Student Support Teams and Response to Intervention: An Educator Perspective

The purpose of this study was to investigate teacher and leader perceptions of the Student Support Team (SST) process and Response to Intervention (RTI) model. These perceptions were explored through quantitative online surveys administered to teachers and leadership team members working with students in grades K-5. The study compared the perceptions of both groups regarding familiarity with SST and RTI, adequacy of training to implement SST and RTI, eligibility requirements for special education, the effectiveness of SST and RTI, weaknesses of SST and RTI, and reasons for non-referral. The sample population for the survey consisted of teachers (n = 25) and members of the leadership team (n = 8) from a small elementary school in California. Results of the study indicate that while there are certain areas in which teachers and members of the leadership team agree, there are also areas in which more discrepancy exists between the opinions of these two groups. Much of the information collected suggests an overall positive view of this elementary school’s tiered intervention model. The data also highlights some areas in which the SST and RTI could be improved. Recommendations are made to help guide administrators in future planning and decision making related to the SST process and RTI model.