Three Tiers of Supports and Interventions

several students leaning over a book on a desk

The Abington School District is deeply committed to Dr. Martin Luther King’s words, “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” The District believes that effective character education makes schools caring communities, reduces violence, pregnancy, substance abuse, and negative attitudes, improves academic performance and prepares young people to be productive citizens. Abington has taken a proactive approach to ensuring that character education is prevalent throughout all grade levels from elementary school level through high school. For the 2008-09 school year, Abington received a Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Special Education School Based Behavioral Health grant for $45,000 to use for behavioral health services at the high school as well as training and support from PaTTAN for schoolwide positive behavior support. Abington has created a three-Tier school based behavioral health model for its students: ?Tier 1 – communicates clear schoolwide expectations to all students and staff?Tier 2 – uses interventions for at-risk students ?Tier 3 – provides schoolwide behavioral supports Though the affected population is only seven percent of all high schoolers at Abington, the grant supports the activities at the Tier 2 and 3 levels. At the Tier 2 level, the core team consists of the school’s leadership, administrators, guidance counselors and social workers. This team collaboratively reviews ongoing student progress, continues to conduct data analysis, responds to teacher referrals, creates and implements interventions when needed and then recommends psychological evaluation if needed. This targeted intervention hopefully reduces the need for students to require Tier 3 services. The goal is to move students “up” the pyramid from Tier 3 to Tier 1.

Consider Bill’s story:Bill* is a high school student who was having trouble coming to school. Once he arrived at school, he was engaged and working, but his truancy was becoming an impediment to moving on to the next grade with his classmates. Working one-on-one with a Tier 3 counselor, Bill was able to overcome his truancy issues and is now part of the Tier 2 group. He is not only doing well academically, but he is engaged in school activities and ready to move to the next grade with his class. Through the rest of his tenure at Abington, Bill will be monitored to ensure that his improvement continues and school staff are confident that Bill is on the right track.Congratulations to Abington and their school’s comprehensive behavioral health program Success Story!* Bill is not his actual name.Dr. Mark Pellico, Supervisor of Pupil Services, Markpellico@abington.k12.pa.usJoseph Tagliaferro, Coordinator of Student Support Services, Josephtagliaferro@abington.k12.pa.us