School Psychology professor Amy Briesch is a co-principal investigator on a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, designed to evaluate the effectiveness of academic, behavioral, and social supports at the elementary school level.
The five-year study began on July 1, and will include the nation’s first study of the comprehensive integrated three-tiered framework (Ci3T model).
“The talk now in school systems is all about using multi-tiered systems to ensure all students receive the level of support they need,” said Briesch, who has published dozens of scholarly articles and three books on behavioral screening and management. “The challenge is that many schools have struggled to figure out how to implement these systems. Our goal is to provide that guidance.”
The general concept of the three-tiered model is that while the vast majority of students will succeed with evidence-based classroom instruction, about 15 percent will require extra instruction in small groups and an additional 5 percent will need individual attention. The Ci3T model, in particular, stresses that this evidence-based instruction at the elementary level needs to include behavioral and social instruction as well as academics.
“We need to teach behavior the same way we teach academics,” said Briesch. “We don’t expect kids to arrive knowing how to do math, nor should we expect them to arrive knowing how to behave or interact with their peers. This is integrated approach highlights the fact that we need to teach behavior the same way we teach academics if we truly want kids to thrive in schools.”
To ensure the framework is responsive to the needs of educators, the team will conduct surveys, run focus groups, and conduct individual interviews with educators in Kansas, Vermont, and Washington state. That information will then be used to enhance Ci3T training materials for school leadership teams. The project team will then conduct the nation’s first randomized controlled trial of the Ci3T framework to determine both its cost-effectiveness and its impact on student outcomes.