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
Successful implementation of a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) and, specifically, intensive intervention through the data-based individualization (DBI) process, demands the collection and analysis of data. As teams consider data collection, challenges may occur with assessment administration, scoring, and data entry (Taylor, 2009). This resource reviews three data collection and entry challenges and strategies to ensure data about risk status and responsiveness accurately represent student performance and minimize measurement errors.
Support from leaders is essential for effective DBI implementation. This resource illustrates how DBI can help principals and local level administrators leverage existing resources, integrate supports for academics and behavior, define Tier 3, align special education and MTSS, establish effective data meetings, and improve outcomes for students who are at-risk for poor learning outcomes. In addition, the resource shares strategies and resources available to support implementation
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.
Providing more explicit instruction, captured within the comprehensiveness domain of the Taxonomy of Intervention Intensity, is critical within intensive intervention. The Recognizing Effective Special Education Teachers (RESET) project, funded by U.S. Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences (IES) and led by Evelyn Johnson at Boise State University, developed a series of rubrics based on evidence-based practices for students with high incidence disabilities. One set of rubrics focuses on explicit instruction. Based on the main ideas of Explicit Instruction, the Explicit Instruction Rubric was designed for use by supervisors and administrators to reliably evaluate explicit instructional practice, to provide specific, accurate, and actionable feedback to special education teachers about the quality of their explicit instruction, and ultimately, improve the outcomes for students with disabilities.
An effective and efficient data system is essential for successful implementation of a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). However, prior to selecting an appropriate system, schools and districts must identify what its staff and community need and what resources the district or school has to support an MTSS data system. This two-step tool can help teams to consider both what their needs are and to evaluate available tools against those needs. Step 1 can help your team systematically identify and document your MTSS data system needs and current context and step 2 focuses on selecting and evaluating a data system for conducting screening and progress monitoring within a tiered system of support based on the identified needs and context from step 1
The MTSS Fidelity of Implementation Rubric and Summary Sheet are for use by individuals responsible for monitoring the school-level fidelity of MTSS implementation.