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RTI Tier 3

Teachers contribute to the shifts in the processing which children are able to carry out, by altering the learning opportunities provided, prompting to influence the choices made by the constructive learner, and altering the interaction between teacher and learner.

Marie Clay

What We Understand About Tier 3

Tier 3 intervention is intense, individualized supplemental instruction delivered by a reading specialist or special educator in addition to, and not in place of balanced literacy instruction delivered in Tier 1. Tier 3 interventions are developed when assessment and progress monitoring data demonstrate that a student is not making satisfactory progress in Tier 2. They generally consist of more intense and/or more frequent forms of the interventions described in Tier 2.

Our Approach

To design and monitor Tier 3 interventions, we consider many variables focused on students’ assets and assessed areas of need. While delivery models vary somewhat, all Tier 3 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 3 intervention.


Tier 3

Frequency/Length of Intervention Lessons/Sessions

Daily or 4-5 times per week

Amount of Time per lesson/session

45-60 minutes

Duration of Intervention Cycle

6-8 weeks depending on the instructional program

Size of Instructional Group

1:1 1:2 or 1:3

Who Typically Delivers the Intervention

Professionals with Specialized Certificates


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

How We Support Teachers in Tier 3

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.