Mississippi’s Three Tier Model of Instruction

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Mississippi’s Three Tier Model of Instruction

  • An Overview of the Intervention Policy and Process

The Three-Tier Model

  • A systematic approach for providing student interventions
  • Identifies struggling students before they fall behind
  • Provides struggling students with support throughout the education process


  • Tier I - Quality classroom instruction based on the MS Curriculum Frameworks
    • Intervention is done within the general framework of the classroom
    • Curricula offerings are based upon scientific research principles
    • Focus on improving the core classroom instruction that ALL students receive
    • a variety of grouping formats (e.g., individual, pairs, small groups, and whole group)

Tier II

  • Tier II - Focused Supplemental Instruction
    • Small-group supplemental instruction in addition to the time allotted for core instruction
    • Includes programs, strategies, and procedures designed and employed to supplement, enhance, and support Tier I
    • Typically uses a differentiated instruction model to address small group needs.

Differentiated Instruction

  • Differentiated instruction is:
    • Using assessment data to plan instruction and group students.
    • Teaching targeted small groups (1:3, 1:5).
    • Using flexible grouping (changing group membership based on student progress, interests, and needs).
    • Matching instructional materials to student ability.
    • Tailoring instruction to address student needs.
  • Differentiated Instruction is not:
    • Using only whole class instruction.
    • Using small groups that never change.
    • Using the same reading text with all students.
    • Using the same independent seatwork assignments for the entire class.


  • Focus For students with marked difficulties in reading or reading
  • disabilities and who have not responded adequately to Tier I and
  • Tier II efforts
  • Program Sustained, intensive, scientifically based program(s) emphasizing
  • the critical elements of area for students with difficulties
  • Grouping Homogeneous small group instruction (1:1 - 1:3)
  • Time Minimum of 30-minute sessions per day in small group or 1:1 in addition to core instruction
  • Assessment Progress monitoring 2x weekly or at least weekly on target skills
  • to ensure adequate progress and learning
  • Interventionist Personnel determined by the school (e.g., a classroom teacher, a
  • specialized reading teacher, an external interventionist)
  • Setting Appropriate setting designated by the school

Why a Statewide Intervention Policy is Necessary

  • Significant numbers of students continue to have difficulty mastering skills required to be successful at grade level.
  • Disproportionate numbers of students placed in special education classrooms

Why a Statewide Intervention Policy is Necessary

  • The intervention process continues to be considered a “last resort” for students and a stepping stone for entry into special education INSTEAD OF A PREVENTION MEASURE FOR KEEPING STUDENTS IN THE REGULAR EDUCATION CLASSROOM.

“Rules Out”

  • There are many reasons why students have learning and behavioral difficulties in school other than a disability identified under special education.
  • IDEA has, as part of the law, “ rule outs” such as low socio-economic factors, lack of motivation and a lack of opportunity to learn.

“Rules Outs”

  • These “rule outs” were to be employed as reasons not to identify a child as a child with a disability, however they have not been utilized effectively.

Teacher Support Teams (TST)

  • Referred to as Teacher Support Teams (TST) in the State School Board Policy
  • Known as TST in the Lowndes County School District
  • Teams usually have a minimum of three to a maximum of seven members
  • Large schools may need to have more than one team.


  • Committed to program and willing to accept responsibility of at risk student’s lack of progress in the school.
  • Knowledgeable of teaching strategies and interventions
  • Respected staff members who are approachable by other staff

TST - Alternate Members

  • Behavioral Specialist
  • Other teachers or educational stakeholders
  • Nurse


  • Beliefs
    • All students are unique and capable of learning
    • All students shall experience a level of success commensurate with their abilities
    • Teachers have an important role in the problem solving process and in the development and implementation of interventions
    • Teachers share responsibility for student learning


  • Establish a process that assures that baseline data will be collected in every case
  • That progress is monitored and that the progress monitoring data is used to determine efficacy of intervention
  • Evaluation of intervention is done utilizing a method agreed upon by the team PRIOR to the implementation of the intervention

Teachers should use progress monitoring information to:

  • Determine if students are making adequate progress
  • Identify students as soon as they fall behind
  • Modify instruction early enough to ensure each and every student gains essential skills
  • Monitoring of student progress is an ongoing process

Classroom Data Analysis

  • Teacher Observations
  • Parental Input
  • Evaluations
  • Records
  • Progress Monitoring
    • School-wide data
    • State tests
    • Classroom tests
    • Probes
    • Informal Assessments

Food for Thought

  • To pass high stakes testing, research has shown that students must be in the regular education curriculum from age five (5).
  • He who is apt to teach is acquainted, not only with the common methods for common minds but with peculiar methods for pupils of peculiar dispositions and temperaments; and he is acquainted with the principles of all methods whereby he can vary his plan according to any difference of circumstances. Horace Mann

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