Introduction and Guidance for Completing

The Oregon RTI Initiative Application

  1. What is Oregon RTI?

Oregon’s Response to Intervention project (OrRTI), has been sponsored by ODE since 2005. The OrRTI project provides intensive training and resources to Oregon school districts. The project started with four districts in 2005, and since that time over 60 districts have formally participated in OrRTI. Training is focused on helping districts develop the capacity to implement and sustain Response to Intervention(RTI) systems of service delivery that supportall students and identify students with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD).Specific areas addressed through technical assistance include: systems change, multi-tiered systems of instructional support with strong core instruction as a foundation, building and utilizing comprehensive assessment systemsfor data-based decision making, effective teaming, and SLD decision making using RTI. The focus is on reading at the elementary level. Please visit our website at for more information.

Participating districts apply and are accepted to take part in OrRTI based on the district’s willingness(commitment on the part of district leaders to move to a Response to Intervention system) andreadiness (have the foundational elements of a research-based core curriculum and universal screener in place). All districts that apply will receive some level of technical support to move toward an RTI system. Districts not fully willing or ready will receive limited consultation support. Based on ODE and OrRTI’s review of the application and self assessment districts have submitted, districts that are both willing and readyto move forward on this work will receive full support, including funding, conference style training, and on-site coaching.

  1. Why does Oregon’s RTI initiative focus on reading at the elementary level?

While an RTI system and approach may be applied to multiple subject areas, reading is the gateway skill to all othercontent areas. A majority of the research over the last 20 years around student achievement has focused on reading. Consequently, core programs, screeners and interventions have the largest research base.

Oregon schools that have been using the RTI process are finding that problem behaviors decrease and academic skills across all disciplines improve. Many participants in Oregon’s RTI initiative began with reading structures in place and then moved to other content areas such as math and writing. The Oregon RTI project will provide support to districts who wish to move in this direction once reading systems are in place.

Similarly, the research that has been conducted to date has focused most directly on elementary systems, and the knowledge, tools, and resources required to support implementation are more fully developed at the elementary level. Because of this, and because the early elementary years are the “critical period” of reading development, the OrRTI projects targets elementary schools for initial development efforts. In most cases, it is expected that all elementary schools in a district will participate in OrRTI project activities from the beginning. In some rare cases (e.g., for large districts, districts with unique circumstance or significant challenges), districts may be permitted to have some elementary schools start in year one, and remaining elementary schools start in year two. Please contact David Putnam, OrRTI project Director, if you believe that circumstances in your district offer a compelling rationale for implementation that should or could be staggered.

  1. Who should apply to participate in the ORTI project?

Any Oregon district thatwants support with implementing a comprehensive RTI system is encouraged to consider applying to participate in the Oregon RTI project. RTI, done well, yields significant, positive achievement outcomes that benefit all students. What does RTI “done well” mean? It means implementing the components of an RTI system fully and with fidelity.

RTI,done well, involves optimizing the instructional practices of all teachers, implementing an efficient and powerful assessment system that informs instruction, and systemizing teaming structures in order to make data based decisions that accurately identify and serve the needs of all students. RTI, done well, identifies student needs early, delivers additional instruction quickly, and provides direct and meaningful information that can be used to identify individuals with special educational needs. RTI, done well, benefits the district by increasing the efficiency of service delivery and maximizing the value of available resources.

When considering whether to apply, districts must keep in mind that doing RTI well and achieving its benefits takes leadership, planning, coaching, training, technical assistance, and the evaluation and re-allocation of resources. In addition, a strongcommitment to ensuring that key elements are put into place is essential for the successful implementation of an RTI system that results in improved student achievement. District leadership teams should deliberately and honestly consider the following readiness and willingness requirements before deciding to complete the application.

RTI is not a Special Education initiative, and it is not just a General Education initiative. It is an ALL ED initiative that can have powerful, positive benefits for all students and all staff. Districts that are committed to implementing comprehensive RTI systems with the support of OrRTI are strongly encouraged to consider applying to take part in the project.

  1. WillingnessRequirements for Acceptance as a Full Support and Participation District:
  1. Commitment to build and maintain an RTI District Leadership Team (i.e., cabinet; DLT) and a District Implementation Team (selected members of the leadership team, elementary building principals, and representative teachers and specialists; DIT) that willmeet at least monthly and work to build district capacity and consensus to support an RTI infrastructure.
  2. Commitment from the DLT and DITto define the required content and instructional elements of their elementary core program and provide supports so that the core can be delivered with fidelityfor a minimum of 90 minutes a day in grades 1-5,and 60 minutes in K (based on a five day week).
  3. Commitment from the DLT and DITto select research-based interventions and provide supports so those interventionsare delivered with fidelity outside the time dedicated to implement the core curriculum.
  4. Commitment from theDLT and DITto establish and support implementation of an assessment plan that outlines the purpose and use ofuniversal screening, progress monitoring, outcome, and diagnostic assessments to inform instruction.
  5. Commitment from theDLT and DITestablish and support teaming structuresand written procedures that utilize data-based decision makingto adjust the intensity of instruction to meet the needs of all children.
  6. Commitmentfrom the DLT and DITto use an RTI framework to make SLD eligibility decisions, initially in the area of reading.

Districts are NOTexpectedto have elements1-6 abovefullyin place prior to being accepted into the project. On the contrary, working on implementing these elements with the support of the OrRTI staff is the purpose of participating in the project. Districts AREexpected to be committed to installing and implementing elements 1-6 above in a timely manner.

  1. Readiness Requirements for Acceptance as a Full Support and Participation District:
  1. The district currently has in place, or will have by fall 2013, a research-based core Reading curriculum, K-5 in all schools (e.g., Harcourt Trophies/Storytown, Houghton Mifflin Reading, Macmillan Treasures,Scott Foresman Reading Street, SRA Open Court, or an approved alternative. Please contact OrRTI staff for more information if needed)
  2. The district currently has in place, or will have by fall 2013, a system for universal screening in Reading at the elementary level (e.g., DIBELS, EasyCBM, AIMSweb)
  3. The district is prepared to install the key elements of an RTI system in Reading, K-5, including the use of RTI for SLD (See Willingness Commitments 1-6 above)
  1. Benefits to Participating Districts:
  1. Ongoing participation in training opportunities through Oregon’s RTI initiative
  2. Professional development, training for coaches, and regional consultation support from technical assistance partners

C. Membership in a state network of 60+ districts participating in RTI development

D. Access to the web based resources, including implementation tools, training materials, webinars, and videos

F. On site coaching and consultation for district staff

E. District funding is based on:

  • availability, the size and number of schools in a district,
  • distance from typical training venues (i.e., Portland, Eugene), and
  • length (number of years)of involvement in OrRTI project.
  • First year districts are allocated higher fundingamounts to cover initial training costs.
  • Second year districts receive less, etc.
  • Funds typically only cover expenses incurred fromparticipationin trainingsessions/events, release time for planning/development activities, and expenses related to project activities.
  • Funding is not sufficient to cover staffing or thepurchaseof large quantities of materials.
  1. Required District Activities and Documentation: What do districts have to do once they have been accepted into the OrRTI initiative?

Participation in the OrRTI project typically spans five years. The work of establishing and maintaining a comprehensive RTI system is ongoing. However, initial installation and implementation activities are front-loaded in the first two years of the project. The following is a description of activities for the first year of participation. Required training activities and documentation lessen in year two and beyond.

A. Establish a District LeadershipTeam (DLT) anda District Implementation Team (DIT), and meet at least monthly.Members of the two teams may overlap in some cases.

  1. District Leadership Teams are composed of district and building leaders that have decision making authority to guide educational practices, establish procedures, and dedicate necessary resources to implement and maintain RTI systems. These teams may include: superintendents, assistant superintendents, curriculum directors, SPED directors, principals, and others depending ona district’s organizational structure.
  2. District Implementation Teamsare composed of district and building administrators, specialists, teacher leaders, and others positioned to guide the implementation process. These teams design RTI structures, build consensus, support teaming structures for an RTI systemand new ways of practice, and train and coach others to implement instruction and assessments.

B.Participationin training sessions. OrRTI staffmembersprovide trainingfor Leadership and Implementation Teams throughout the year. Additionally, OrRTI staff visit participating districts several times during the school year to provide onsite professional development and coaching. A list of the conference style trainingsessions are offered to first year districts follows.

  1. Leadership Launch- Required 1 day session; usually in August
  2. For:District Leadership Teams
  3. To learn/discuss:
  4. Implementation science,
  5. Stages of implementation,
  6. Roles and responsibilities of instructional leaders.
  7. In depth didactic discussion of the impact of participation in OrRTI project.
  8. Designed to:
  9. familiarize Leadership Teams with essential features of effective RTI systems,
  10. clarify expectations for district involvement,
  11. describe critical activities for installation / implementation of RTI components that promote effective and sustainable change.
  1. Initial Implementation Team Training – Required 2 day session; usually late September / early October.
  2. For: District Implementation Teams
  3. To learn/discuss:
  4. Overview of RTI foundations, elements, and building consensus.
  5. In depth examination of:
  6. core curriculum and instruction,
  7. universal screening,
  8. school-wide data teams, and
  9. the change process
  1. Follow-up Implementation Team Training – Required 2 day session; usually early February.
  2. For: District Implementation Teams
  3. To learn/discuss:
  4. Deeper Implementation Teamtraining to provide guidance for:
  5. full implementation of RTI systems at the universal level,
  6. Tier II systems including:
  7. interventions,
  8. progress monitoring,
  9. teaming for individual student decision making, and
  10. decision rules.
  1. Effective Instructional Practices Training- Optional 1-day session; Fall.
  2. For:Building level instructional leaders and teachers.
  3. To learn/discuss:
  4. Effective instructional practices in classrooms
  5. Practical strategies for teacher implementation
  6. Sharing of effective practices between teachers and other school teams
  1. Instructional Leadership Training – Optional 1 day session; Spring.
  2. For: District Implementation Teams
  3. To learn/discuss:
  4. Training intended for:
  5. building level instructional leaders,
  6. principals,
  7. literacy coaches,
  8. Title I teachers
  9. other education specialists
  10. Training will address:
  11. effective instructional practices in literacy,
  12. establishing clear expectations for instructional practices,
  13. monitoring instructional practices,
  14. coaching instructional practices
  1. Spring Conference - Optional2 day session; usually in May
  2. For: District Leadership and Implementation Teams
  3. To learn/discuss: Open to all districts involved in OrRTI. Broad range of topics and specific areas of application. Previous topics have included:
  4. Instructional Leadership
  5. RTI in secondary schools,
  6. Working with ELL students,
  7. Math,
  8. Goal setting
  9. Data analysis,
  10. Title I considerations.

C.Lab School Visits. Several Oregon RTI districts that are successfully implementing RTI serve as lab schools and host visitors several times each year. Districts new to OrRTI are strongly encouraged to participate in a lab school visit to see school-level RTI implementation. The lab school visits encourage interactions, questions, and the exchange ideas with leaders of RTI in other districts.

D.Complete District Level Documentation

  1. Provide OrRTI with a list of DLT and DIT members and contact information.
  2. RTI Handbook. Each district must create an RTI handbook that outlines the district’s RTI process with specific guidance for implementation. Such a handbook is critical for ensuring consistent RTI implementation.
  3. Implementation Plan. With the support and guidance of the OrRTIstaff, districts create Implementation Plans to document consensus on critical agreements. Implementation Plans guide development of the infrastructure for district and school wide reading models. Components of Implementation Plans are embedded within district improvement plans and aligned with all other school improvement efforts.
  4. District Implementation Evaluation Tool-School Based (DIET-SB), and District Implementation Evaluation Tool-District Based (DIET-DB). DIETs are brief (7 or 8 items) self-evaluation tools that are completed by districts at the beginning and end of each academic year. The tools focus on key implementation components and provide district leaders and OrRTI staff with valuable information to monitoring implementation efforts.
  5. Budget. Districts must submit a budget each year that details how OrRTI funds will be used.

E.Provide access to screening tools.

Districts must agree to provide “read-only” access to screening and progress monitoring data.

  1. SUBMITTING THE OrRTI APPLICATION:What does a district need to know about the application process?
  1. Who completes the application?
  1. Completing the application must be a collaborative process. If a single person completes the application alone, there will not be the collective foundation needed to build a strong system.
  2. It is critical that the application be completed with direct input from district leaders that are positioned to allocate resources and make decisions regarding district goals, procedures, and instructional practices.
  3. Specifically, the application includes questions for district office administrators, building principals, and teachers. These questions should be completed based on the direct input of these stakeholders.
  4. All district leaders and elementary principals must sign the application to indicate their support for moving forward with the OrRTI project.
  1. Sections of the application. The application is divided into three sections with three separate documents:
  1. Introduction and Guidance for Completing the Oregon RTI Initiative Application (document you are reading now)
  2. Oregon RTI Application 2013-2014. The application that is completed with direct input from district stakeholders.
  3. Oregon RTI Application 2013-2014 Signatures Page. This document must be signed by the Superintendent, Director of Curriculum (or equivalent), Director of Special Education (or equivalent), and all elementary principals, indicating that they have read the introduction and the completed application sections, and agree with the information that the district has provided.


  1. OrRTI will offer a webinar in March2013to assist districts in completing the OrRTI application. Please visit our website at for more information. Or, contact David Putnam at if you have questions.
  2. Application/Needs Assessment due to Oregon Department of Education by April 1, 2013. Please e-mail application and signature page to . If the application file is too large to send as an attachmentit can be sent via Secure File Transfer from: on the lower right side of the webpage.
  3. Applications will be reviewed between April 1st and April30th 2013. During this time and prior to final selection, districts may be contacted, either for on-site visits or phone interviews by Oregon RTI staff to gather additional information.Districts will be notified of the status of their application in May.
  1. Selection:
  1. Districts will be evaluated based on their readiness and willingness as previously described.
  2. Districts that do not meet readiness criteria (see section III A &B), and districts without a solid commitment from all stakeholder groups will be accepted for Consultation Only support.
  3. Consultation Only support includes:
  4. access to trainings on a space-available basis,
  5. phone consultation, and
  6. 1 (one) on-site visit for guidance on how best to move a RTI system forward.
  7. Districts that are both ready and willing (have a strong commitment to implement RTI fully) will be accepted for Full Implementation Support, including funding, conference style trainings, and on-site coaching.
  1. Submitting the application. The completed application and the signature pagemust be received by Martha Buenrostro at Oregon Department of Education, Office of Student Learning and Partnerships no later thanApril 1st, 2013. Please email the completed application and a scanned copy of the completed signature pages to: or 503.947.5611.If the application file is too large to send as an attachment it can be sent via Secure File Transfer from: on the lower right side of the webpage and follow the directions to send the files to by the deadline.

Oregon RTI Initiative 2013-2014 Application Page 1