

6-8 Weeks

Size of Instructional Group

4-6 students

Who Typically Delivers the Intervention

Literacy Specialist


Special Education Teacher


push-in, pull-out or a combination of both approaches

How We Support Teachers in Tier 2

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.