Three Tier Descriptions:
The three-tier model of service delivery is a framework for the delivery of educational and behavioral services in a school setting. This model is often called Response to Intervention (RTI). In Boston Public Schools, the Academic Achievement Framework (AAF) is a version of RTI focused on students’ academic and linguistic learning. The Comprehensive Behavioral Health Model (CBHM) — the Lighthouse — is focused on our students’ social and behavioral learning. The goal of the Lighthouse 3–tier model is to create safe and supportive learning environments in which students may grow and thrive academically, personally, and socially. This includes providing the right amount of services and supports at the right time when a student absolutely needs them.
These models are based on the logic that the majority of students can and will respond positively to evidence-based instruction and preventative measures. Appropriate interventions and the use of data to assess progress help ensure that students that benefit from progressively more intensive services will not need them over the long-term.
Student services are arranged in “tiers”
“Tier 1 Services” or “Universal Interventions”:
- Preventative and proactive in nature
- Delivered to all students across all educational settings.
- May include school wide initiatives such as reward or token systems to encourage positive behavior, school stores, school mottos and cheers, partnerships with families and community partners, and/or or social skills lessons.
- It is expected that around 80% of students (if not more) will respond to these services.
“Tier 2 Services” or “Targeted Group Interventions”:
- For groups of students that do not respond to the first tier of services.
- Designed to meet the needs of these particular groups, with the expectation that the services will be short-term.
- May include social skills groups, anxiety groups, anger management groups, boy/girl issues groups, attention/organization skills groups.
- About 5–10% of the student population needs these services.
“Tier 3 Services” or “Intensive/Individual Interventions”:
- For individual students that have not responded to both Tier 1 and Tier 2 services.
- Based on individual assessment of the student, and tailored to the individual student’s unique needs and strengths.
- May include individual lessons, interventions, or treatment relative to anger, depression, anxiety, etc.
- Only 1–5% of students are expected to require this level of assistance.
This model of service delivery is meant to be fluid. As a student that receives Tier 2 or Tier 3 services shows that s/he no longer needs them, these progressive services are discontinued.
Tilly, W. David (2007). The evolution of school psychology to science-based practice: Problem solving and the Three Tiered Model. Best Practices in School Psychology V.