In an RTI model, Tier 1 instruction is the base level of educational service delivery aimed at meeting the needs of most students in the school setting. Accordingly, most students will achieve academic success when provided Tier 1 instruction. Tier 1 reduces the incidence of "instructional casualties" by ensuring that students are provided high-quality instruction and monitoring.
Tier 1 is particularly important as this intervention level represents the first "gate" in a system designed to better accommodate the diverse learning needs of all students. Tier 1 provides the foundation for instruction upon which all supplementary interventions are formulated. An important benefit of Tier 1 instruction is that the high-quality instruction and monitoring highlights students who need supplemental support.
Size of instructional group. Tier 1 instruction is provided to the whole class.
Mastery requirements of content. Cut points identified on screening measures and continued growth as demonstrated by routine progress monitoring are indicators of content mastery.
Frequency and focus of screening. In general, screening assessments occur at least three times per year, are school wide, use a broad index, and are used to identify students who are at risk and to inform school or class-wide instruction and curriculum decisions.
Frequency and focus of progress monitoring. Recommendations on progress monitoring vary. In general, progress monitoring occurs at least once every three weeks, often as frequently as weekly, twice weekly, or even daily. At-risk students in Tier 1 need to be monitored at a more frequent rate than the three times per year rate provided by screening. Results of progress monitoring provide data that can be used to make decisions about regrouping students or about continuing, revising, or changing an intervention.
Duration of the intervention. Students, including those recieving instruction in Teir 2 and beyond, remain in Tier 1 throughout the school year unless found eligible for special education and specially designed instruction that cannot be provided in the general classroom.
Frequency with which the intervention is delivered. Instruction in Tier 1 intervention occurs according to school schedules and curriculum guidelines.
Instructor qualifications. Tier 1 instruction is provided by general educators who are "highly qualified" as defined by NCLB 2001 legislation.