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Applying whole-child design to a school's tiered system of supports


Phases of Action

The following section will describe in further detail each “phase,” or step, in the tiered support system process. This is intended to emphasize the continuum aspect of a high-quality, integrated support process. These phases begin when educators begin to inclusively examine whether additional supports are needed, beyond proactive, universal Tier 1 practices that support comprehensive student development (e.g., physical and mental health, identity, cognitive, social, emotional, and academic development).

Identification Phase

This phase consists of the time and space educators take to determine, through the process of self-reflection, which students would benefit from additional supports. In this section, you will find:

  • How to ground your school’s process in the science of learning and development
  • A portrait of practice illustrating a whole-child approach
  • Tools to support the identification of student needs and guiding questions to support the process


Referral Phase

School staff and caregivers can make a referral when a student’s needs are not being met through a school’s universal strategies. In this section, you will find:

  • Ways to create a clear, holistic, and equitable referral process
  • A referral form that captures a holistic picture of student development
  • A checklist to guide data collection for Tier 2 and Tier 3 referrals
  • Guiding questions to facilitate reflection throughout this phase


Collaboration Phase

Learn about Turnaround’s collaborative approach to engaging in holistic discussions about students. In this section you will find:

  • Guidance on developing membership and team roles
  • Suggestions on how to prepare, design and conduct productive meetings that facilitate reflection of teacher practice and leverage student context
  • Tools and an example of how to create holistic whole-child aligned student support plans.
  • A portrait of practice illustrating the necessary activities within this phase


Implementation/ Progress Monitoring Phase

In this last phase of Tiered System of Supports, educators will learn how to implement and progress monitor student support plans with fidelity. These steps are crucial in providing an equitable high-quality learning experience for all students. In this section you will find:

  • Guidance on implementing supports and monitoring progress toward the goals outlined in a student support plan
  • Suggestions on how to prepare, design and conduct progress review meetings that facilitate meaningful discussions about student progress
  • A progress monitoring tool and a progress review meeting form, both with completed samples
  • An example and non-example of what implementation and progress monitoring of support plans look like when done using a whole-child approach



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