Building an RTI takes vision, persistence, and good communication skills, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges along the way. Common RTI implementation challenges of setting up and running an RTI program include:

  • Scheduling
  • Personnel
  • Resource issues
  • Introducing change
  • Establishing new protocols
  • Building consensus

Kimberly Honnick, an independent education management professional, explained, “There are definitely some common obstacles and barriers that we encounter implementing RTI—first and foremost what comes to mind is the concept of change. We are challenging existing paradigms; we are asking people to acquire new skills and learn new things. We’re asking people to do things differently than they’ve done before.”

As school systems address the RTI implementation challenges, district-level leaders have a responsibility to establish the basic framework to support an RTI. RTIs by nature are highly collaborative. Without an environment where effective collaboration flourishes, such as within PLCs, RTIs will not be successful. Marc Johnson, superintendent of Sanger Unified School District, says, “Collaboration is not something that just teachers do. For you to shape culture, for you to deepen the experience, you really have to have in place high levels of trust…”

Communication is just the foundation of implementing a successful RTI and overcoming challenges. To learn more, use your PD 360 login and password to access the full video segment. If you do not have a login, you can follow the same link to sign up. To learn more about the School Improvement Network content theme for June, Personalized Learning in the Common Core Standards,visit

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