Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Nicholas J. Cutforth, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kathy Green, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher

Fourth Advisor

Frédérique Chevillot


Intervention, Literacy, Reading intervention, Response to intervention


Two purposes guided this concurrent nested mixed methods research. It examined and described the processes followed and experiences had by the administrators, teachers, and specialists involved in designing and implementing a new Response to Intervention (RtI) model at an elementary and examined the effectiveness of the RtI model on raising achievement scores in reading after its first year of implementation.

Qualitative findings revealed two challenges encountered by district level personnel. First, administrators felt pressured to put RtI into effect quickly due to the needs of students in the district and new educational policies mandating immediate changes to long-standing practices. Second, logistical obstacles to implementation arose, including scheduling and credits earned towards graduation of secondary students. While the new RtI model presented difficult challenges, district level administrators felt successful having met the district goals for the year and perceived growth on standardized tests.

This dissertation described the design and implementation of the RtI at Foothill Elementary School. Foothill went above and beyond the goals set by the district by designing and implementing a Standard Treatment Protocol to complement services provided by the Problem Solving Team at the school.

Participants faced two major challenges during the first year of RtI implementation: structural aspects of the RtI model impeded effective communication and the rigid school schedule presented logistical challenges impeding student services provided. However, participants agreed the model was successful, met the needs of students, and credited its success to the strength of the school staff and leadership.

Quantitative analyses examined the growth rates of students receiving intervention versus students in comparison groups. Four regression discontinuity analyses were conducted: (1) growth of first grade students on the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS); (2) growth of second and third grade students on the PALS assessments; (3) growth of third through sixth grade students on the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP); and (4) growth of fourth through sixth grade students on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP).

Results revealed the presence of a statistically significant treatment effect in favor of students in the intervention groups on the spring 2009 Colorado Student Assessment Program only.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Sarah Ellen Littmann


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

263 p.


Curriculum Development