Response to Intervention (RTI) or Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is beginning to be implemented in preschool programs to improve outcomes and to reduce the need for special education services. The proportions of children in programs identified as struggling learners through universal screening have important implications for the feasibility of these approaches as well as for the way programs might allocate resources and staff implementing tiered models of intervention. The expected proportions of children who might be identified for higher tiers of instructional support in pre-kindergarten settings are relatively unknown. The proportions of children who would have been identified for higher tiers of instructional language/literacy support when using three different universal screening measures are described. Participants were 659 children participating in the Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood (CRTIEC) Tier 1 Study. Results indicated that the proportions of children at Tier 2 and Tier 3 performance levels were higher for children in low-income eligibility programs and varied by program-level characteristics including numbers of English language learners and children with special needs, as well as the universal screening measure used. Implications of these findings suggest the importance of increased focus on early literacy and language in Tier 1 instruction in programs serving high proportions of children at risk as a means of preventing reading failure in future years.
- Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
- Response to Intervention
- early literacy assessment
- universal screening