What considerations do you need to keep in mind when determining if a student should move directly into Tier III supports?

Question: What considerations do you need to keep in mind when determining if a student should move directly into Tier III supports? 

Answer: Not all students need Tier II interventions before being provided with Tier III supports. One of the things to really keep in mind is the issue of time, especially for older students. Because time is such a limited commodity, we need to make certain that we are using every bit of available time in best way possible. And so if the data that we have on students tells us that their instructional needs are so severe that they do indeed need highly intensive instruction, we should be about the business of providing that immediately and not delay to go through a system just because the system is in place. However, if we place students initially in a Tier III intervention, we need to bear in mind that any component of a tiered-system of supports is just that; it is a part of a larger system and so we need to tie what is taking place within Tier III intervention to the student’s life within the general education classroom. So we need to make certain to explicitly teach the generalization of the skills that are taught in the Tier III intervention to ensure that the student has a high probability of applying those skills and strategies in environments that he or she will be in on an ongoing basis. The other consideration is the importance of obviously taking data, not just on the student and his or her response to the intervention, but also on the teacher and the types of instructional behaviors that are being followed and practiced by the teacher. Again, because our time is so limited, we need to make certain that the things we do as a teacher are always high leverage instructional behaviors that can have the largest impact on student outcomes. 

Developed By: 
National Center on Intensive Intervention