Tier 3

Digging deeper to find what works.

Tier 3 supports continue to build on the lessons and supports provided at Tiers 1 and 2, becoming more individualized and more intensive until teams can identify what is needed for a student to be successful.Tier 3 supports are based on the underlying reasons for a student’s behavior (their FBA) and should include strategies to:

PREVENT problem behavior

TEACH the student an acceptable replacement behavior

REWARD the student’s use of the replacement behavior

MINIMIZE the payoff for problem behavior.


Tier 3 with arrows pointing to top (wraparound), middle (comprehensive) and bottom (brief).

The intensity of Tier 3 supports should match the student’s level of need

Tier 3 supports exist along a continuum. Many students can benefit from a simple (or brief) FBA that identifies unique strategies to help the student achieve success. A smaller percentage of students may require a more comprehensive FBA that includes a more thorough process for data collection, teaming, and problem solving. A much smaller percentage of students may need an intensive FBA and wraparound plan that includes personnel from outside agencies and rigorous problem solving procedures.


The problem with current Tier 3 supports

Even though Tier 3 supports require the greatest amount of educational resources, school teams are frequently at a loss to identify whether those resources are effective. Students with serious problem behaviors are at the greatest risk for school failure, peer rejection, negative interactions with teachers, and exclusion (Coie & Dodge, 1998; Dunlap, Strain et al., 2006 ; Emerson, Kiernan, & Alborz, 2001; Olweus, 1991; Patterson & Fleishman, 1978; USDOE, 2001; Wagner, Cameto, & Newman, 2003). Similarly, students with disabilities are often at a higher risk for corporal punishment, exclusionary discipline, physical restraint, and seclusion (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012; Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, 2016).


A call to action

Schools are being asked to shift their focus from compliance with regulations to achieving positive student outcomes. The Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS) published a blueprint to assist districts with this transition. The FLPBIS Project offers consultation, training, and an advanced database to assist districts with this effort.


Tier 3 Resources

The resources below provide tools and examples for a results-driven Tier 3 system. District-level consultation and training is available through your FLPBIS Project contact.