Browse the glossary below to learn the terms you need to know to successfully implement RTI in your school. This glossary was compiled using the following resources: The RTI Glossary of Terms developed by the IDEA Partnership @ NASDSE, the New Mexico Public Education Department RTI Glossary, and contributions from members of the RTI Action Network Advisory Council.

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Early Intervening Services (EIS)

Early intervening services are the preventive components of No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004.

From NCLB:
An LEA will provide training to enable teachers to teach and address the needs of students with different learning styles, particularly students with disabilities, students with special learning needs (including students who are gifted and talented), and students with limited English proficiency; and to improve student behavior in the classroom and identify early and appropriate interventions to help these students.

From IDEA:
An LEA may use up to 15% of its IDEA Part B funds in any fiscal year, less any funds reduced from its local fiscal effort, to develop and implement coordinated, early intervening services. Coordinated early intervening services may include interagency financing structures (for students in K-12 with a particular emphasis on students in K-3) who have not been identified as needing special education or related services but who need additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in a general education environment. When it has been determined that there is significant disproportionality with respect to the identification of children as children with disabilities, or the placement in particular educational settings of such children, the SEA shall require the LEA to reserve the maximum 15% of IDEA Part B funds to provide comprehensive coordinated early intervening services to serve children in the LEA, particularly children in those groups that were significantly over-identified.

EIS Activities could include:

  • Professional development for teachers and other school staff to deliver scientifically-based academic instruction and behavioral interventions, including scientifically-based literacy instruction, and, where appropriate, instruction on the use of adaptive and instructional software; and
  • Providing educational and behavioral evaluations, services and supports, including scientifically-based literacy instruction.


An individual, who by nature of his or her disability and need requires special education and related services in order to receive an appropriate education.


Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) [original passage in 1965], renamed the "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) Act of 2001; federal statute relative to K-12 public education.

Evidence-Based Practice

Educational practices/instructional strategies supported by relevant scientific research studies.

Explicit Instruction

Systematic instructional approach that includes a set of delivery and design procedures derived from effective schools' research merged with behavior analysis; essential components of well-designed explicit instruction include a) visible delivery features of group instruction with a high level of teacher and student interactions and b) the less observable, instructional design principles and assumptions that make up the content and strategies to be taught.