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Experts Reveal a Step-by-Step Process for Supporting Struggling and At-Risk Students

Bloomington, Ind. (September 26, 2017) — Research has found that response to intervention (RTI) is the most effective process for ensuring students receive the time and support needed to learn at high levels. In Taking Action: A Handbook for RTI at Work™, published by Solution Tree, authors Austin Buffum, Mike Mattos and Janet Malone cover every element of what it takes to build a successful RTI at Work™ program in schools.

Taking Action gives educators the tools they need to do the right work,” explained Mattos. “What are the essential actions at each tier? What teams need to be formed? Which staff members or teams should take the lead on specific actions? We address these questions and many more in a clear, sequential manner.”

The book is divided into three parts. Part one focuses on the essential actions necessary to build a Tier 1 core instructional program, part two includes essential teacher team and schoolwide actions for Tier 2 interventions and part three addresses the schoolwide essential actions needed to plan and target Tier 3 interventions for students who need intensive remediation.

For each essential action covered in the book, the authors address the following:

  • Research, evidence and rationale behind the recommended action
  • A step-by-step process to successfully implement the essential element
  • Tools needed to support the implementation process
  • Coaching tips for leadership team members

Additionally, Buffum, Mattos and Malone examine why achievement gaps remain in 21st century education, detail why RTI works best in schools that function as a professional learning community (PLC) and break down how to avoid common implementation missteps.

The authors’ hope is for readers to understand the research, but most importantly, to use their knowledge to take action. “Our profession does not build widgets, nor do we measure our success in profit margins,” stated Buffum, Mattos and Malone in the book’s epilogue. “We deal in futures—the futures of our students. Every day that we get collectively better at doing the right work right, it is measured in the life of a child.”

Anthony Muhammad, a best-selling author and educational consultant, highly recommends the title, stating, “This book cuts to the chase and provides a logical, well-researched step-by-step guide. As a former principal, I wish I had a tool like this to guide me through the process of creating systems to support student learning.”

Taking Action: A Handbook for RTI at Work™ is now available to order at

About the Authors

Austin Buffum, EdD, has 38 years of experience in public schools. His many roles include serving as former senior deputy superintendent of the Capistrano Unified School District in California. Dr. Buffum has delivered presentations and trainings on the RTI at Work™ model in over 500 schools and districts around the world.

Mike Mattos, an internationally recognized author, presenter and practitioner, specializes in uniting teachers, administrators and support staff to transform schools. Mike is a former principal of Marjorie Veeh Elementary School and Pioneer Middle School in California, where he helped create cultures of success, improving learning for all students.

Janet Malone is former director of professional development for the Poway Unified School District in California. With experience as a teacher, principal and central office administrator, Janet connects with audiences on topics ranging from assessment and effective grading to professional learning communities, team building and more.

About Solution Tree

For nearly 20 years, Solution Tree ( has worked to transform education worldwide, empowering educators to raise student achievement. With more than 30,000 educators attending professional learning events and more than 4,260 professional development days in schools each year, Solution Tree helps teachers and administrators confront essential challenges in schools. Solution Tree has a catalog of 515 titles, hundreds of videos and online courses and is the creator of Global PD, an online tool that facilitates the work of professional learning communities. Follow @SolutionTree on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Teaching & Learning