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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume I, Issue 1 2012 Both systems contain critical features and specified interventions to be outlined prior to implementation. In the three tier model of support, the base, identified as the universal tier, is geared toward 80% of all students. In this tier, maximizing time for instruction, improving academic and social relationships, and developing a culture of respect are the universal outcomes expected in both systems. Academic systems identify the core curriculum, frequent assessments, evidence- based practices, interventions, and basic academic outcomes in the universal tier. Equally, behavioral systems have similar tenets. The behavioral system sets common rules across settings for all students as well as preventative practices (classroom management), frequent assessments, and evidence-based practices (pro-social skill instruction). In the universal tier, data are collected and informed decisions are made regarding which students need additional intervention and the nature of the support based on function (Bohanon et al, 2009; Burns, & Cooling-Chaffin, 2006; Sprague, 2004; Sugai and Horner, 2007). Students who do not adequately respond to the universal interventions move to the second tier of the RtI model in which they receive targeted small group interventions as part of the general education curriculum. Approximately 15% of students, commonly referred to as ―at-risk,‖ fit into this category. Academically the small groups would focus on increased academic support and strategies in the area of risk, whereas behaviorally an intensive focus on pro-social skills would be needed. Programs providing embedded intervention, self-management, parent collaboration and training, and school-based adult mentors (Barnett et al., 2006; Rimm-Kaufman 2006; Sprague & Walker, 2004) are typically available in the second tier. It is important to note that the interventions in this stage should not be isolated but rather taught in conjunction with one another. The most effective treatment combinations and methods for efficient progress monitoring that integrate academic and behavioral data are needed (Bohanon et al, 2009). Too often educational systems veer toward the punishment model, and lose students at this stage. Sprague and Walker (2004) suggest developing alternatives to out-of school suspension and offering opportunities in community and service learning. Tertiary supports are typically designed for only five percent of students. In this tier intensive academic support, intensive social skills teaching, individual behavior management plans, and multi-agency collaboration are suggested. Supports at this level require daily, focused intervention on the students’ areas of need, in addition to increased data collection and weekly progress monitoring. Though this tier focuses on the fewest number of students, it requires more resources, support staff, and monitoring than implementing effective supports both behaviorally and academically at the lower tiers. Unfortunately, many systems move students from the first to the third tier without effectively implementing supports in the second because of the perception that a holistic approach to academic and behavior systems is labor and time intensive. This leads to over-identification and over-representation of minority or economically disadvantaged students. Current Practices and Future Directions for Integrating These Models The positive impact of holistic programs on academic and behavioral outcomes cannot be denied. School districts across the nation are moving toward programs founded in academic, social, and emotional learning (Elliott, 1993; Rimm-Kaufman, 2006; Sprick, Knight, Reinke, & - 68 -

Profile for Texas Association of School Administrators

JTWSE—Volume 1  

JTWSE—Volume 1  

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