School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Alan Wimberley


RTI, Secondary Schools, General Education, Midwest Schools, Rural


Education | Educational Methods


The purpose of this qualitative descriptive single-case study is to present practical applications and instructional practices of one Wisconsin secondary school currently implementing universal response to intervention (RTI) practices within the general education classroom as identified by the Wisconsin RtI Center. For this study RTI was defined as a prevention model of instruction used within a three-tiered system where teachers evaluate the success of students’ academic interventions through growth monitoring. The guiding principle of this study, the growth mindset theory, believes intelligence is malleable and therefore educators have a tremendous impact on the mindset, and by extension, growth-mindset of students. The research questions grounding this study are: (a) How are RTI factors (Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III) implemented across all ability groups in a universal manner? (b) What support factors are needed for faculty to feel confident implementing Tier I RTI modifications to general and gifted education students? (c) How is the school using the universal screener to identify students in need of Tier I, II, and III instructional modifications? Data was collected from Twelve adult participants, all of whom were under full time teaching or administrative contracts at a singular Midwest secondary public school identified as a School of Distinction by the Wisconsin RtI Center. Specifically, this case study focused on gathering and analyzing data through individual interview sessions of full-time faculty members and administrators, as well as observations of a professional learning community (PLC) meeting with a focus on RTI reflection and application, and a teacher-led focus group session. This case study found that while a consistent understanding of universal RTI screening tools were present among faculty, there were discrepancies between the middle and high school by way of application of tools.