There are many trends in education that have come and gone over the years. The reason most trends don’t last long is because they take a single trait factor approach to student intervention. As a result, educators find themselves lamenting the following situations over and over again:

  • “Johnny doesn’t seem interested in learning how to read.”
  • “Tamara never completes her assignments on time.”
  • “José has not shown up for my class in over a week.”

What single approach could be used to salvage these students?

Answer – there is none. There are many reasons and circumstances that have led to these statements. It is far too complex of a problem to be solved by a single approach. Whatever intervention that is decided upon to turn these students around must take a multi-tiered approach in order to have any lasting impact.

A New System of Intervention

I recently attended the National CASE (Council of Administrators of Special Education) Conference in Orlando. At the conference we learned that a whole new intervention system is about to launch. It incorporates RTI (Response to Intervention) with PBS (Positive Behavior Support) to form a new, integrated approach to intervention that includes an academic approach with a behavior approach. It is called MTSS or Multi-Tiered System of Supports. Florida’s MTSS project defines MTSS as:

“An evidence-based model of schooling that uses data-based problem solving to integrate academic and behavioral instruction and intervention. The integrated instruction and intervention is delivered to students in varying intensities (multiple tiers) based on student need.

The Three Tiers of MTSS

Tier 1 – This is what “all” students receive in the form of instruction which includes academic and behavior/social-emotional and student supports.

Tier 2 – This is what “some” students receive in addition to Tier 1 instruction. The purpose of Tier 2 is to improve student performance under Tier 1. Tier 2 is more intense.

Tier 3 – This is what a “few” students receive and is the most intense service level. Tier 3 is administered on small groups or one-on-one. The purpose of Tier 3 services is to help students overcome significant barriers to learning academic and/or social/emotional skills required for school success.

MTSS and The Conover Company

The Conover Company has specialized in researching and developing products that address academic and social/emotional skills for over 30 years. Our Learning Assessment Programs (LAPs) start with an assessment of interests that electronically links to our LAPs. The LAPs are academic skills assessments related to specific occupations. The results of the LAP assessments are competency-based and are correlated to all 50 state standards as well as the new national core standards. This approach demonstrates the connection between academics and interests to help “establish a reason to learn” academic skills.

Our 50+ social/emotional skills assessments and skill intervention tools are evidence-based and tie academic and career goal setting (Personal Responsibility) to social/emotional learning (Success Profiler). Students who possess behavioral issues related to anger can benefit greatly from our anger management, conflict resolution and self-control programs. With over 8.5 million administrations and 120 masters and doctoral-level research dissertations, papers and books, it is truly an evidence-based assessment and skill intervention system addressing social/emotional learning for MTSS.