Tier 1 or Universal SW-PBS is the core social skills curriculum to which all students have access across all school settings. The systems and practices put in place at Tier 1 help to ensure that all students have been taught the behavioral expectations, that they have been supported as they learn and become fluent in these behaviors, and that staff respond to social skills errors with teaching strategies rather than punishment.
Research shows that when Tier 1 systems and practices are established and consistently implemented, the majority of students will respond to these supports, reducing the number of students requiring more intensive Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. This reduced number of students requiring these more intensive supports makes providing them much more manageable. Furthermore, access to Tier 1 reduces the possibility that schools will falsely identify students as requiring more intensive supports, including special education. Finally, the systems and practices put in place at Tier 1 provide the foundation for Tier 2 (Secondary) and Tier 3 (Intensive) supports. Therefore, it is critical that schools establish and maintain strong Tier 1 systems and practices.
Eight Essential Components must be in place for schools to be implementing Tier 1 with fidelity. These Eight Essential Components are research based, and include:
- Common philosophy and purpose
- Clarifying expected behavior
- Teaching expected behavior
- Encouraging expected behavior
- Discouraging inappropriate behavior
- Ongoing monitoring
- Effective classroom practice
In addition, we have added resources on Professional Learning, to assist schools in building capacity of staff.