Foundations of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support – Practices Matched to Student Need

(upbeat music) – [Instructor] Welcome to the mini-module Foundations of Multi-Tiered
Systems of Support, Practices Matched to Student Need. This mini-module is brought to you by Connecticut’s State Education
Resource Center, or SERC, with funding from the Connecticut School Climate Transformation Grant. The US Department of Education awarded Connecticut the
grant in 2014, and SERC, and the Connecticut State
Department of Education subsequently undertook
a state-wide analysis of multi-tiered systems of support. This analysis attempted to identify strengths of implementation, as well as areas for improvement
that could be targeted through improved training
and technical assistance. This module will provide
foundational information through which schools can
improve implementation. In order to conduct the analysis
of multi-tiered systems, the Connecticut State
Department of Education selected the Tiered Fidelity
Inventory as the instrument. The Tiered Fidelity Inventory, or TFI, was developed as part of the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral
Interventions and Supports. The TFI measures how school personnel are applying the core features
of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports. It is intended to provide
a valid, reliable, and efficient measure over the
three tiers of intervention. During the course of analysis, 175 facilitated sessions were held in schools across Connecticut, where school teams analyzed their process. Several common themes emerged
from the aggregate data from items on the Tiered
Fidelity Inventory. We would like to acknowledge that content and best practices were
gleaned from the tool, as well as resources from, and websites. We also want to acknowledge resources from the Collaborative
for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning at The comprehensive integrated
three-tiered model of prevention at, as well as Kathleen Lane’s text, “Systematic Screenings of
Behavior to Support Instruction”. The goal of this mini-module
is to better understand how to match intervention
practices to meet student needs. Effective implementation
of a multi-tiered system of support relies on school teams matching intervention practices
to identified student needs. This should be a formalized process that the school team
implements consistently. It should be embedded in a
larger system of support, including a formalized system
for requesting assistance available to the teacher,
family, or the student. Matching practices to student need includes three major parts. First, the school team
must understand the needs both of the individual student by completing a root cause analysis, as well as the needs
of the school over time by reviewing the aggregate
data in order to ensure a range of interventions are available. The school team must also have clearly defined interventions that build on the universal foundations
that exist in the school. Interventions should be fully defined, meaning for each intervention there is a clear description
of the anticipated outcomes, skill development, and data associated with the delivery of the intervention. Critically examining the
cultural and contextual fit of an intervention is the third step in ensuring practices are
matched to student need. In this module, we will
be walking through each of these steps using an
example to give school teams a better understanding
of what this process should look like in their school. All behavior serves a function. Behaviorists separate
behavior into two functions. The first function is to
obtain or get something. The second function is to
escape or avoid something. In each instance, a student
may be trying to obtain or avoid such as sensory stimulation, social interactions with peers or adults, or tangible items or activities. We can only know whether behavior
is used to obtain or avoid by examining the history of the behavior. For example, the school-based
team has discovered through their data review
that student B is struggling. So far, they have
determined that student B is wandering around the room and talking out to
access teacher attention. Matching intervention to student need is more effective when multiple
data sources are analyzed before intervention
planning decisions are made. Discipline, attendance, and academic data are the most common sources of
information that will provide insight into the skill
gaps a student may have, keeping in mind that
successful intervention may involve support in more
than one area over time. Thinking back to our example, student B has received five
office discipline referrals for talking out and
wandering around the room within the past month. Student B has also
scored below proficiency on the STAR Math assessment. Additional data analysis revealed that student B could benefit
from an academic intervention to understand place value, and behavioral intervention to address off-task behaviors in the classroom. Commercial screening is an additional tool that may lead to a better understanding of both individual student needs, as well as aggregate needs over time. School teams can use the aggregate data derived from screeners to
ensure there are a range of interventions available
to assist students. This use of clustering data
allows your school team to determine how to most
effectively use personnel to deliver interventions. Individual data for students
can be useful in determining the specific needs and skills that could improve student performance. Please keep in mind that
screeners are not to be used to diagnose or qualify students
for specialized services. Selecting a commercial screening tool should be done deliberately, and with close attention to the data they are designed to gather. In addition, the school team should ensure that the tool is valid and reliable with the population of students
enrolled in the school. A tool that may be helpful
in this process is the book “Systematic Screenings of Behavior “to Support Instruction From
Preschool to High School”. This provides a case example
that teams may want to review to determine which screening tool could be most beneficial to your school. During the deliberations,
school teams may also want to consider what are the
appropriate grade levels for the measure, what types of concerns does the measure detect, who completes it, has the tool been validated
with similar demographics, how much time does the measure take, are there online or
electronic scoring options, is there an intervention component? Understanding student needs is critical to finding the best intervention
to support the student. Maintaining focus on the
skills necessary for success will improve outcomes. Ensuring that we are
determining skill needs and building those skills in intervention is how we will best
support student outcomes. Skill areas to consider
include social skills. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, or CASEL, has grouped social skills into five areas: self-awareness, self-management,
social awareness, relationship skills, and
responsible decision-making. Another set of skills are
executive functioning skills. These have been conceptualized
into 11 skill categories: impulse control, working
memory, emotional control, sustained attention, task initiation, planning or prioritizing,
organization, time management, flexibility, goal-directed
persistence, and self-monitoring. Communication and academic
skills should also be considered. Let’s consider our example again. After an in-depth review of data, student B has been
identified with specific gaps in understanding place value
and properties of operations to add and subtract, an academic skill, and in task initiation, an
executive functioning skill. With respect to the task initiation skill, the team has noticed that student B is dependent on others
to begin activities. School teams should link these
gaps to establish standards so that skill progressions
and expectations can inform the team’s
understanding of the gaps. Please make sure you reference your local or state standard
for additional guidance. Effective interventions
for students who need additional support have
a common set of features. Interventions should always
be connected to Tier 1, or universal practices, so that students are actually getting
more intensive exposure to school-wide messages
about academic performance and behavioral expectations. Explicit instruction and ongoing feedback are essential to the success
of any intervention practice. In order to make improvements, students need to
understand what is expected in a particular setting. Feedback from the
implementers helps students make necessary adjustments
to the steps needed to achieve the desired outcome. As students acquire new skills, it is important that there is a plan to generalize and maintain
those skills beyond the space where they are taught
and initially practiced. Having a clearly defined
intervention assists school teams in matching students to the
appropriate intervention. Here you see an example of a
common Tier 2 intervention, Check In Check Out. Each intervention definition
should include a description for how it meets the critical
features of an intervention. As in the sample,
interventions should have clearly defined entrance
and exit criteria. Entrance criteria are
a series of data points that describe the profile of a student who may benefit from the intervention. These data allow teams to easily determine whether the intervention
is an appropriate one, as it outlines thresholds for enrollment. Exit criteria are the
clearly defined outcomes that determine when the
student should be faded or exited from the intervention. Other critical features
of a defined intervention include data to monitor fidelity of implementation and progress. In student B’s case, we
can recall that the team noticed that student B was often dependent on others to begin a task, therefore the team decided
that Check In Check Out would be an appropriate support
to improve task initiation. This intervention provides a structure that permits student B to
access adult attention. In addition, student
B is receiving support from the math interventionist
in the area of place value to support the academic need. Teams may also want to
complete an intervention grid, like the one pictured here, to see the features of
practices currently in place. By listing the practices in a row across the top of the table, and the common features in
a column on the left side, school-based teams can quickly determine whether a practice is
likely to be effective, and to satisfy the function
of the student’s behavior. Once the grid is completed, the column below each practice
will have a yes in each cell if the corresponding feature
exists within that practice. If the feature does not
exist, the cell is left blank. Careful data analysis is integral to deciding whether a particular practice has the features that will
best support a given student. For example, for a student who wants to avoid peer attention, the team would not select
a social skills club as an intervention for that student. Contextual fit can be determined
only in the environment where the intervention is being used. Implementers, students,
and other stakeholders will determine whether
they have the resources to implement and keep the practice. A practice that was proven
effective in one setting may not be feasible in another if the necessary staff or materials for implementation are not available, or if the intervention has not
worked in similar settings, or with similar demographics. An acceptable intervention
will fit the culture of the setting, and be
appropriate for the age, ability, and values of the student. Lastly, it is important
that the intervention actually works to impact
the targeted behavior. The school-based team
determined that they had the appropriate resources,
including people and time, to implement Check In Check Out. Student B was intentionally
matched with an adult who has a positive
relationship with student B. The team is confident
that their formal process of matching student B
to Check In Check Out and math intervention will address the behavioral and academic
skill gaps identified. The team will continue to
meet on a regular basis to monitor data and student B’s progress. (upbeat music) Thank you for participating
in this mini-module, and working to improve the quality of multi-tiered systems of support.

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