In a three-tiered RTI model, Tier 3 intervention is more intensive, individualized instruction that is delivered through the special education program. Like Tiers 1 and 2, Tier 3 intervention consists of high-quality instruction, frequent progress monitoring, and data-based decision making. It differs from the other tiers in that instruction is delivered by a special education professional in a smaller group setting and for a longer instructional period. In addition, the teacher tailors his or her instruction to a student’s individual needs.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of one student’s experiences with Tier 3 intervention, view the movie below. Notice how school personnel at Rosa Parks Elementary address the issues of family involvement and culture (time: 1:35).
Felipe is a second-grade student at Rosa Parks Elementary. He and his family moved to the United States from Honduras two years ago. Felipe has been struggling with reading and has not responded adequately to Tier 1 or Tier 2 instruction. Some time ago, Felipe’s teacher met with his parents to discuss his progress and instructional needs. Now the teacher schedules another meeting with Felipe’s parents to talk over a possible referral for special education services. During the meeting, the teacher provides a copy of the parents’ rights handbook and other relevant information in Spanish. Felipe’s parents agree to a special education evaluation. Because an earlier English proficiency test indicated that Felipe is not proficient in English, a bilingual assessment specialist administers a battery of tests in Spanish. The IEP team, which includes Felipe’s parents, reviews the results of Felipe’s evaluation and determines that Felipe has a learning disability and therefore qualifies for Tier 3 intervention. Ms. Jacobs, the special education teacher, provides Felipe with intensive, individualized intervention. At its annual review meeting, the IEP team will evaluate Felipe’s progress in order to determine whether he continues to need Tier 3 intervention or whether his current instructional needs could be met by Tier 1 or Tier 2 instruction.
Revisiting Initial Thoughts
Think back to your responses to the Initial Thoughts questions at the beginning of this module. After working through the Perspectives & Resources, do you still agree with those responses? If not, what aspects about them would you change?
How can Tier 3 intervention be conceptualized in the RTI approach?
How can Tier 3 intervention be implemented?
What considerations should schools and districts be aware of when they deliver Tier 3 intervention?
When you are ready, proceed to the Assessment section.