New Mexico's Three-Tier Model of Student Intervention

RtI Framework – State Rule

State Guidance Manual

New Mexico's RtI Framework "Quick Guide"

Addressing Student Behavior

Section 504

Gifted Education

RtI Framework and Learning Disabilities

Progress Monitoring

RtI Framework Funding and Budgeting

Fidelity of Implementation Tools (Free)


RtI Framework Glossary

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Resources and Links

RtI Framework Glossary

Below are terms and definitions related to New Mexico's Three-Tier Model of Student Intervention — the state's RtI framework.

Click a term for its definition.

  • Academic Improvement Plan (AIP)
    Under state statute, this is a written plan required for students in grades K–8 who have been retained and those who have been promoted despite a retention recommendation. The AIP is developed by the Student Assistance Team (SAT).

  • Accommodation
    Change made to instruction and/or assessment that does not change the expectations for performance or change the construct that is being measured. Accommodations provide access to buildings, curricula, and assessments.

  • Acculturation
    The gradual process of adaptation to a new cultural environment.

  • Aimline
    Line on a graph that represents expected student growth over time.

  • AYP: Adequate Yearly Progress
    The statewide accountability system mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 which requires each state to ensure that all schools and districts make Adequate Yearly Progress as defined by states and approved by the U.S. Department of Education. AYP is measured by specific subgroups of students.

  • Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP)
    A written plan that outlines the behavioral interventions and supports to assist a student in demonstrating appropriate behavior and in replacing problematic behaviors.

  • Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)
    Preventive components under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 and state special education rules. It allows a local education agency to use up to 15% of its IDEA Part B funds in any fiscal year, less any funds reduced from its local fiscal effort, to develop and implement coordinated, early intervening services and supports to at-risk students not already identified as eligible for special education. CEIS funds may also be used to provide professional development and to fund academic or behavioral evaluations.

  • Core Curriculum
    A course of study that is deemed critical and usually made mandatory for all students of a school or school system. That is, the body of knowledge that all students are expected to learn as set forth in district and state standards. Core curricula must be scientific and research-based.

  • Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM)
    Direct assessments of student progress administered in a frequent and standardized manner, and that that are aligned to state content standards and benchmarks. They are typically brief and/or timed samples. Student-level results can be graphed and compared to classroom peers. Also called Probes.

  • Cut Score
    A minimum level of performance to demonstrate that a skill or behavior meets a specific standard. Cut scores are usually expressed as a percentile or scaled score.

  • Data Points
    Points on a graph that represent student achievement or behavior relative to a specific assessment at a specific time.

  • Data-Based or Data-Driven Decision-Making
    The process of collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information to answer a question and to guide development, implementation, and evaluation of an action. In an RtI framework, data-based decision making is continuous and regular.

  • Decision Rules
    The criteria a school establishes for systemically changing services for a student from Tier 1 to Tier 2, Tier 2 to Tier 3, or reverse course.

  • Differentiated Instruction
    Designing different lesson plans and/or assignments for small groups of students to meet the learning needs of diverse learners within a classroom. Grouping strategies, teaching methods, assignments, and materials are chosen based on data about student skill levels, interest levels, and learning preferences. It is through differentiated instruction that teachers can effectively provide interventions in Tier 1 of the response to intervention framework. Differentiation is not the same as individualization.

  • Disproportionality
    The over- or under-representation of minority students in special education. In other words, there is a disproportionate number, either a significantly larger or smaller percentage, of students from a specific minority background receiving special education services than the percentage of that minority in the population generally.

  • Dual Discrepancy Model
    A dual discrepancy exists when a student performs both significantly below the level of grade-level peers (low achievement) and shows a learning rate substantially below grade-level peers (low progress/growth). In New Mexico, educational diagnosticians must use this model as part of the process to determine if a student in grades K–3 has a learning disability.

  • Educational Plan for Student Success (EPSS)
    In New Mexico, the annual strategic long-range plan written by all schools and districts to improve student performance. The EPSS is developed in alignment with the New Mexico School Improvement Framework.

  • English Language Learners (ELLs)
    A student whose first or heritage language is not English and who is not able to read, write, speak or understand English at a level comparable to grade-level proficient peers and native English speakers.

  • Explicit Instruction
    Involves direct, face-to-face teaching that is highly structured, focused on specific learning outcomes, and based on a high level of student and teacher interaction. It involves explanation, demonstration, and practice with topics being taught in a logical order. Another characteristic of explicit teaching is modeling skills, thinking, and behaviors. This also involves the teacher thinking out loud when working thorough problems and demonstrating processes for students.

  • No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) [original passage in 1965], renamed the "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) Act of 2001. It is the federal statute relative to K–12 public education.

  • Fidelity
    The degree to which RtI framework components are implemented as designed, intended, and planned by the developer or publisher. Fidelity is achieved through sufficient time allocation, adequate intervention intensity, qualified and trained staff, and sufficient materials and resources. Fidelity is vital in universal screening, instructional delivery, and progress monitoring.

  • Formative Assessment
    Ongoing assessments, reviews, and observations in a classroom. Teachers use formative assessment to improve instructional methods and student feedback throughout the teaching and learning process. The results of formative assessments are used to modify and validate instruction.

  • Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)
    A problem-solving process that relies on a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the "triggers" and purposes of specific behavior. An FBA enables school teams to better select interventions to directly address the problem behavior. An FBA lays the foundation for a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP).

  • High-Yield Instructional Strategies
    Research-based teaching strategies that increase student achievement. See Classroom Instruction that Works: Research–Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (ASCD) by Dr. Robert J. Marzano, et. al.

  • IDEA
    Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, also referred to as IDEA 2004 Part B. Original passage in 1975; latest reauthorization in 2004. This is the federal statute relative to public education and services to students with disabilities ages 3 through 21.

  • Intervention
    Any change to increase the intensity of instruction. Changes can be made in the areas of program, time, grouping, or instructor skill level. Interventions are successful when data shows opportunities for advanced learners, a narrowing of the achievement gap for struggling learners, and/or a reduction in problem behavior and an increase in the desired replacement behavior. An accommodation is not an intervention.

  • Learning Disability (LD) / Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
    IDEA 2004 defines a Learning Disability/Specific Learning Disability in the following manner. The child does not achieve adequately for the child's age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the child's age or State-approved grade-level standards:
    1. Oral expression
    2. Listening comprehension
    3. Written expression
    4. Basic reading skill
    5. Reading fluency skills
    6. Reading comprehension
    7. Mathematics calculation
    8. Mathematics problem solving

  • Learning Rate
    Average progress/growth over a period of time.

  • Multidisciplinary (or Initial) Evaluation
    A battery of individual diagnostic tests conducted by an educational diagnostician used to assess a student's possible need for special education services and/or gifted education.

  • New Mexico School Improvement Framework
    In New Mexico, a document written by the Department and used by districts and schools to develop and monitor their school improvement plans known as the EPSS. See also EPSS.

  • Next-Step Plan
    Required by state statute, it is an annual written plan in which a student at the end of grades 8 to 11 specifies post-high school goals and sets forth coursework to meet those goals. The plan is written in collaboration with the student's parents, counselor, and other school officials.

  • Positive Assistance for Student Success (PASS)
    A toolkit for Student Assistance Teams (SATs) published by the New Mexico Public Education Department. PASS is a systematic coordinated approach to serve both the student and the family with issues related to health and social needs. The process can be used as an adjunct to the academic and behavioral interventions prescribed by the SAT in order address family challenges impacting the student at school.

  • Positive Behavioral Support (PBS)
    A system of school-wide practices that teach, encourage, and reward positive student behavior and that have a prevention focus.

  • Problem-Solving Approach/Team
    An approach to an academic and/or behavioral problem that utilizes a team who come together to consider student-specific data, brainstorm possible strategies/interventions, and develop a plan of action to address a student-specific need. In New Mexico, the Student Assistance Team (SAT) is the problem-solving team for Tier 2.

  • Progress Monitoring
    For students receiving an individualized intervention in Tiers 2 and 3, progress monitoring is a practice used to assess a students' response to additional support. at more frequent intervals (at least monthly) between universal screenings. Teachers or grade-level teams may also wish to utilize formal or informal progress monitoring at Tier 1 for small groups of students or an entire class as a way to assess daily teaching, provide student feedback, and/or to determine the need for differentiated instruction or other universal interventions.

  • Remediation
    Instruction intended to remedy a situation, or to teach a student something that he or she should have previously learned or be able to demonstrate. It assumes appropriate strategies matched to student learning have been used previously.

  • Research-based Instruction/Interventions
    Ones that have been used with a large sample of students and have demonstrated a positive correlation between the intervention and student progress. In addition, the results have been documented in peer-reviewed literature or by a panel of experts through vigorous, scientific review. Sometimes called evidence-based.

  • Response to Intervention (RtI)
    A multi-tiered organizational framework that uses a set of increasingly intensive academic or behavioral supports, matched to student need, as a system for making educational programming and eligibility decisions. It is a continuum of school-wide support that contributes to overall comprehensive school improvement efforts. Sometimes called Responsiveness to Intervention. See The Three-Tier Model of Student Intervention.

  • Screening
    See Universal Screening.

  • Short-cycle Assessment
    A formative assessment measure that is regularly used over the school year with all students to assess student academic performance, as well as to predict performance on the yearly standards-based assessment. See also Universal Screening.

  • Standard Treatment Protocol
    Use of the same empirically-validated intervention for all students with similar academic or behavioral needs; facilitates quality control.

  • Student Assistance Team (SAT)
    A school-based group of people whose purpose is to provide additional Tier 2 support to students who are experiencing academic or behavioral difficulties that are preventing them from benefiting from general education, because they are either performing below or above expectations. Public agencies may have similar names used for this team, such as student success team or student support team. In New Mexico, schools are required to have a SAT process for Tier 2 of the three-tier model of student intervention.

  • Summative Assessment
    A type of assessment is used to determine the effectiveness of instructional programs and services at the end of an academic year. The goal of summative assessments is to make a judgment of student proficiency after an instructional phase is complete.

  • The Three-Tier Model of Student Intervention
    The name for New Mexico's RtI Framework.

  • Tiering (Tiered Instruction; Tiered Assignments)
    Tiering is a differentiated instruction strategy and is considered an intervention. Tiered instruction and tiered assignments are ones where teachers teach and/or students work on different levels of activities toward a common objective/standard depending on skill readiness, learning preferences, and interest levels. (Tiering in this context is not related to Tiered Model below.)

  • Tiered Model
    A common model of three or more tiers that comprise an overall RtI framework and delineates how a school or system organizes to deliver instruction based on student need. New Mexico uses a three-tier model defined in state rule at Subsection D of NMAC.

  • Trend Line
    Line on a graph that connects data points; compare against aimline to determine level of responsiveness to intervention. See also Aimline.

  • Universal Interventions
    Best instructional practices, part of effective instruction, and the first line of intervention for all students. Universal interventions at Tier 1 generally take the form of differentiated instruction. They are ones that are applied on a school-wide, grade-level, or classroom basis. See also Differentiated Instruction.

  • Universal Screening
    A variety of assessments that are administered to all students in the first weeks of school, and then again three to four other times during the school year as a way identify students at risk and/or to adjust instruction (Also known as short-cycle assessments). Sometimes this type of universal screening is called benchmarking as it is meant to measure adequate student progress towards grade-level proficiency of state standards. The yearly standards-based assessment is also considered universal screening. That is because the data can be used in the following school year as part of universal screening process that happens at the beginning of a school year.
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