When schools have a solid foundation of Tier 1 SW-PBS systems, data, and practices for all students, planning may begin for Tier 2 systems, data, and practices. Tier 2 provides targeted small group interventions for up to 15% of students who are at-risk for negative social, emotional, and/or behavioral health outcomes.

The purpose and key features of Tier 2 include the use of data to identify students who are at risk for difficulties. Interventions should prevent the development of problems and also decrease the frequency or intensity of problem behaviors, thereby minimizing their impact. Standardized interventions that support student needs are continuously available, and data is used to monitor progress and make decisions.

  1. Tier 2 supports should be organized so they are continuously available – students can begin them at any time in the school year.
  2. Tier 2 supports should be quickly and easily accessible. The initial steps to provide a student with a Tier 2 intervention should begin within 72 hours of identifying a need. In many cases, students can begin participating in the intervention within 2-3 days of identification.
  3. Tier 2 interventions should fit within existing classroom routines and require minimal time commitment from classroom teachers.
  4. The skill sets classroom teachers need to implement a Tier 2 intervention should be easily learned and consistent with quality instruction.
  5. Tier 2 interventions should be aligned with the school’s Tier 1 practices and schoolwide expectations.
  6. All personnel should be aware of the interventions, and staff members with implementation responsibility need to understand their roles in the process.
  7. Tier 2 interventions are typically implemented similarly with most students. However, minor modifications may be made to increase the effectiveness of the intervention for some individuals.
  8. Tier 2 interventions are most effective when they are aligned with the function of the student’s problem behavior. Teams should use easily accessible data to identify the function of behavior before selecting an intervention.

There are many different types of Tier 2 interventions. Some that have been successful across age and grade levels include Check-In, Check-Out, Social Skills Intervention Groups, Check and Connect, and Self-Monitoring. These interventions provide a means for students to actively practice the skills that are being re-taught and reinforced through the intervention.