Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Topic 16: Interventions at the Tier levels

The first step in the process is to define the problem, and embedded within this step is noting who is experiencing the problem and what level of support (i.e., Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3) is warranted. Look at the student’s actual or current performance and desired or expected performance. . By looking at the data and where the student is and where they should be the educator will have a clear idea of where to begin and what type of data to collect with what type of strategies.

One important question that schools need to consider is whether a student should receive Tier 1, 2, or 3 services. Tier 3 services are designed to address the needs of students who are experiencing significant problems and/or are unresponsive to Tier 1 and Tier 2 efforts. Clear guidelines for Tier 3 support should be identified by the schools and what type of services will be given at each level. Second, there should be a measurement tool which will evaluate the needs for Tier 3 services without warranting the extra strategies and trials before allowing these type of services.

When a student has been identified as being in need of Tier 3 intervention supports, the next is selecting the appropriate strategies and supports. (., http://www.interventioncentral.com;%20http//www.free-reading.net;%20http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/).

A second option is what is called the SIT team at our school. This is a team approach and stands for the Student Improvement Team. The teachers follow a strict guideline and focus on the strengths of the student and try a variety of strategies before then asking for even more interventions or support by asking for an evaluation of the students needs.

If the information we gather suggests that the reading problem is not a skill problem, but rather a performance (i.e., won’t do) issue, then the intervention should focus on addressing the function (e.g., escape task) of the behavior. Much has been written about linking assessment to intervention through functional behavioral assessment, and when problems are performance issues, interventions can address behavior function in several ways. When a student’s behavior is maintained by escape from a task, for example, the intervention might reduce the student’s motivation to escape the task by making the task less aversive (e.g., adjusting the choice of materials to increase interest), teach the student a more appropriate way to communicate that the task is aversive (requesting a brief break), or allowing escape from the task following performance of the task for a specified time period.

Tier 3 interventions are designed to address significant problems for which students are in need of intensive interventions. As a result, Tier 3 interventions require careful planning. Specifically, an intervention plan should describe the following:

1. What the intervention will look like

2. What materials and/or resources are needed

3. Roles and responsibilities with respect to intervention implementation (i.e., who will be responsible for running the intervention, preparing materials, etc.)

4. The schedule (i.e., how often, for how long, and at what times in the day?) and context (i.e., where, and with whom?)

5. How the intervention and its outcomes will be monitored (i.e., what measures, by whom, and on what schedule?) and analyzed (i.e., compared to what criterion?).

A resource developed by the institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Ed .http://www.whatworks.ed.gov/

Step 3: Did the student’s problem get resolved as a result of the intervention?

Accurate data should be kept on students going through interventions at the Tier levels. At Tier 3 the process is incomplete until educators ask if the student’s problem was resolved as a result of the intervention. The best way to determine whether a student is making progress toward the desired goals in RTI is to collect ongoing data. Intervention does not stop until the student’s problems have been resolved therefore accuracy and validity of data is imperative for the process to continue to work.(for further information, see Olson, Daly, Andersen, Turner, & LeClair, 2007)



Daly, E. J., Chafouleas, S. M., & Skinner, C. H. (2005). Interventions for reading problems: Designing and evaluating effective strategies. New York: Guildford Press.

Daly, E. J., Witt, J. C., Martens, B. K., & Dool, E. J. (1997). A model for conducting a functional analysis of academic performance problems. School Psychology Review, 26, 554–574.

Deno, S. L. (2002). Problem-solving as “best practice.” In A Thomas and J. Grimes (Eds.) Best practices in school psychology IV, Volume 1 (pp. 37-55). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Ervin, R. A., Schaughency, E., Goodman, S. D., McGlinchey, M. T., & Matthews, A. (2006). Moving research and practice agendas to address reading and behavior schoolwide. School Psychology Review, 35, 198–223.

Ervin, R. A., Schaughency, E., Goodman, S. D., McGlinchey, M. T., & Matthews, A. (2007). Moving from a model demonstration project to a statewide initiative in Michigan: Lessons learned from merging research-practice agendas to address reading and behavior. In S. R. Jimerson, M. K. Burns, & A. M. VanDerHeyden (Eds.), The handbook of response to intervention: The science and practice of assessment and intervention (pp. 354–377). New York: Springer.

Ervin, R. A., Schaughency, E., Matthews, A., Goodman, S. D., & McGlinchey, M. T. (2007). Primary and secondary prevention of behavior difficulties: Developing a data-informed problem-solving model to guide decision making at a schoolwide level. Psychology in the Schools, 44, 7–18

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