Washington Middle School teachers report success in utilizing three tier intervention model and data from student risk and behavior screeners.
At the Nov. 13 Washington Community School District school board meeting, middle school special education teacher Jesika McLaughlin and vocal music teacher Cailee Wenger presented to the board on the effectiveness of screeners and data provided by the Comprehensive, Integrated Three-Tiered Model of Intervention (Ci3T). The model focuses on academic, behavioral and social development of students and is adjacent to the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. Since adopting the model, middle school principal Curt Mayor said there has been a “direct correlation” with the school’s behavior data and that the school as a whole has had less “major [referrals].”
McLaughlin and Wenger explained the middle school implemented Ci3T in the fall of 2018 and presented how data from the program has allowed for teachers and staff to make adjustments to their intervention tactics. According to the program’s website, the purpose of the model is to help schools create “comprehensive systems-oriented approach to integrate efforts to support the academic, behavioral, and social competencies of all students; promote collaboration and teaming between all school and community stakeholders; and support educators’ efficacy and well-being through data-informed professional learning, clear expectations for staff and students, and supportive, positive environments.”
The system categorizes students into three different tiers (high risk, moderate risk and low risk) that indicate their need for certain interventions. General interventions for low-risk students include behavior specific praise that will reinforce positive behaviors. If a student is at a tier 2, potential interventions may include interviewing the student to understand their triggers or obstacles in the classroom and devising a plan to help address those issues. And intervention plans or changes to plans are followed up with phone calls to a student’s parents. Teachers have received training at professional development sessions on the model and intervention tactics and will begin giving social and emotional lessons to students, which had previously been taught by school counselors.
The first student risk screener taken in the fall of 2018 asked teachers to take into consideration a students internalizing and externalizing factors. The screener was completed by teachers three times within a year.
In fall of 2018, the school’s screener analyzing externalizing factors, which includes lying, cheating, stealing and other outward actions a student is representing in the classroom, showed that 71 percent of students at the middle school were low risk, 18.7 percent were moderate risk and 10.2 percent were high risk.
“The goal is 80, 15, 5 so we were off with our percentages there, they were much higher than we’d like to see but not terrible,” Wenger said.
Screeners taken just a month ago show the school has now hit their goal, with 80.9 percent of students at low risk, 14.3 percent at moderate risk and 4 percent at high risk. Screeners on internal factors also improved in data collected from fall of 2018 and the beginning of the current school year. Whereas 75.4 percent of students were at low risk last year, 85.9 percent of students this year are at low risk.
“In the sixth and seventh grade, we’ve seen a positive change. Eighth-graders harder to get them to buy into a new system, but we always try to stay innovative to keep them interested. Students for the most part are taking it very well and are very excited about it,” Wenger concluded.