Future Research

Overview of Response-to-Intervention

In 2004, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act stated that a local education agency may use a process that determines if the child responds to scientific, research-based intervention as a part of the evaluation procedures. Due to these revisions in recent U.S. legislation, as well as a long history of educators calling for changes in how we identify and assist students with learning difficulties, schools are increasingly adopting models of data-based decision-making to better ensure educational success for all children.

Response-to-Intervention (RTI) is the most widely adopted of these models. At its foundation, RTI involves (a) school-wide assessment, (b) systematic use of assessment data to determine which students need additional assistance, and (c) use of evidence-based (i.e., research-based) instructional practices. Combined, the goal of RTI is to improve all students' learning and more efficiently allocate school resources. As described by Burns and Gibbons in a recent book on this topic, "RTI emerged as a viable method for preventing academic failure and reducing the learning disability prevalence rate through universal screening for achievement difficulties, early intervention and prevention programs, and accountability for results through frequent progress monitoring." Although various models of RTI have been proposed, a common conceptualization of RTI is the three-tiered model, with increased intensity of service and assessment at each tier.

HELPS for Parents

HELPS was created as a program that can be easily used within a school that promotes research-based instruction and data-based decision-making.

Although a student with reading difficulties will not always require (or benefit most from) a program to improve that student's reading fluency, reading scholars and national reading achievement data suggest that a large percentage of elementary-aged students will benefit from such targeted instruction. This finding served as a primary purpose for developing the HELPS Program.

Another primary purpose of developing HELPS was to create a program that could be efficiently used within a school that promotes research-based instruction and data-based decision-making (e.g., a school that uses a RTI model). Although research is needed to specifically evaluate the effectiveness of HELPS within a school's functional RTI model, the links on the right-hand side of this page direct interested readers to information about how HELPS can be used within the common three-tiered system of RTI. Teachers should note that HELPS may be integrated at each tier because schools have varying levels of resources. For instance, schools with high levels of resources may be able to include HELPS as part of their Tier 1 instruction. Schools with very low levels of resources (and high student needs) may only have resources to implement HELPS at Tier 3. On average, the majority of schools would likely benefit most from using HELPS as part of their Tier 2 supplemental instruction.

HELPS for Parents

Using HELPS at Tier 1

Schools may be able to implement HELPS as a supplement to students' core reading curriculum.

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HELPS for Spanish Speakers

Using HELPS at Tier 2

HELPS may be best implemented as part of Tier 2 intervention for students who need to improve their reading fluency.

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HELPS for Spanish Speakers

Using HELPS at Tier 3

Preliminary evidence suggests that many Tier 3 students could benefit from HELPS.

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HELPS for Spanish Speakers

Using HELPS with RTI

HELPS has important practical implications for Response to Intervention.

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