Tier 1 Example

Marissa is the lead teacher in a blended Head Start/public pre-kindergarten classroom with 18 children enrolled. The public-school based program in which she works is a licensed program with good overall quality, based on several measures of program quality and the state’s rated license. Marissa’s program is enrolled in a self-study, an initial step in achieving NAEYC accreditation.

Last year, Marissa’s program adopted the Recognition and Response (R&R) system. Prior to implementing R&R, the entire program staff attended a series of planning meetings and participated in intensive professional development that addressed the three components of R&R: (1) universal screening and progress monitoring (recognition); (2) a core curriculum, intentional teaching, and targeted interventions (response); and (3) a process for collaborative problem-solving and decision-making. The professional development consisted of several full-day institutes held before the beginning of the school year, followed by periodic community of practice meetings to support teachers and specialists in initial implementation of R&R in their classrooms and collaborating with parents to make sound decisions for individual children. As part of the planning and professional development related to implementing R&R, Marissa and her colleagues had an opportunity to closely examine the core curriculum, the learning environment, and intentional teaching—critical aspects of program quality at Tier 1 and the foundation of the R&R system. As a way of becoming more intentional in her teaching, Marissa made several adjustments to improve how she planned, organized, and evaluated instruction for all children.

This year, as part of R&R, Marissa administered universal screening during the first two months of school and is planning to administer periodic screening to all children in accordance with the recommended fall, winter, and spring schedule. Marissa’s program has selected the specific screening measures and identified the decision rules to help teachers determine whether children are making adequate progress in key benchmarks of learning.

Marissa has determined that most of the children in her class (~75%) have acquired skills in areas such as vocabulary development, phonological awareness, counting, and number concepts that are important for early learning in language, literacy, and math. These results mean that the quality of the curriculum and intentional teaching are sufficient to meet the needs of most children in her class. However, Marissa has concerns about four children in her class which were confirmed by the class-wide screening results. These four children currently are not receiving special education services. Marissa plans to use the problem-solving process to determine whether these children who did not meet key learning benchmarks might benefit from targeted interventions at Tier 2.

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