McDowell Institute - Emphasis on Prevention

McDowell Institute - Emphasis on Prevention


Positive Behavior Support The literature and practical experience clearly indicates that prevention and early intervention is essential in addressing the learning needs of children in our schools today.

In large part effective and sustainable preventative approaches require focus on providing an array of structured supports to our teachers in tandem with equipping educators with proactive strategies that can be efficiently put in to daily practice.

Positive Behavior Support employs a three-tiered approach to prevention that is based on meeting the needs of all students by providing additional levels of intervention and support based on how any individual student responds to intervention (Response to Intervention).

Three-Tiered Approach to Prevention

Consistent with practices promoted by the Center on Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (which is a federally funded project through the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs), Response to Intervention in the form of Positive Behavior Support is a three tiered decision-making framework that guides educators in the selection, integration, and implementation of research-based academic and behavioral practices for achieving important academic and social / emotional learning outcomes.

Tier One (Universal Prevention)

All students are exposed to the core elements of prevention through establishment of clear expectations for respectful and supportive behavior which include the active teaching and reinforcement of pro-social behaviors in order to create a healthy learning environment. Typically 80 to 90 percent of students will sufficiently respond to Universal Prevention in most schools.

Tier Two (Targeted Prevention)

Students who do not sufficiently respond to Universal Prevention additionally receive more targeted supports layered on top of Universal Prevention strategies emphasizing further instruction and reinforcement of pro-social skills. Examples of Tier II strategies include mentoring programs, Check-in Check-out Programs, and forms of behavioral contracting. Typically between 5 to 15 percent of students in most schools may require Targeted Prevention.

Tier Three (Individual Intensive Prevention)

Students who do not sufficiently respond to Universal and/or Targeted Prevention approaches receive more resource intensive interventions and supports emphasizing further instruction and reinforcement of pro-social skills coupled with preventative strategies that make necessary alterations within the instructional environment based on the results of functional behavior assessment. Tier III supports typically involve coordination and integration of educational services with supports from other child serving systems in tandem with other community-based resources. Typically between 3-5% of students in most schools may require Individual Intensive Prevention.