The State Education Department
The University of the State of New York


March 2009

Available in PDF Format for Printing

TO:  District Superintendents
  Superintendents of Schools
  Presidents of Boards of Education
  Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools
  Executive Directors of Approved Private Schools
  New York City Department of Education
  Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education
  Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education Services
  SETRC Professional Development Specialists
  Regional School Support Centers
  Impartial Hearing Officers
  Mediators
  Other State Agencies
FROM:   James P. DeLorenzo  Signature of James P. DeLorenzo
SUBJECT: Response to Intervention Technical Assistance Center (RtI-TAC)

The New York State Education Department, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) announces the award of a five-year contract to establish the New York State (NYS) Response to Intervention Technical Assistance Center (RtI-TAC) to the State University College at Buffalo. 

The RtI -TAC is part of the Department’s strategy to promote and build school district capacity to implement a systemic, response to intervention process.  RtI is a nationally recognized instructional process that begins with appropriate core instruction; early screening and identification of students who are struggling in academic and behavioral areas; and, continuous monitoring on how well these students respond to changes in targeted instruction to address their learning needs. To ensure that underachievement in a student suspected of having a learning disability is not due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading, effective July 1, 2012, all school districts in NYS must have an RtI process in place as part of its process to determine if a student in grades K-4 is a student with a learning disability in the area of reading.  For further information, see the memo Implementation of Response to Intervention Programs at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/RTI.htm.

Many of the activities and services of the RtI-TAC will be available to assist all school districts in NYS as they develop their capacity to implement an RtI program.  The activities of the RtI-TAC include:

In addition to the above, the following activities and services of the RtI-TAC will be available to those school districts identified by VESID through a competitive grant process that are developing and implementing RtI programs:

In the spring of 2009, VESID will be soliciting applications from school districts in NYS to initiate an RtI process in one or more of its school buildings.  Selected applicants must agree to implementation of an RtI process consistent with NYS regulations and current research.  Information on the pilot grant project will be posted on the VESID website when the grant materials are available.

Further information on RtI and the RtI-TAC will be posted on the VESID and EMSC websites. For more information on the project, contact VESID at (518) 486-7462 or mgiugno@mail.nysed.gov. To ensure dissemination to appropriate individuals within a school district, I ask Superintendents to please share this memorandum with individuals such as Building Principals, Directors of Special Education, School Psychologists, Guidance Counselors, Directors of Pupil Personnel and Parent Teacher Associations. 

*Please note:  If you would like to receive notification of our publications via e-mail, register at www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/register.htm.