School Consultation and Technical Supports Across Tiers
In addition to the individualized assessment and intervention services, CEPS also provides a range of consultation and technical support services to public schools and alternative placements (private and alternative schools and residential settings). These services are provided within the evidence-based special education frameworks of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) (increasingly intensive tiers of interventions) and Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) (linking school, families, communities and other support systems).
MTSS is used as it is an evidence-based framework for approaching sustainable change in school. MTSS allows for school initiatives to be organized around teams that help to coordinate services from the universal global level to more targeted and intensive levels as needed (see diagram below). This ensures that all students receive high quality academic and behavioral supports as standard practice and additional supports are provided as needed. The ISF initiatives build on MTSS by coordinating across different organizations to better meet the needs of children (i.e., collaboration between teacher and parents or between hospital and school professionals)
To learn more about MTSS and ISF, please see MTSS page for details.
Consultation services at CEPS can be individually requested at each individual tier, or services can be requested that target a school-wide project in which all three tiers are systematically and strategically developed.
As an example, schools can request consultation for classroom management (Tier 1 Universal Supports) if there is a class-wide concern or request a functional behavioral assessment (Tier 3 Intensive Supports) if there is a concern with an individual student. Moreover, if there is a school-wide concern, the school may opt to get coaching for the school-wide MTSS services that put in place the three-tiered system through systematic training and program development.
Tier 1: Universal (School-wide and System-wide)
The universal (Tier 1) level consultation services focus on school-wide programs that apply to everyone in the building and serve as the primary level of intervention/prevention. These include the following areas of support:
- School-wide program development for School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) & School Mental Health (SMH) and Response to Intervention (RTI; academics).
- Teaming process, leadership skills, developing program materials, data-based decision-making, behavioral supports program, selecting and implementing evidence-based curriculums, etc.
- School-wide assessments including program evaluations, screenings and other measures (fidelity checks on implementation of school-wide programs).
- Classroom management training for teachers to implement effective classroom strategies, that include:
- Opportunities to respond, praise, classroom layout, responding to misbehavior, de-escalation, etc.
- Cross-system collaborations such as strengthening home-school relationships (family involvement), school to hospital links (i.e., school reentry), school health clinics.
Tier 2: Targeted Programs
Targeted (Tier 2) level consultation is focused on targeted programs for small groups that are not responding to the universal program. The consultation involves supporting school staff in learning and implementing the following:
- Evidence-based interventions for at-risk populations
- Small group intervention, check in/check out, check and connect, breaks are better, group contingencies (i.e., good behavior game).
- Social skills (social-emotional learning) training
- Implementing evidence-based social skills curriculums
- Creating and teaching social skills lessons targeted for specific student populations
- Targeted mental health interventions
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) in the classroom, anger management groups, problem-solving skills training, de-escalation training, positive/strengths based group interventions.
Tier 3: Intensive Individualized Supports
For intensive (Tier 3) consultation, the focus is on individualized interventions for students who are not responding to the Tier 1 or 2 and provide the highest level of intensity for interventions. Consultation at Tier 3 involves both direct services and training/supporting school staff in learning and implementing the following:
- Functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) and behavior support plans (training on Prevent-Teach-Reinforce model)
- Intensive mental health interventions (training for Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in schools, typically delivered by counselors)
- Curriculum-based assessments (CBMS) for academic concerns (reading, writing, spelling, writing, etc.)
- Academic Skills training(study skills, organization interventions, etc.)
- Home-school interventions training, which involves collaboration with the school team and families to implement intensive interventions in the home and school setting simultaneously.