Tier 2 SW-PBS

A Continuum of Support for All

Even when Tier 1 supports are implemented  with fidelity, some students (typically 15-20%) will still exhibit challenging behavior. Students with low intensity but disruptive challenging behavior may require more intensive, secondary and targeted supports. In addition, students who do not respond to Tier 2 interventions, or who exhibit  more intense behaviors may require Tier 3 Individualized supports. 

It is important to remember that SW-PBS is premised on response to intervention. Students must have had access to Tier 1 interventions implemented with fidelity before the team can determine whether  they may need additional supports. Furthermore, the interventions  used at Tiers 2 and 3 are based on Tier 1 supports. Tier 2 interventions  are targeted intensifications of  Tier 1 supports. For these two reasons, Tier 1 supports must be in place, available to all students, and implemented with fidelity before students can be considered to need Tier 2, secondary or targeted supports.

SW-PBS leadership teams typically use data and data decision rules to identify students who may need additional Tier 2 supports. For many schools use 2-5 office discipline referrals as a decision rule for referral of a student to the Tier  2 team. Schools can also use nominations from teachers, parents, or counselors as a means to identify students in need  of  additional supports. 

Typically, schools select a small number of research based small group, standardized interventions that address the different reasons, or functions, behind the challenging behaviors. A review of  the student’s data helps the Tier 2 team to match the student to the appropriate small group intervention, based on the student’s needs.

Some of the critical features involved in establishing effective Tier 2 interventions are:

  • The interventions should be consistent with the school-wide expectations and should incorporate  similar language.
  • Adequate resources and staff to support the interventions should be dedicated and available before the interventions are begun.
  • The interventions should require low effort on the part of the teacher(s). The intervention(s) recommended should fit well within the classroom or other environments where it is implemented. Interventions that require too much time or too many resources will probably not be implemented consistently and with fidelity. It is important to have the teacher involved when deciding what interventions will be used so it will be workable.
  • A system to refer and identify students should be in place, and procedures for referral and identification should be clear to all staff and families.
  • A system should be in place to maintain data-based and timely monitoring of the intervention to decide if it should be maintained, revised, or restructured, or if the student may require more intensive, individualized Tier 3 supports.

There are many different types of Tier 2 interventions. Some that have been successful across age and grade levels include (a) Check-in/Check-out, (b) Social Skills Clubs, (c) Mentoring, and (d) interest-based clubs (homework, art, chess, sports, and/or music). These interventions provide a means for students to actively practice the skills that are being re-taught and reinforced through the intervention.

Go to Tier 2 Workbook

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