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What is RTI2-Behavior?


Response to Instruction and Intervention – Behavior (RTI2-B) is a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) that offers a powerful, evidence-based approach for meeting the behavioral and social needs of students in Tennessee schools.

RTI2-B is a promising framework for prevention and intervention within an integrated, three-tiered approach. Each tier of the framework involves careful reflection on the needs of students, the design of interventions matching those needs, and the collection of data to evaluate progress (individually for students and collectively as a school).

Tier I focuses on the behavioral and social needs of all students across the school environment. Approximately 80 percent of students typically respond to this level of support. Tier I includes establishing school-wide expectations to support a sense of safety and inclusion among students and staff, teaching and modeling those expectations within different settings throughout the school, positively acknowledging students and staff who follow theses expectations, having a formal system for responding to inappropriate behavior, and maintaining a school-wide system where all stakeholders’ opinions are valued.

Tier I is the core social skills curriculum for ALL students. ALL students have access to the core curriculum across all school settings all the time. The systems and practices put in place at Tier 1 comprise a systematic approach that establishes and reinforces clear behavioral expectations. Tier 1 is a team-based system involving the entire school faculty and staff while adopting a common approach to discipline that is proactive, instructional, and outcome based. The instructional approach focuses on systematically teaching social behavior using effective instructional methodology.

The systems and practices put in place at Tier 1 provide the foundation for Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports.  It is critical that schools establish and maintain strong Tier 1 systems and practices in order to sustain the process.

RTI²-Behavior Interventions and Supports framework has been effective in urban, rural, and suburban settings.

Tier II involves delivering more targeted interventions for approximately 10 to 15 percent of students who do not respond to Tier I supports. Tier II interventions are provided in addition to Tier I supports in place for all students in the school. Interventions at Tier II are typically systematic, evidence-based interventions that are delivered to groups of students at a time. For example, Tier II interventions typically include small-group social skills instruction, behavior contracts, self-monitoring plans, and check-in/check-out.
Tier III includes individualized interventions for approximately 3 to 5 percent of students who do not respond to Tier I or Tier II interventions and supports. Tier III interventions involve the implementation of specialized one-on-one systems for students. Examples of Tier III supports include individualized counseling and function-based interventions.

All of these efforts require a shared school-wide commitment to teach and reinforce positive behavior. It also involves adopting an optimistic view that all students can learn appropriate behavior if sufficient and supportive opportunities to learn are provided. When using positive behavior supports in all three tiers (e.g., focusing on teaching students the behaviors we want to see, as opposed to punishing the behaviors we don’t want to see, and developing relationships between students and school staff), schools create a culture where all students and teachers are respected and included in their community. Furthermore, student and staff contributions to the school create a positive and proactive way to acknowledge, engage, and respect all stakeholders.

The purpose of RTI2-B is to empower educators to equip all students with the opportunity to meet high expectations regarding behavior and the support to reach every student. Also, students, families, and educators can work together to develop and contribute to a shared school vision. Tennessee Behavior Supports Project can help schools meet that goal. Within the multi-tiered framework of RTI2-B, each tier increases the intensity of intervention and supports so students can be best supported within their school. You can read the Tennessee Department of Education’s RTI2-B Framework here.