Teaming and Data-Based Decision Making

Data Based Decision Making is an integral part of the teaming process.  Teams should use data and decision rules to determine effectiveness of the core program, identify students in need of interventions, and evaluate student progress to determine next steps.  The Problem Solving Process can be used to assist teams in data-based decision-making as it supports teams in analyzing the need, creating solutions, and evaluating outcomes in order to work systematically towards improved student success. 

Data-Based Decision Making

Problem- Solving Process

A problem-solving process can be used at each level of decision-making, core review (school-wide) meetings, intervention review meetings, and individual problem solving.  This process is based on the understanding that there are four components which impact student achievement:  Instruction, Curriculum, Environment, and the Learner (ICEL), and that as schools, we can have the most impact on the first three components.  Instruction is defined as how you teach, curriculum as what you teach, environment as where you teach, and the learner as whom you teach. 

Power Point: Problem-Solving Process Overview

This presentation provides an overview to the Problem Solving Process, which is used in all RTI team meetings (i.e., Core Review Meetings, Intervention Placement Meetings, Intervention Review (Tier 2 & 3) Meetings, and Individual Problem Solving Meetings).


Decision Rules

Central to the data-based decision making process is the use of decision rules.  Decision rules are used to help teams make standardized decisions about student progress in the following areas: 

  • Which students should receive an intervention

  • How frequently to progress monitor students receiving interventions

  • When to review progress monitoring data

  • Whether to continue the intervention, intensify, or exit the student from the intervention

  • When to refer a student for a special education evaluation.

Decision rules are created by the district leadership team and reviewed and refined annually as needed. 

Data-Based Decision Rules Sample

Team Meetings

Core Review Meetings (e.g., Tier I or 100% Meetings) 

Three times a year, following universal screening, grade level teams, along with administrators and support staff, analyze these data to determine the health of core instruction and to identify which students may need interventions.  At these meetings the team also determines the essential priority skills for the grade level and agree on strategies for addressing these skill needs.

Elementary - Reading



  Secondary/Middle School


  • Tier I (100 Percent) Meeting Agenda_Math - coming soon


                                             Intervention Placement Meetings

Following the Core Review Meetings, a team meets to determine which students need intervention supports.  The team uses universal screening data, core program assessments and other data along with decision rules to guide selection of these students.  It’s imperative that the team uses a process to place these students in appropriate interventions, matched to their skill and instructional needs.  These teams are also available to meet as needed.


Intervention Review Meetings (e.g., 20% Meetings) 

Grade level teams along with administrator and support staff meet every 6 to 8 weeks to review progress of students in interventions and determine next steps.  Teams determine whether the group or just a few individuals are making limited progress and plan next steps accordingly.



Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

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Individual Problem Solving Meetings

After a student has not made adequate progress in two group interventions, an individual problem-solving meeting is held to analyze data and select an individually designed intervention for that student.

Some children do not progress as expected, even though they have participated in high-quality curriculum and received small and large group support. These children may need intensive, individualized approaches.  District decision rules indicate when the Individual Problem Solving Team should collect data, review hypotheses, and determine the final, individualized intervention prior to referring the student for a special education evaluation.

Parental input is an important part of this process.  Parent/Guardians should be notified of the meeting date and time.  Their input as well as a developmental history should be obtained prior to the meeting.  Districts that use RTI as a method of determining Special Education Eligibility should also provide parents with an RTI brochure at this time.  This document explains the RTI process and informs parents that if their child continues to make limited progress despite several interventions they may be asked to sign consent for a special education evaluation to determine whether their child has a learning disability.

The following information is needed to make a decision about the individualized intervention:

  • Thorough File Review

  • The Individual Problem Solving Form,

  • Developmental history through an interview with the student’s parents

  • Progress-monitoring data

  • Student Intervention Profile

Once the data is collected, the Individual Problem Solving Team meets to determine the most likely reason the student is not making progress and to develop an intervention plan that is calculated to increase the student’s rate of progress.


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District Level Data Review

District Leadership Teams should meet three times a year to review and interpret district level data to build an action plan to improve student outcomes. The purpose of the District Level Data Review is to:

  • Identify priority grade levels across the district

  • Identify instructional priorities across the district

  • Develop plan to support the needs

  • Determine resources available to support needs


District Level Data Review (Elementary) - Power Point Presentation

District Level Data Review Guiding Questions and Agenda