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Elements Comprising the Colorado Literacy Framework:

VIII. Multi-tiered System of Support

All students benefit from literacy instruction provided within a multi-tiered system of support that provides students instruction that is needs-based, intensive and of sufficient duration to accelerate learning.

What and Why?

Implications for Best Practice

Exemplary Practices in Action

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What is RtI and Why is it important?

Response to Intervention (RtI) is a systemic improvement process targeted at all students in a district or school. Although the terminology Response to Intervention has existed for some time in legislation and special education, it has not been a daily focus of schools. This changed with the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2004. In that legislation, special educators were given the authorization to identify specific learning disabilities via RtI rather than through the previously used discrepancy model. Additionally, districts were allowed to use a percentage of their federal special education funding, up to 15%, to intervene early for struggling students. This has led many schools to promote the idea of RtI.

Many students who are currently identified as being learning disabled (LD) have this label because of reading difficulties. For this reason, RtI is often seen as a reading initiative rather than a process that incorporates reading, mathematics, and behavioral supports. Colorado’s Response to Intervention Guidebook defines intervention as “a framework that promotes a well integrated system connecting general, compensatory, gifted, and special education in providing high quality, standards-based instruction and intervention that is matched to students’ academic, social–emotional, and behavioral needs.” CDE’s Response to Intervention unit promotes these core principles:

  • ALL children can learn and achieve high standards as a result of effective teaching.
  • All students must have access to a rigorous, standards-based curriculum and researched-based instruction.
  • Intervening at the earliest indication of need is necessary for student success (P-12).
  • A comprehensive system of tiered interventions is essential for addressing the full range of student needs.
  • Student results improve when ongoing academic and behavioral performance data inform instructional decisions.
  • Collaboration among educators, families and community members is the foundation for effective problem-solving and instructional decision making.
  • On-going and meaningful involvement of families increases student success.
  • All members of the school community must continue to gain knowledge and develop expertise in order to build capacity and sustainability of RtI.
  • Effective leadership at all levels is crucial for the implementation of RtI.

These core principles coincide with the principles outlined by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDE) in their document “Response to intervention: Policy considerations and implementation,” (2006),which is often heralded as a guidebook for the on-site level of RtI. A critical point made in the NASDE’s position statement is that RtI has not been directly researched; more specifically the research on RtI exists within LD research, effective schools research, and scientifically based reading research. The NASDE encourages policymakers and educators to know the implications from this body of research when implementing RtI.

To fully implement RtI takes schools multiple years. Schools generally start with inventorying current practices, providing professional development, and collecting baseline data. To move through the various phases of implementation and push themselves forward, schools often utilize a list of essential components found in the Response to Intervention Guidebook which are:

  • Leadership
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • School Climate and Culture
  • Problem-Solving Process
  • Assessment/Progress Monitoring
  • Family and Community Engagement.

A foundational idea behind the implementation of RtI is a tiered-approach to providing instruction and administering assessments. The idea is that each tier involves increasing levels of intensive instruction. Fuchs & Fuchs (2006, p. 94) define intensive instruction:

Increasing intensity is achieved by (a) using more teacher-centered, systematic, and explicit (e.g., scripted) instruction; (b) conducting it more frequently; (c) adding to its duration; (d) creating smaller and more homogenous student groupings; or (e) relying on instructors with greater expertise.

Although some policymakers advocate for multiple tiers to mimic in-depth levels of special education testing, Colorado advocates for a more basic, comprehensive model that can be utilized in all areas of Colorado schools.

Colorado Multi-Tiered Model of Instruction & Intervention.

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Implications for Best Practice

To fully implement a multi-tiered intervention model such as RtI, school leaders, teachers, and the school community must collaborate to facilitate changes and systems reform. The Colorado Response to Intervention Guidebook, as well as national documents such as the NASDE position statement, use key components of RtI to offer guidance and clear suggestions for making the necessary changes.

  • Leadership
  • Assessment
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • School Climate and Culture
  • Problem-Solving
  • Family and Community Involvement

Leadership It is essential that principals and other administrators take on the role of shared instructional leadership including effective and clear communication, creating teacher and community buy-in, prioritizing instruction over all, and acting as a change agent. Instructional leaders seeking to facilitate RtI implementation must establish a leadership team, create systems for communication, convene data analysis meetings, and provide in-depth, high-quality professional development.

When establishing a collaborative culture, including a high-functioning leadership team, the principal needs to establish a clear mission, a succinct vision, and systematic communication systems including norms, a decision-making process, and efficient agendas. See a sample mission, vision, and systematic communication system.

Sample Mission It is the mission of _______________ District to provide all students the opportunity to achieve their highest potential in a changing society. We believe students, staff, parents, and community members should share a proactive commitment to promote academic excellence, productive citizenship, and development of the whole individual

Sample Vision Bears … Believe in Excellence Achievement Respect and Success!

Sample Meeting Norms

  • We will begin and end on time.
  • We will have an agenda. The agenda will be distributed 24 hours prior to the meeting and will include materials needed and decisions to be made.
  • We are committed to finishing the entire agenda, even if it means setting a new meeting time.
  • We agree to respectfully disagree.
  • We agree to resolve conflict at the lowest level.
  • We will achieve consensus through a five finger survey.
  • Once consensus has been reached; we agree to abide by the group’s decision.

Sample Agenda – In this sample, the basic agenda items are kept the same and then anyone can add to the agenda. Items that do not require discussion, such as upcoming dates, are printed on the agenda before distribution.

ABC SCHOOL Leadership Team Meeting

Date: October 12, 2007

Upcoming Dates: October 18 – 19 - MEA Days – On-site Training or Alternative Hours October 28 – November 2 – GLTM – Bring Data! Nov. 8 – Parent Teacher conferences

Assessment: Theme Skills Tests – Any issues? Progress Monitoring – Any issues?

Observation Feedback and Staff Expectations: If you get a note, please come talk to one of us. It’s a way of offering support and clarifying expectations. Sometimes we ask questions just to start conversations and learn more about your teaching, please don’t take them negatively.

Schedules – Please, stick to your schedule!!

Reading Plan

Core Program: (Tier I) Implementation Evaluation

Universal Access: (Tier II) Implementation Evaluation

Interventions: (Tier III) Implementation Evaluation

Grade Level Concerns: Implementation Evaluation

Celebrations Open House – It was a very successful night. Thanks for all of your efforts. Press Release – Have you all seen the article in the paper? Parent Training – We hosted a parent training for six people. It was a lot of fun. Fall Count Day – 10 of 18 classrooms had perfect attendance. Only 8 K – 6 students were absent!

Motivation/Parental Involvement: Any plans for Parent Teacher Conferences? Book Exchange?

Old/New Business: Overcoming Dyslexia – Let’s talk about what format we want to use for this study group

Assessment

Formative assessment as defined by NASDE refers to the collection of student performance data across time to inform teaching and to allow teachers to alter instruction to improve learning. Formative assessment also can be used to identify individuals in need of additional help and to pinpoint specific learning gaps or deficits . As schools implement RtI, they begin to think in a new way, including looking at assessment from a new perspective. Not only do schools use a variety of formative assessments, but they incorporate a comprehensive system of screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring assessments that inform daily instruction. Cummings and Good (2007, p. 2) indicate, “…in order for formative assessment tools to be effectively used within an RtI framework they must also (a) accurately identify risk early, (b) provide meaningful and important goals, (c) evaluate adequate progress toward those goals, and (d) provide a way to evaluate both the overall system of support as well as the students’ response to that support.”

Collective assessment data collected creates a body of evidence for a particular instructional need. Daily instructional planning should reflect the needs identified through assessment. As instructional plans change in response to student need, continued formative assessment must occur to verify whether the new instruction is effective. Generally, progress monitoring tools that are responsive to instructional changes can be used to gauge the effectiveness of instruction.

Curriculum and Instruction

A key component of RtI is the implementation, with fidelity, of research-based curricula. The curriculum must include scientifically based research and show efficacy. There are many online resources for educators to determine the effectiveness of current programs. Online resources include The Florida Center for Reading Research, What Works Clearinghouse, and Best Evidence Encyclopedia. Once a program has been purchased and staff is receiving ongoing professional development, the RtI leadership evaluates program fidelity. Program fidelity extends beyond “Do it – Follow the Manual” to include effective instruction, classroom management, teacher knowledge, and student engagement. Effective instructional techniques that will address the issues of engagement and intensity and explicit teaching include pacing, monitoring, unison oral response, providing specific and corrective feedback, and teaching to mastery (Carnine, 2006). Through evaluating the fidelity of these areas, schools can verify program fidelity.

Instructional interventions must be in place to ensure that students make appropriate gains in literacy. Adolescent students must improve their reading skills as they continue to encounter text in content area reading. Torgesen et al. (2007. p. 4) states that students who are reading below grade level will:

…require instruction sufficiently powerful to accelerate reading development dramatically so that students make more than one year’s progress during one year of school. Because students who are poor readers in sixth or ninth grade have missed massive amounts of reading practice during the years they have been struggling readers (Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988), they are usually behind their grade-level peers on a broad range of knowledge and skills required for proficient reading (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998). To “close the reading gap” with average readers at their grade level will require instruction that enables them to improve more rapidly than average readers for a sustained period of time. One year’s growth for one year of instruction is not sufficient for these readers: They must make multiple years’ growth for each year of instruction if they are to eventually achieve grade-level standards in reading.

According to Toregesen, et.al (2007, p. 1)

“If what we currently know about literacy instruction for adolescents were more broadly applied in practice, there is little doubt that levels of adolescent literacy would improve. Because of the variety and complexity of issues that affect current levels of reading proficiency among adolescents, significant achievements will be achieved only through a comprehensive effort involving changes in state- and district-level policies, improved assessments, more efficient school organization, more involved and effective leadership, and extensive professional development for all leaders and teachers.”

Toregesen, et. al., next describe six specific areas of growth that are especially relevant to adolescent learners (2007, pp. 6-10). “The six essential areas of growth in knowledge, reading, and thinking skills for grades 4 to 12 are reading fluency, vocabulary knowledge, content knowledge, higher-level reasoning and thinking skills, cognitive strategies specific to reading comprehension, and motivation and engagement.”

  • Reading Fluency “Although absolute reading rates do not increase substantially after about sixth grade (Tindal, Hasbrouck, & Jones, 2005), students must continue to increase the range of words they can recognize at a single glance (sight words) in order to continue to meet grade-level expectations for reading fluency (Torgesen & Hudson, 2006). Normally, students continue to increase their store of sight words as they expand their range of reading after elementary school, but if they don’t maintain relatively high levels of reading practice, they can fall behind.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 6) “The most efficient way for readers to identify an unknown word in text is to analyze its phonological or morphological parts to link them to a known word that is part of their general vocabulary, and to confirm their guess by considering whether the newly identified word makes sense in the context of what they are reading (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 7)
  • Vocabulary Knowledge “Expanding students’ word knowledge (vocabulary) after third grade needs to be supported in two principal ways (Graves, 2000). First, students learn the meanings of many new words by inferring their meaning from how they are used in text and from their knowledge of word parts (morphemes). In fact, there is reasonable evidence that most of the expansion of students’ vocabulary after third grade comes from their exposure to new words during reading (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998).” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 7) “Current research also suggests that explicit and systematic instruction in carefully selected new vocabulary should also be part of efforts to increase adolescent reading proficiency (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986). This is particularly true for struggling readers, who are often substantially behind in vocabulary growth.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 8)
  • Content Knowledge “There is strong evidence that knowledge related to the content of text being read leads to better reading comprehension (Hirsch, 2006; Kintsch, 1998; McNamara & Kintsch, 1996; Wolfe et al., 1998). Students are expected to learn from increasingly technical expository texts during adolescence, and their knowledge base must continue to grow in order to meet the demands of this text. In order to increase students’ depth of understanding and to increase their knowledge base efficiently, texts that students encounter in the higher grades are written using increasingly significant assumptions about what students already know. Thus, students who do not keep pace with the increasing demands content-area texts place on prior knowledge will fall further and further behind in their ability to construct the meaning of the text. As with vocabulary, or word knowledge, students acquire conceptual knowledge and understanding through both broad and deep reading and through explicit instruction from content-area teachers.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 8) “Students who cannot read grade-level text proficiently especially need more powerful instruction from their content-area teachers because they are less able to acquire critical conceptual and factual knowledge from the texts themselves.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 8)
  • Higher Level Reasoning and Thinking skills “Because of the increasing complexity of text students encounter as they move into middle and high school, and also because of the increasingly sophisticated responses they are expected to make to what they read, students must continue to grow in their ability to make inferences, draw conclusions, and engage in critical thinking (Pressley, 2000).” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 8)
  • Cognitive Strategies Specific to Reading Comprehension “Studies of more and less effective readers both during and beyond the initial stages of learning to read have repeatedly shown that proficient readers are much more likely to use a variety of purposeful strategies to enhance their comprehension (National Reading Panel, 2000; Perfetti, Landi, & Oakhill, 2005). These strategies include self-directed activities such as rereading in order to resolve confusion, paraphrasing to enhance memory and understanding, making explicit connections from the text to prior knowledge and to other parts of the text, underlining and note taking, and visualizing relationships and events in the text. Good readers more actively monitor their comprehension as they are reading, and they use their knowledge of comprehension strategies to improve their understanding or to repair it when it breaks down (Pressley, 2000). As text becomes more complicated in middle and high school, and as the demands for learning from text (particularly expository text) increase, students must become more sophisticated in both the range and the flexibility of their reading comprehension strategies in order to maintain or accelerate their level of reading proficiency (Duke & Pearson, 2002). One of the most common suggestions from the research literature on adolescent literacy is that more effective instruction and support in the use of multiple, coordinated reading comprehension strategies is required in order to improve overall levels of literacy in older students (Biancarosa & Snow, 2006).” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 9)
  • Motivation and Engagement “There is strong evidence that motivation and interest in reading decline after the early elementary grades; this is particularly true for students who have struggled during the initial stages of learning to read (Eccles, Wigfield, Harold, & Blumenfeld, 1993; McKenna, Kear, & Ellsworth, 1995). This decline in motivation has two unfortunate consequences, both of which have a direct impact on the growth of reading proficiency in adolescents. The first is that students with low motivation and interest in reading do not read as much as students with stronger motivation (Baker & Wigfield, 1995; Guthrie, Wigfield, Metsala, & Cox, 1999; Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997). Lack of reading practice or experience affects the maintenance of fluency (Torgesen & Hudson, 2006), the growth of vocabulary and content knowledge (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998), and the development of more sophisticated reading strategies (Pressley, 2000).” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 9-10) “The second consequence is that students who are less motivated to read are usually less engaged with their text while they are reading. According to researchers who have studied the concept of engagement extensively, “Engagement in reading refers to interaction with text that is simultaneously motivated and strategic” (Guthrie, Wigfield et al., 2004, p. 403). Students who are strongly motivated to gain understanding from what they are reading are more likely to use a variety of effortful strategies to gain that understanding. In the researchers’ words, “motivated students usually want to understand text content fully and therefore, process information deeply.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 9-10)

“The five areas of instructional focus and improvement we will address are:

  1. increasing the amount of explicit instruction in and support for the use of effective comprehension strategies throughout the school day;
  2. increasing the amount and quality of open, sustained discussion of reading content;
  3. setting and maintaining high standards for the level of text, conversation, questions, and vocabulary that are used in discussions and assignments;
  4. increasing the use of a variety of practices to increase motivation and engagement with reading; and
  5. increasing the use of specific instructional strategies that lead to greater learning of essential content knowledge by all students.

Again, we have not included a recommendation for explicit writing instruction, not because we don’t recognize that improvements in writing are important, and that such improvements will require explicit instruction and support, but rather because this report focuses on reading. When writing is discussed, it is discussed instrumentally.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 16)

Recommendation 1: Provide explicit instruction and supportive practice in the use of effective comprehension strategies throughout the school day. “Looking across experimental studies of the effectiveness of comprehension strategies, we found that several common features seem critical to the success of this type of instruction; these features are also noted in the Report of the National Reading Panel (NICHD, 2000).”

  1. Initial discussions that help students become more aware of their own cognitive processes and learn about strategies they can use to help increase their understanding of what they are reading. Such discussions help establish the purpose of the work the students will be doing to improve their comprehension.
  2. Explicit instruction from the teacher about the particular strategies being learned, with frequent think-aloud demonstrations by the teacher to show how the strategy is used during reading. This instruction includes a discussion of why the strategy can be useful, how to do it, and when it is appropriate to use. Teacher modeling of strategy use is essential.
  3. Extended opportunities for students to practice using the strategies in meaningful literacy activities. Sometimes this practice is structured as small-group activities that encourage student discussion of both the text’s meaning and how they are using the strategy to help them understand; sometimes it involves whole-class discussions. The purpose of this instruction and practice is to gradually transfer responsibility for selecting and using strategies from the teacher to the students.

Researchers have noted a number of important issues in implementing comprehension strategy instruction, including:

  1. Balance. Finding a balance between content and strategy instruction that responds to the needs of all students is important. The ideal strategy is to use instruction as a vehicle for effective content teaching and learning. Klingner et al. (1998) provide at least one demonstration that it is possible to do this.
  2. Involvement. Using small-group interactions effectively to increase the involvement of underachieving students and facilitate active discussion of both content and strategies is critical. Both Klingner et al. (1998) and Guthrie et al. (2004; reviewed on page 50 of this document) have shown how comprehension strategies themselves can provide a structure for small-group text-related discussions that not only increase student involvement but also foster learning of content and strategies. Other examples of this principle appear in work on cooperative learning (Stevens, Slavin, & Farnish, 1991).
  3. Number of strategies. The consensus is that it is useful to teach students more than one comprehension strategy, but it is not clear how many strategies can be effectively taught in any given period of time. The answer will likely vary, depending on teacher skill, student abilities, instructional group size, and the time available for instruction.
  4. Time for professional development. It takes time for teachers to become skilled in providing this type of instruction. One group with substantial experience in training teachers to provide comprehension strategy instruction (Brown, Pressley, Van Meter, & Schuder, 1996) found that it often took several years for teachers to become skilled at teaching students to use multiple comprehension strategies flexibly and adaptively.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 27-28)

Recommendation 2: Increase the amount and quality of open, sustained discussion of reading content. “First, opportunities for extended discussion of text can improve students’ understanding and learning of the specific texts under discussion. Second, opportunities to engage in text-based discussions over time can have a general impact on reading comprehension. Students who have repeated opportunities to explore the meaning of text in discussions with their teachers or peers develop habits of analysis and critical thinking that support improved comprehension when they read text on their own.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 38)

Recommendation 3: Set and maintain high standards for text, conversation, questions, and vocabulary. “Where to start raising standards for adolescent literacy on a large scale seems relatively clear. First, state-level literacy leaders must identify and adopt clear and comprehensive literacy standards, which must be reflected in the state-level accountability measures for literacy outcomes. Second, school-level literacy leaders and teachers must work to understand the meaning of those standards as they apply to classroom instruction and ongoing, formative assessments. If school-level study groups carefully evaluated state assessments (and other assessments as well) for their implicit literacy demands, that would help teachers form a more explicit understanding of the literacy targets or standards at each grade level. Third, classroom teachers must teach in ways that directly support student growth toward the high literacy standards defined by their states, as understood in the analyses described in the second step. All four of the other instructional recommendations contained in this document describe evidence-based instructional techniques that will likely be required to consistently achieve the higher literacy standards we are recommending here.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 47)

Recommendation 4: Increase students’ motivation and engagement with reading. However, Guthrie et al. (2004) suggest that it is likely to be most effective to train teachers to focus on a finite number of methods for increasing student engagement during literacy instruction. In their experience, three to five motivational enhancements, used in concert with one another, provide a consistently powerful effect on engagement for most students.

Although there is no systematic research to determine which motivational elements are most powerful for specific types of students, Guthrie et al. (2004) recommend that teachers first try to 1. build student autonomy by allowing more choices of texts and assignments; 2. create opportunities for students’ social interactions focused on learning and understanding from text; 3. ensure a range of interesting texts are available to students; and 4. focus students on important and interesting learning goals.

“In her observations of effective teachers in the study on high literacy standards described on page 44, Langer (2001) observed that successful middle and high school teachers used a range of practices similar to those outlined here to support their students’ engaged learning. A prominent strategy of successful teachers in her study was arranging the class in ways that promoted discussion among students in small groups. In contrast, less successful classes had much less small-group student interaction.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 54)

Recommendation 5: Teach essential content knowledge so that all students master critical concepts. “That is, when teachers actively guide students in using the routines during class, students learn more of the content they are studying. Further, over time we might expect students to assume more responsibility for using these routines independently in a manner similar to the way that responsibility for executing comprehension strategies is gradually transferred from teachers to students. Thus, what begins as a teacher guided learning strategy can become an information-processing habit in students who actively practice using the strategy in multiple contexts over time.

These content enhancement routines may be particularly attractive to content-area teachers because they are designed to increase learning of essential subject matter content. If they also produce a more generalized impact on reading comprehension when students work independently, they would provide a powerful means for both increasing learning of specific content and improving students’ ability to learn from text.

Although improved content teaching may not be linked directly to improved literacy in the minds of many teachers, there is, as we have seen, compelling evidence that as students improve their knowledge in any specific area, their ability to comprehend text in that area improves. Thus, any recommendations for the long-term improvement of adolescent literacy must highlight the potential impact of more powerful teaching of essential content both within and across grade levels as one important way to help accomplish this goal.” (Toregesen, et.al, 2007, p. 63)

School Climate and Culture Essentially, a positive school climate provides the foundation on which instruction will occur and all students will be engaged in learning. A positive school climate is observed when key elements are solidly in place. These include:

  • Defining and consistently teaching expectations of behavior for students, parents and educators;
  • Students and adults are acknowledged and recognized consistently for appropriate behaviors;
  • Behavioral and instructional errors are monitored, corrected, or re-taught;
  • Teachers are engaged in a collaborative team problem-solving process using data to design instruction and behavior intervention plans;
  • Families are included in a culturally-sensitive, solution-focused approach to support student learning.

Colorado has developed a strong support system to promote positive school climate and culture. Resources are available through the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) website. Key ideas comprising the PBS initiative include:

Problem-Solving Process In some school settings, staff members use a protocol method for addressing students’ instructional needs. The protocol method assumes that all instructional deficits can be addressed using a single intervention program (Hall, 2008). Most RtI advocates promote a less-traditional approach known as the problem-solving model. See a comparison of the Protocol and Problem-Solving Models.

Comparison of the Protocol and Problem-Solving Model

Advantages

Disadvantages

Protocol Model

No time spent in making decisions

May lead to lack of buy-in from teachers because teacher input about individual students is not included.

Staff trained in one intervention curriculum instead of many.

Presumes that the program is the key to student success.

No need for data analysis on student needs if one program (limited need if multiple programs,

Loss of opportunity to teach staff to analyze data from screening and diagnostic data.

Easier to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention because all students receive the same instruction.

Discourages differentiation of delivery to meet individual needs.

Problem-solving Model

Presumes that the teacher’s instruction is the main ingredient for success instead of a program.

Staff must be knowledgeable and well trained.

Key assumption that one size doesn’t fit all students.

Time and processes are needed for staff to analyze data and determine instruction for every student.

Relies heavily on data.

Requires structured data collection and management techniques and staff ability to effectively interpret data.

Use of many alternative approaches enables a more customized approach for each student.

School has to deal with complexity of making decisions using multiple data sources and alternative programs or strategies for instruction.

Groups and instruction are flexible.

Evaluation of specific program effectiveness is more difficult.

From Hall, 2008.

A problem-solving model requires a clear process. Collaboration of all stakeholders, including parents and community members, is a critical aspect of the problem solving process. Establishing roles at problem-solving meetings is one way to establish and facilitate a collaborative atmosphere. The graphic below shows critical steps and team member roles in the problem-solving process.

The Problem Solving Process.

Research-Based PBS Practices

  • Students receive high quality, research-based instruction by qualified staff in their general education setting.
  • School staff conducts universal screening of academics and behavior.
  • Frequent progress monitoring of student performance occurs for all students and is used to pinpoint student specific difficulties.
  • School staff implements specific, research-based interventions to address a student’s difficulties within multiple tiers of increasing intensity.
  • School staff uses progress-monitoring data and decision rules to determine interventions, their effectiveness, and needed modifications, using a problem solving process that includes use of a “standardized” treatment protocol.
  • Systematic assessment of the fidelity or integrity of instruction and interventions are in place.
  • Families are informed about student progress and how decisions are made and are involved in critical decisions.

PBS System Supports

  • Collaboration is supported and team decision making occurs at multiple levels, including a leadership team, a problem solving (intervention) team, and instructional teams.
  • Written documents describe policies and procedures.
  • Resources are allocated to support multiple levels of intervention.
  • Professional development is ongoing and job-embedded.
  • Data management system is in place including problem solving (intervention) teams and instructional teams.

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Exemplary Practices in Action

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