Within a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS), intensive intervention, also known as Tier 3, is designed to support students with the most severe and persistent learning and/or behavior difficulties. This document highlights some common misconceptions about intensive academic and behavior interventions that experts from the Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and NCII have observed in supporting the implementation of intensive intervention within the context of MTSS.
Implementation Guidance and Considerations
Teams are a vital part of an effective multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) across both academics and behavior as well as special education. Making connections across the across the various teams used in MTSS and special education can be challenging. This resource from NCII and the PBIS Center, provides information about how DBI can support IEP implementation and provides a table with key considerations for teams working across the MTSS system.
Data-based individualization (DBI) is a research-based process for individualizing and intensifying interventions through the systematic use of assessment data, validated interventions, and research-based adaptation strategies. The DBI process includes five iterative steps:
NCII presented a strand at Center for Exceptional Children (CEC) 2015 Convention and Expo. The strand, "How Can We Make Intensive Intervention Happen? Considerations for Knowledge Development, Implementation, and Policy," address the range of issues schools and districts encounter as they attempt to implement intensive intervention—knowledge and skills, systems to support and evaluate implementation, and policy context.
The DBI Implementation Rubric and the DBI Implementation Interview are intended to support monitoring of school-level implementation of data-based individualization (DBI). The rubric is based on the structure of the Center on Response to Intervention’s Integrity Rubric and is aligned with the essential components of DBI and the infrastructure that is necessary for successful implementation in Grades K–6. It describes levels of implementation on a 1–5 scale across DBI components. The rubric is accompanied by the DBI Implementation Interview which includes guiding questions that may be used for a self-assessment or structured interview of a school’s DBI leadership team.
NCII presented a Strand at CEC 2014 Convention and Expo focused on intensive intervention. The Strand Using Intensive Intervention to Meet the Academic and Behavior Needs of Struggling Learners provided participants with an overview of how principles of intensive intervention may be applied to students with severe and persistent learning needs across reading, mathematics, and behavior. The Strand included three content-oriented sessions focused on reading, mathematics, and behavior and one panel session covering common implementation issues associated with provision of intensive services
This presentation from the CASE-NASDSE Conference (2016, September) featured directors at the Rhode Island Department of Education, a local district, and personnel from national technical assistance centers (NCII, NCSI, CEEDAR). Lessons learned from a state-local partnership focused on implementing intensive intervention were shared from school, district, state, and national perspectives. Implementation efforts were discussed in the context of the Office of Special Education Programs’ Results-Driven Accountability (RDA) framework. Considerations for other states and districts engaging in implementation efforts under RDA were also highlighted.
There are a variety of terms used interchangeably to define special education: specially-designed instruction, Tier 3 supports, and intensive intervention, but, do they mean the same thing? In this presentation, delivered at the 2017 OSEP Leadership Conference, state leaders of special education, David Sienko from the Rhode Island Department of Education and Glenna Gallo, from the Washington State Board of Education – alongside personnel from the National Center on Intensive Intervention – shared perspectives on how special education is defined to espouse commonalities across terminology and services to support students with disabilities. Presentation
NCII presented a strand at Center for Exceptional Children (CEC) 2016 Convention and Expo. The strand, Intensive Intervention 2.0: Integrating for Intensity, Learning from Implementation, and Refining our Understanding of Evidence, discuss lessons learned from NCII’s support for implementation of intensive intervention within a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework. The strand addresses (a) the integration of academic and behavioral intervention to support students with diverse learning needs; (b) successes and challenges observed by school and district leaders attempting to implement intensive intervention in high-needs schools, and; (c) considerations for understanding standards of evidence and identifying appropriate interventions and strategies across tiers of an MTSS system.
This checklist can be used by intervention providers or planning teams to review, document, and improve implementation of the data-based individualization (DBI) process and monitor whether the student intervention plans were implemented as intended.