Some school districts use a system with four tiers of support. But it’s more common for districts to use three tiers. Here’s a basic outline of how a three-tiered system works.
Tier 1: The whole class. All students in the general education classroom are in this tier. Teachers use instruction that’s proven to work. Students may work in small groups based on their strengths and areas of need. The school monitors all kids’ progress. A student who is struggling may move to Tier 2.
Tier 2: Small group interventions. Students in Tier 2 still attend Tier 1 lessons with the rest of the class. But they get more targeted support through small group lessons. It can also mean special teaching, called interventions. A student who isn’t making progress may stay in Tier 2 or move to Tier 3.
Tier 3: Intensive individualized support. This tier can mean small group work or individual lessons. Most kids in Tier 3 still spend a lot of the day in the general education classroom. But they may spend more time in a resource room than before.