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Tier 3: Individual Intensive Intervention for Academic Needs

What is it?

A small percentage of students who do not make adequate progress with Tier 2 intervention may benefit from Tier 3’s more intensive, individualized intervention. Tier 3 intervention structure and delivery will vary based on a school’s characteristics and student needs. Typically, Tier 3 intervention is delivered by specialized personnel with expertise in designing and providing individualized interventions (e.g., a special education teacher, a reading specialist, etc.). Tier 3  instruction is:

  • Focused on individualized goals, which may or may not be on grade level
  • Guided by progress monitoring data
  • More intense, often with longer or more frequent sessions

Interventions at Tier 3 are provided in addition to strong Tier 1 instruction, generally occur daily for 40-60 minutes, and the duration of the intervention may last semesters or even years depending on student need. Student progress monitoring data should be collected weekly and utilized to increase the intensity of the intervention and/or make decisions about the student’s progress towards academic goals, Tier 1 instruction, and their movement within tiered intervention.

Infographic of MTSS 3 Tiers of Instruction and Intervention with three stacked and overlapping triangles. The third triangle on the top is labeled 3 Intensive and is highlighted. Above the triangle is a text box which reads Tier 3: Intensive - Approximately 1%-5% of all students will need intensive intervention to make progress towards and meet academic expectations. Tier 3 interventions are more explicit, focus on remediation skills, and provided for a longer duration of time (both in overall length of intervention and regularly scheduled minutes of instructional time). The edge of the triangle is labeled Academics and Behavior to emphasize interventions may address academic and/or behavioral needs.