The U.S. and Tennessee Departments of Education agree that response to intervention strategies (you may have heard this called RTI or tiered learning) may not delay or deny timely initial evaluations to children suspected of having a disability. The department has recently updated the language in its Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²) Framework for schools and all other department guidance to make sure this message is clear. The new language explains that a special education referral for a student suspected of a specific learning disability may begin at any time. If you feel that your child should be evaluated to receive special education services, you should put this request in writing to your school to get that started.
Finally, the department will be making changes to the monitoring tools for the 2021-22 school year to make sure that LEAs do not use RTI² to deny or delay a child’s right to a timely initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability and, therefore, eligible for special education and related services. If you have any questions about this, or if you feel that your child is being denied an evaluation because they’re involved in Tier 3 of RTI, please reach out to us at email@example.com.