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.

National Tier 3 Resources

The Center on PBIS has recently published several new guides that mat be useful for implementing Tier 3 supports. There are new guides for Tier 3 District-level Systems, Tier 3 School-level Systems and Tier 3 Student-level systems. In addition, the website has two new FBA Guides: a Tier 3 Brief Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) Guide and a Tier 3 Comprehensive Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) Guide.

Tier 3 Resources from Florida

A shift to a results-driven Tier 3 system will involve substantial systemic change to ensure that outcomes for all students who require intensive, individualized intervention are maximized. While the FBA/BIP is not the only component to an effective Tier 3 system, it is important to consider the FBA/BIP process as the core within a Tier 3 system of supports and assessment. The Prevent-Teach-Reinforce (PTR) model of the FBA/BIP process, is an evidence-based positive behavior support process for developing and implementing individualized functional assessments and behavior intervention plans. PTR targets challenging behaviors that have not been successfully addressed through Tier 1, classroom, and/or Tier 2 behavioral supports and is appropriate for any student experiencing significant behavioral difficulties. A skill development module is available to prepare District Coordinators (DCs) and other district-level personnel to train school-based personnel (e.g., Behavior Analysts, School Psychologists, Social Workers, etc.) as Prevent-Teach-Reinforce (PTR) facilitators across the district. If you would like to learn more, check out our PTR Infographicand DC Readiness Letter. Please contact your FLPBIS Project contact (existing hyperlink in text) for details on how to get started with PTR training or with any other Tier 3 needs or questions.