Why might we need to consider integrated academic and behavioral interventions, especially for students with more intensive needs and those at the secondary level?

Question: Why might we need to consider integrated academic and behavioral interventions, especially for students with more intensive needs and those at the secondary level? 
 

Answer: When doing intensive interventions at the middle school or secondary level, one of the lessons learned has been: when we find students in an academic intervention, for example a math intervention, who are not responding or not making the growth that we would expect, we hold a DBI meeting (a data-based individualization meeting). And I would say 98 percent of the meetings we have held this year and the year before ended up being a behavioral root cause as to why the student wasn’t making academic progress. And I think that the lesson learned here was, number one, a lot of schools say to me, “We need all the same kids in these interventions. I need Johnny in this behavioral intervention; I also need Johnny in this math intervention; I also need Johnny in this literacy intervention. It’s all the same kids.” Well it seems to me that both from DBI meetings that I have seen as well as the logistical issue, we really have to layer our behavioral strategies in all academic interventions. So it’s like, you have to do more of an MTSS model, where the behavior and academic are combined. And what I find is, when we have these DBI meetings and the teacher says, “Ok Johnny is not making his math goal because he’s not persisting with the hard work, he’s not completing his practice, or he’s not coming to school.” Whatever the issue is, when you create a behavioral strategy, the teachers usually say, “I am going to apply it class-wide. Seems like a good strategy for all these students.” And so what I am learning is, the implementation of academics at the secondary level should have class-wide behavioral and motivational best practices embedded in all that we do.

Developed By: 
National Center on Intensive Intervention