As a result of two federal laws, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 and 2006, schools have increased efforts to improve academic growth and achievement for all students. Connecticut's model for improving learning for all students is called Scientific Research-Based Interventions, or SRBI. Through the SRBI process, schools use data to identify students who are performing below grade level expectations in reading, writing and math, as well as students who struggle to meet behavioral expectations in school. Students with identified needs are provided with individualized, intensive interventions to accelerate their learning to meet grade level expectations. Classroom teachers also individualize instruction whenever possible within their classrooms to ensure that all students' learning needs are met.
Through the SRBI process, schools create and implement interventions through "tiers" of increasingly intensive support. Interventions may be provided individually or in small flexible groups and can occur in the general classroom and/or in support programs. As a result of SRBI mandates in the State of Connecticut, students may not be considered for special education until a number of individualized interventions have been tried and monitored for a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks. Parents can request a referral to special education services at any point in this process (for more information please use this link for the 2010 Guidelines for Identifying Children with Learning Disabilities ).
Below are general descriptions of the "tiers" of interventions available to all students:
Tier 1 includes comprehensive/differentiated instruction informed by scientific research of the most effective methods for instruction and positive behavioral support. Common assessments are used at this level a minimum of three times a year. It is expected that approximately 80 to 85 percent of all students are able to meet grade level expectations as a result of instruction at this level.
Tier 2 instruction is provided in addition to tier 1 instruction for students who are not yet meeting grade level expectations. This individual or small group instruction is monitored more frequently (every 1 to 2 weeks) and is more individualized to address student learning gaps. It is expected that up to 10% of all students may require this level of intervention to successfully meet grade level expectations.
Tier 3 instruction is provided for students who have not demonstrated sufficient progress toward meeting grade level expectations with tier 1 and 2 interventions. This most intensive level of instruction is monitored on a daily basis and is highly individualized in very small groups of 1 to 3 students. It is expected that up to 5% of all students may require this level of intervention to successfully meet grade level expectations.
At each school, interventions have been developed to meet the requirements for SBRI. Students are offered these supports based on their performance on Connecticut Mastery Tests, benchmark assessments, progress monitoring results, and teacher recommendations.