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RtI Literacy

Tier 1 Supports

RtI LiteracyRtI Tier 1 focuses on the core curriculum. In this tier, literacy programs and resources, assessments, literacy block structure, and instructional methods are identified along with student performance goals, best practices, and universal strategies.

The MPS Comprehensive Literacy Plan (CLP) was designed to be a plan of action to increase pre-kindergarten through grade 12 reading and English language arts achievement. The implementation of the CLP will guide the development of consistent quality literacy instruction, assessment, and professional development across the district. Many stakeholders participated in the development of the CLP, including school and cross-division, district-level staff as well as community and university partners.

MPS educators will have ongoing professional development focused on the key components of the plan through district sessions and job-embedded, school-based opportunities. MPS will also provide literacy sessions and supports for families that are aligned, targeted, and focused. In addition, MPS has numerous community connections and partnerships that will provide additional resources.

Screening occurs three times a year for all students: 

Students in grades 2-10 are screened with STAR Reading. STAR Reading assesses a variety of reading skills

Students in K-grade 1 are screened with STAR Early Literacy. STAR Early Literacy assesses a variety of early literacy and numbers and operations skills.

Differentiation is defined as students grouped according to achievement levels for instructional purposes. Differentiation is not a Tier 2 intervention; it is considered a Tier 1 support for all students. 

Tier 2 Interventions

Some students do not respond to Tier 1 supports alone and will be in need of Tier 2 interventions around their literacy growth. Milwaukee Public Schools uses STAR to universally screen all K-grade 10 students three times a year. Students who perform Significantly Below, Well Below, or Below Target on STAR for literacy by grade level are eligible to receive an intervention. Teachers need to analyze their student STAR scores and determine whether the students identified should participate in an intervention.  

RtI Literacy

Students who are determined to be in need of a literacy intervention should enter an intervention as soon as possible. Current interventions for literacy in Tier 2 include Odyssey (K-grade 8) and Achieve3000 Boost (grades 9-12) and can be supplemented with explicit, systematic instruction in the area of concern for literacy. Interventions are skill-specific and matched to meet the needs of each student based on results of continuous progress monitoring. Teachers will send home an intervention notification letter to families of all students identified for an intervention. Schools will also regularly communicate home progress of students.

Tier 3 Interventions

All students must receive Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions prior to being considered for participation in a Tier 3 intervention. Once a student is enrolled in a Tier 2 intervention, data should be reviewed regularly by the teacher. If it is determined a student is not responding to a Tier 2 intervention, the teacher must work with the Building Intervention Team to determine next steps and whether a Tier 3 intervention is appropriate.

If all phases of Tier 2 of the RtI process have been conducted with fidelity, the BIT, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, should consider one of the following next steps:

  1. Intensifying intervention
  2. Lengthening intervention time
  3. Changing physical environment
  4. Different intervention
  5. Different intervention provider
  6. Tier 3 enrollment

All students participating in a Tier 3 intervention must receive a scientific research-based intervention (SRBI) at fidelity and be progress monitored weekly.



Director of the Department of Research, Assessment, and Data:

Dr. Melanie Stewart
Phone: 414-475-8751


Literacy Contacts

Nuntiata Buck
Literacy Curriculum Specialist
Phone:  414-475-8464 

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