Social/Emotional RtI is based on the same model as the academic RtI framework. Social emotional and behavioral needs are measured using a three-tiered approach and interventions are implemented accordingly. Deerfield District 109 utilizes the framework developed by Randy Sprick, Mike Booher, and Paula Rich entitled Foundations: A Proactive and Positive Behavior Support System (3rd ed.)
Individual schools within the district use positive behavior support frameworks as a whole school systematic approach to address social/emotional needs and school climate at the Tier I level. School-wide and classroom-based supports at the Tier 1 level focus on the STOIC Model: Structure, Teach, Observe, Interact Positively and Correct Fluently. An emphasis is placed on explicitly teaching and reinforcing expectations.
Tier I social/emotional learning is also supported in the classrooms with direct instruction utilizing curriculum such as the following: Second Step, Botvin Life Skills, Leader in Me, and middle school health curriculum.
All schools also have a Social/Emotional team. This team will collect and analyze data from multiple sources, help prioritize and revise practices in identified areas, ensure staff has a voice in revision of practices, and monitor implementation of agreed upon practices.
Tier I Interventions
When a student is exhibiting social/emotional needs, all teachers must play an active role in problem-solving to support the student. Problem-solving at the individual level should start simply with interventions that are easy and able to be implemented in general education classrooms. Individualized Tier I intervention plans may include early stage interventions and strategies delivered by the general education teacher. The teacher will collaborate with member of the RtI team to plan for Tier I interventions and methods of collecting baseline data. Data will be collected on the targeted behavior or social/emotional concern for at least 6 weeks before further interventions are considered.
Tier I Early Stage Interventions: District 109 utilizes Early Stage Interventions from Foundations: A Proactive & Positive Behavior Support System for individual students at the Tier I level. When students demonstrate a need beyond the universal supports available for all students, staff will implement interventions such as: planned discussions, goal setting, data collection and debriefing, and increasing positive interactions.
In addition to social/emotional instruction and supports offered for all students at the Tier I level, some students may need additional interventions. These interventions are implemented to build a student’s social-behavioral and/or academic-behavioral repertoire, so that students will become more responsive to universal interventions. The following data may be considered by the RtI team when determining which students meet the criteria for a Tier II social/emotional intervention:
- Number of office referrals: Staff in each building will monitor the number of referrals for both major and minor behavioral incidents
- Frequent nurse visits
- Recurring absences/tardies
- Data based referrals: A student may be recommended for Tier II interventions by the RtI team based on their response to a Tier I intervention
Tier II interventions are provided in addition to core instruction and Tier I interventions. Tier II interventions may take place outside of the general education classroom. Progress monitoring will occur on a weekly basis. At the end of the 6-8 week intervention, the RtI team will meet and review the student’s progress. If a student is making adequate growth, the RtI team will decide whether to adjust or continue with the current plan. Once a student has made sufficient progress in the Tier II intervention, he/she will return to a Tier I intervention. If a student in a Tier II intervention is not making expected progress, Tier III interventions may be recommended.
Check-in systems at the Tier II level focus on increasing the number of daily positive interactions between the student and staff members, as well as providing ongoing consistent feedback on targeted social/emotional goals. The student checks in briefly with a staff member other than his/her classroom teacher(s) each morning. The check in process lasts no more than a few minutes and has two main goals:
- Helping the student prepare for his or her day
- Ensuring that their day begins with a positive interaction with a staff member.
The student will receive a Daily Progress Report (DPR) that is used to track his or her social/emotional goals throughout the school day. The DPR is based on the school-wide behavioral expectations and is individualized for each student. Throughout the day, the student’s teachers will meet briefly with the student to discuss his or her progress towards meeting the social/emotional goals. The teacher and student will work together to score a section of the DPR after each subject area.
The student will check out with a staff member at the end of the day in order to quickly update progress towards meeting the daily goal. Progress updates will be shared with parents/guardians on a weekly basis and the short-term intervention will be re-evaluated at the end of the 6-8 week cycle to determine student response and necessary next steps.
Skill based groups:
Students who are struggling with social/emotional regulation or habits of success due to lack of skills in a particular area may be referred for a short-term skill based group in addition to the Check-in system. These groups meet once a week for a 6 to 8 week cycle. Students will demonstrate proficiency after successfully completing the program and showing improvements in their functioning based on the classroom data around targeted goal area/s. Data will be monitored on a daily progress report and parents will receive weekly progress updates. Skill based groups will focus on topics for which students are commonly referred such as the following:
- Executive Functioning
- Emotional Regulation
- Social Thinking
- Anxiety/Coping Skills
When students demonstrate ongoing social/emotional needs that are interfering with their learning, and they are not responding to interventions at the Tier I and Tier II, Tier III interventions are implemented to support the development of new skills.
The Tier III process begins with a review of existing information by the RtI team to better understand the function of the behavior and/or the social/emotional concern including factors such as the frequency, duration, and intensity. This process includes input from all relevant team members (parents, teachers, social worker/guidance counselor, school psychologist).
After reviewing the existing information, a short-term (6-8 week) individualized intervention plan will be developed and implemented in all applicable settings. The plan will focus on supporting the student by teaching new skills, monitoring the development of the newly learned skills, and providing consistent and ongoing feedback. Data will be collected on a weekly basis in order to determine student response to the intervention. At the end of the short-term intervention, the RtI team will determine next steps based on the student’s individual needs.
A student not making progress in Tier III Intervention and/or struggling in multiple areas may be referred to a problem-solving team. The problem-solving team is made up of a variety of school staff, although not all members attend every meeting. Members include building administrators, school psychologist, a student’s general education teacher(s), RtI specialist, special education teacher, school social worker/guidance counselor, and other special education related service providers as deemed necessary. This team will decide appropriate next steps for improving a student’s outcomes. This decision may include the consideration of an evaluation for special education eligibility. The procedures and rights guaranteed by the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (2004) will govern the evaluation process.