How to Utilize Tier 1 Intervention Strategies in School

Learn How Tier 1 Intervention Strategies Can Benefit You And Your Students!

Are you a school-based therapist in need of strategies to help you manage your students? Do you hope to become more efficient and effective in order to foster the success of your students in the classroom? PTS can help. First, let’s review what a Tier 1 intervention is and how Tier 1 intervention strategies are implemented to support school-based settings.

Tier 1 Intervention Strategies in School-Based Settings

Whether you are a seasoned school-based therapist or new to the field, learning about or brushing up on Tier 1 intervention strategies can benefit your practice. Tier 1 intervention strategies are important to utilize as a whole classroom model; this model promotes inclusion by encouraging therapists to work with the whole class rather than only a few students.

As the leading provider of education-based therapy solutions, PTS offers the most innovative and effective therapy programming available. We are committed to best practices and long-term solutions; likewise, we aim to evaluate each therapy program individually while using our past professional experience to determine what will work best. Specifically, we have recognized Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies as highly beneficial in creating a cost-effective therapy program while also empowering teachers and students.   

Overview of Tier 1 Intervention Strategies

RTI is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. The RTI process begins with high-quality instruction, screenings, and group intervention in the general education classroom. This is considered a Tier 1 intervention, which also includes:

  1. The involvement of all students during screenings, in order to monitor progress and identify struggling learners.
  2. Preventive and proactive approaches to students’ needs.
  3. A universal and standardized design for screenings, to obtain the most accurate information.

Implementation of Tier 1 Intervention Strategies

The primary goal of Tier 1 intervention strategies is to provide students with a research-based curriculum in order to achieve success in the school environment. Therapy professionals can gain experience using evidence-based practice within the school-based setting by implementing these strategies. Now more than ever, school-based therapists are encouraged to utilize evidence-based practices. This is due to the growing field of research. For example, one study found that a Tier 1 intervention program can improve fine motor and visual motor skills in kindergarten students.

Similarly, professional organizations have resources on each therapist’s role in RTI, namely the American Occupational Therapy Association, American Physical Therapy Association, and American Speech Language Hearing Association. Understanding your role as defined by your professional organization helps you know for sure you are implementing the most accurate and up-to-date strategies in your field.

Tier 1 Strategies to Add to Your Therapy Toolbox

For all therapists, here are some general Tier 1 strategies worth putting into action:

  1. Create a handout for teachers on evidence-based strategies to utilize in the classroom in a particular area of need, such as fine motor skills, self-regulation, etc.
  2. Provide an in-service to teachers on a particular area of need, such as environmental modifications, sensory processing, gross motor skills, social skills, and executive function.
  3. Join a committee at the school to familiarize yourself with issues and causes, such as committees in favor of anti-bullying, obesity prevention, and optimizing playground equipment.
  4. Conduct universal screenings in areas like handwriting, positioning, balance, ball skills, social skills, and fine motor skills.

As you begin this school year, be encouraged to step out of your comfort zone and seek opportunities in order to implement Tier 1 Intervention strategies within your school-based setting.  There are numerous clinical resources on the PTS website that will stir your creativity. Challenge yourself: try out something different this school year and see what happens!  

Then, post your results on Social media with hashtags: #TeamToolsTechnology #TeamPTS so all of your friends, coworkers, colleagues, and the clinical directors at PTS can see the amazing work you are doing in your school!

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