PBIS offers three tiers of behavioral supports to students. In the first tier, behavioral expectations are set and taught to all students. In the second tier, students needing additional support are offered group level interventions. Students needing significant support for behavioral challenges are provided evidence-based interventions tailored specifically to their needs in the third tier.
Tier 1: Universal Interventions
In PBIS Tier 1, educators can expect to see marked behavioral improvements in about 80% of the student population. To do this, schools first develop a set of behavioral expectations and communicate them to all students and staff. Next, the school develops a system of reinforcement methods and prevention to support the expectations. These practices will set the foundation for the following two tiers.
Tier 2: Supplemental Support
“Tier 2 interventions are specially designed group interventions that target students at-risk of displaying challenging academic and behavior problems. These interventions are designed to be quickly accessed, highly efficient, flexible, and to bring about rapid improvement (Hawken & Horner, 2003). PBIS estimates that 10–15% of students will need Tier 2 interventions to be successful in school. An example of a tier two academic intervention is an additional 30 minutes of small-group reading instruction that is provided to students over and above the amount of reading instruction they receive in general education classrooms. Tier 2 behavior interventions include specially designed small-group counseling interventions provided by school social workers, school psychologists, school counselors, and other behavioral specialists (Crone, Horner, Hawken, 2004).”
Tier 3: Intensive Intervention
Tier 3 focuses on the individual behavior of the remaining 5-10% of students. At this tier, students display higher needs and have been unresponsive to Tier 1 and Tier 2. Educators will learn strategies to help students either meet social and behavioral expectations or to cope with their challenges.
“Tier 3 interventions are provided to students with intensive academic and/or behavior needs. Interventions at this level are individualized and tailored to meet the unique academic and/or behavior needs of students. An example of a tier three academic intervention is an extra 60 minutes of concentrated small-group reading instruction that is provided in addition to the time devoted to reading instruction in general education classrooms. Tier 3 behavior interventions include wraparound planning. Wraparound is a planning process based on student strengths and needs across home, school, and community. Individualized intervention plans are developed and tailored to meet the unique needs of students who exhibit chronic problem behaviors. All three tiers work together to provide a continuum of school-wide instructional and behavioral support (Scott & Eber, 2003).”