The RTI Leadership Team: A District Vehicle for Oversight and Planning

Schools should expect that RTI will take several years to fully implement (Burns & Riley-Tillman, 2009), that this initiative will include a sizable number of components, and that it will impact instruction and behavior management across the entire building.

Because of its complexity and large scope, RTI requires careful planning. It is therefore recommended as the first step in RTI implementation that a district-level team—referred to hereafter as the ‘RTI Leadership Team’—be created.

The RTI Leadership Team’s primary responsibilities are to develop a multi-year plan for rolling out RTI in a coordinated manner across all campuses in the district and to monitor and guide the district-wide RTI roll-out. The RTI Leadership Team should be multi-disciplinary. Its membership will of course include those district leaders who control resources and personnel that can be allocated to RTI. Additionally, the RTI Leadership Team should include representatives from elementary, middle, and high schools.
The RTI Leadership Team can assist each of its schools in their quest to adopt an RTI model (McDougal, Graney, Wright & Ardoin, 2009) by:
  • gauging the school’s level of ‘RTI Readiness’.
  • assessing possible staff reluctance or resistance to RTI.
  • educating stakeholders in the school community about the RTI model.
  • Identifying those strengths and challenges from both within and outside of the school or district that could affect implementation of RTI.
  • generating a comprehensive, multi-year RTI roll-out plan.
  • inventorying resources throughout the school or district that can be used to support student intervention planning and progress-monitoring.
For more detailed guidelines on how to set up an RTI Leadership Team and how that team's purpose and role are to be defined, review the guide Establishing and Running a District-Level RTI Leadership Team: Frequently Asked Questions (see attachment at the bottom of this page).


  • Burns, M., & Riley-Tillman, T. C. (2009). Response to intervention and eligibility decisions: We need to wait to succeed. NASP Communique, 38(1), pp. 1, 10, 11.
  • McDougal, J. L., Graney, S. B., Wright, J. A., & Ardoin, S. P. (2009). RTI in practice: A practical guide to implementing effective evidence-based interventions in your school. New York: John Wiley & Sons.