Systematic Screening
Approaches for Students in
Tier 2/3 Interventions
Lori Lynass, Ed.D.,
University of Washington
Tricia Robles M. Ed.
Highline School District, WA
Hill Walker, U of O
Doug Cheney, U of WA
Kathleen Lane, Vanderbilt
Bridget Walker - Seattle U
Wendy Iwaszuk - Seattle U
5 Minutes
Turn and Talk
• How do we determine what students
need services at Tiers 2 & 3?
• How do we determine the “level of risk”
in a school?
In academics, universal screening
instruments are widely recognized as
adequate measures to identify students
at-risk for developing further problems
(Ardoin et al., 2004; Elliott, Huai, &
Roach, 2007).
However, agreement is lacking about the
best screening practices to identify
behaviorally and emotionally at-risk
How most schools determine
student need for services
• Only 2% of schools screen all children
for mental heath reasons (Romer &
McIntosh, 2005)
• Office discipline referrals &
Teacher/Staff referrals are commonly
Screening for “At-risk” Students
Office Discipline Referrals
• Implemented widely in SWPBS where 2-5 ODR
is considered threshold for at-risk (Horner et al.,
• Issues with Consistent Use of ODR
• May miss a number of students
– One study found that 35% of students who
qualified as at risk on SSBD did not have
multiple ODRs (Walker, Cheney, Stage, &
Blum, 2005)
Washington Schools: Study 1
Walker, Cheney, Stage, & Blum (2005)
• 3 Elem. Schools, 80/80 SET, 1999-2003
• 124 students (70 Ext./54 Int.) Ext. > 1 s.d. on
Social Skills and Prob Behs./ Not Int.
• Screening & ODR > ODR
• Screening+ODR increases # of at-risk students
• Screening and use of school supports
maintains students at SST level (Gate 2 Tier 2),
and fewer FBA/BSP or referred to Special Ed
(Gate 3, Tier 3)
Why Universal Screening
benefits schools
• Establishes a schools risk level and allows for
monitoring of responsiveness through shifts in this
risk level (Lane, Kalberg, Bruhn, Mahoney &
Driscoll, 2008)
• Informs the use of Tier 2 & 3 interventions - where
to target limited funds
• Preventative supports reduce the need for more
intensive supports later (Cheney & Stage, in
press; Walker, Cheney, Stage, & Blum, 2005)
• Monitor overall effectiveness of the three-tiered
Why Universal Screening
benefits students.
• Promotes early intervention in place of “wait to fail”
(Glover & Albers, 2007);
– Of the 20% of school-aged children who
experience mental health difficulties, only 30%
receive services (US Public Health Service, 2000).
– 65% of students identified for EBD are 12 years or
older (US Dept of Ed, 2001)
• A reduction in over-representation of children of color
– African American students are twice as likely to be
identified as EBD than White students (Alliance for
Excellence Education, 2009)
• Addresses the issue of under-identifying girls and
students with internalizing issues (Hosp & Reschly,
How Screening relates to
• Academic success inextricably linked to
social/behavioral skills
– Five predictor variables concerning student
skills or behaviors related to success in
– (a) prior achievement,
– (b) interpersonal skills,
– (c) study skills,
– (d) motivation, and
– (e) engagement (DiPerna and Elliott,1999, 2000)
Choosing A
Universal Screener
Choose a Screener that:
1. Is appropriate for its intended use and
that is contextually and developmentally
appropriate and sensitive to issue of
2. Has Technical Adequacy
3. Useable - efficient, feasible, easy to
- Calderella,Young, Richardson & Young, 2008
Systematic Screening for Behavior
Disorders (SSBD; Walker & Severson, 1992)
• Originally normed K-6, recently normed for middle and
Jr High (Calderella,Young, Richardson & Young,
• Multiple gating procedures following mental health &
PBS model
• Externalizing and Internalizing dimensions
• Evidence of efficiency, effectiveness, & cost benefits
• Exemplary, evidence-based practice
• US Office of Special Education, Council for Children with
Behavior Disorders, National Diffusion Network
SSBD: Sample Questions
• Critical Events (Behavioral Earthquakes):
– Sets Fires,
– Vomits after eating,
– Exhibits painful shyness
• Maladaptive Behavior
– Requires punishment before s/he will terminate behavior.
– Child tests teacher imposed limits.
• Adaptive Behavior
– Is considerate of the feelings of others.
– Is socially perceptive.
Multiple Gating Procedure (Severson et al. 2007)
Gate 1
Gate 2
Gate 3
Teachers Rank
Order 3 Ext. & 3
Int. Students
Pass Gate 1
Teachers Rate Top 3
Students on Critical
Events, Adaptive &
Maladaptive Scales
Pass Gate 2
Classroom &
Tier 3 Intervention or Special Ed. Referral
Tier 2,3
SSBD Differentiates Grads , Nongrads, Comparisons
SSBD Critical
5.9 (2.8)
5.4 (3.0)
5.2 (2.8)
31.2 (10.5) a
37.2 (5.7) b
32.2 (7.8) a
32.3 (8.0) a
28.0 (4.8) b
30.6 (6.8) a
SSBD Adaptive
Student Risk Screening Scale
(Drummond, 1994)
• Originally normed at elementary level, recently normed at
middle and high school (Lane, Kalberg, Parks, & Carter, 2008)
– Classroom teacher evaluates and assigns a frequency-based,
Likert rating to each student in the class in relation to seven
behavioral criteria
– Score indicates the level of risk (low, medium, high)
• Scores predict both negative academic and
behavioral outcomes
• Effective, Efficient and Free
Student Risk Screening Scale
(Drummond, 1994)
behavior problems,
peer rejections,
low achievement,
negative attitude,
– Rated on a 4-point Likert scale (never, seldom,
sometimes, frequently)
Student Internalizing Behavior
Screener (SIBS, Cook 2008)
Nervous or Fearful
Bullied by Peers
Spends Time Alone
Clings to Adults
Seems Sad or Unhappy
Complains About Being Sick or Hurt
– Rated on a 4-point Likert scale (never, seldom,
sometimes, frequently)
BASC- Behavior and Emotional Screening
Scale (BESS, Pearson Publications)
• Based on BASC by Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2002
• Universal screener with norms for preschool & K12,
• Includes teacher, parent, and self-rating forms
grades 3-12. 3-5 minutes per form. Completed on
all students in class
• Hand scored and scannable forms, ASSIST
software available
• Provides comprehensive summary of student
scores and teacher ratings across the school
Brief Academic Competence
Evaluation Scales System
(BACESS; Elliott, Huai, Roach, 2007)
• Intended to be a universal screener (cover both
academic and academic “enabling” behaviors)
– Phase 1: Criterion referenced Academic Screening used on ALL
– Phase 2: 10 items five academic and five academic enabling
behaviors rating of students who passed through phase 1 (from
– Phase 3: Teachers complete the entire ACES measure for
students with specific cut score (less than 26)
• Academic Competency Evaluation Scale (ACES; DiPerna
and Elliott,1999, 2000) is normed K-12, with teacher forms
and student forms for grades 3-12. - Pearson
Screening into
RTI/PBS Initiatives
How is it done?
 2009 Bridget Walker, Ph.D.
Sample List of Students Identified Through
Schoolwide Screening
How could this
information help
you determine
where your
limited support
should focus?
K dg A
Sa m Spade
K dg B
F reder ico
L atica
C har les
Br ow n
G rade 1 A
L ina Ru is
C har Be yer
Ra na W il cox
Re nn y
L inqu ist
G rade 1 B
Jack J onson
G rade 2 A
K im
S ignore lli
M ike
Ma jewsk i
G rade 2 B
L in W u
M onico L eon
G rade 3 A
H oward
Musc ott
D oug C heney
G rade 3 B
P egg y Hu nt
Pa t
Harr ingto n
G rade 4 B
T im L ear y
Pepper mi nt
Pa tt y
G rade 5 A
Sc ott S tage
G rade 5 B
K elli Ja ne
Pau la
Sea bright
G rade 6 A
A lex Tapps
S hin Ji
L aure n
An ders on
Da ve Dr obek
Jer om e
Garc ia
G rade 6 B
R ober t W eir
C hris
N orm an
K ate Da vis
De nn is C hipp
Ra shan
L incoln
Na m es li sted in bl u e are st u de nts w ho have passed Gat e 2 of SS B D.
Na m es li sted in red are st u de nts w h o have bee n ide ntifi ed w ith
acade m ic iss ues
Na m es in gree n are st ude n ts w ho h ave be en i de ntifi ed by bot h
acade m ic scree ning & SS B D.
T h e S u pp o rt tea m is m eet ing to deter mi ne approp ri ate su pports fo r
eac h gro up
Bridget Walker, Ph.D.
Su pp ort ing Do ug C he n ey, A N e w Ki n de r ga r tner in Y o ur Sc ho ol
Soc io - Em ot io n al Scre e ni ng P r oc e ss
Ac a d e mic Sc r een ing P r oc e ss
Curri c ul u m B a sed Measur e s
Passe s Gate
ident ifies fo r screen ing as
externa li zer
Schoo lw ide screen ing ind icates lo w leve ls o f
lette r ident ificat io n and prob le m s w ith
phonem ic a wareness
2 w ith c oncerns in p r os o cia l an d
prob le m behav iors
Teacher observ
e s sim il a r co n cern s in
c las s w ork
2 O ffice d isc ip li ne referra ls fo r f ight ing
Student Support Te
a m meet s w ith teacher, rev ie ws screen ing data, t eacher
d iscu s ses a dd itiona l r is k fac t ors af fect ing f a m il y
Referred for sec
Meets w ith sc h oo l cou n se lor once week
o ndary
C heck , C onnect , an d Exp ec t p r og r am da il y
Fam ily Su p por t Coord ina t or c onnects w
fam ily
Progres s is m on itore d b y teacher,
feedba c k a n d
in terventi o ns
Meets tw
ice week ly w ith read in g s pec ia li st
Supp lementa l instr u ct ion in areas of concer
da il y
Read s da ily w ith vo lunteer
peer tutor
CC E C oach , an d b y Student
or o lder
Su p p o rt Team
Factors Related to Screening
• Teachers are reliable evaluators/judges of student
academic & behavioral performance when given a clear,
overt structure to facilitate the decision making (Elliott ,
Huai , Roach, 2007)
• Screening occurs across all students in the areas of
health, academic, and social-emotional functioning.
• Schools need to be ready to move away from reactive
systems of responding only to long standing need
(Severson, Walker, Hope-Doolittle, Kratchowill &
Gresham, 2007)
• Most effective when in the context of a comprehensive
RTI/PBS initiative
Issues with Implementation 1: Staff
Training and Implementation
• For effective screening to occur leadership
teams must consider:
– Procedural considerations in implementation of the
process of screening (implemented consistently and
with fidelity to the instructions and process)
– General training in behavioral and mental health
issues that improves teachers’ understanding of the
purpose and content of the screening process,
provided prior to implementation (e.g. internalizing vs.
externalizing behaviors) as well as potential concerns
and misconceptions
(Severson, Walker, Hope-Doolittle, Kratchowill &
Gresham, 2007)
Issues with Implementation 2:
Informed Consent, Student Privacy
• Determine threshold for specific informed consent in
your district/community
– Minimum includes; parents clearly informed as part of
schoolwide academic/social screening, use of passive
consent process for screening, outline confidentiality
policy and follow up procedures for students who are
identified as at-risk, no interventions at that level without
informed parental consent
• Establish procedure to protect student privacy
throughout the process
• Review confidentiality guidelines and follow up
procedures with staff
Universal Screening in
Practice: Highline School
District, Washington
If you screen them,
they will come.
Highline Public Schools
Who & Where Are We?
• Just South of Seattle in Washington State
• 17,605 students strong
• 10,563 students eligible for free & reducedmeals or 65%%
• 2,305 students qualify for special education
• 78 languages spoken
• 3,679 English Language Learners
HPS Report
Card 2010
Highline Ethnic Diversity
2.3% American Indian/Alaskan Native
16.8% Asian
5% Pacific Islander
14% Black
30% Hispanic
31.1% White
Fall 2010
Our Schools
• 18 K-6 Elementary Schools
• 4 Middle Schools Grades 7 & 8
• 10 High Schools
• 1 Skills Center
• 1 Early Childhood Center
Our PBIS Story
• 1997-1999 WA Task Force on Behavioral Disabilities
• 1998 US Office of Special Education & OSPI Fund BEACONS
Demonstration Project to reduce referrals to EBD via PBIS
• 1998-2002 4 schools in 4 districts serve as WA demonstration sites
Seahurst Elementary was Highline’s 1st PBIS School
• 2003-06 OSPI, OSEP, & WEA Outreach BEACONs Project
– Six districts, 28 schools join network
– Five Highline Elementary Schools
• 2004-05 WA State CIP/SIG Project w/ 15 Schools in 6 districts
• 2004-08 – OSEP funded CC&E Project 3 Districts 18 Schools
Check, Connect, and Expect - 6 Highline Schools
PBIS Schools in Highline
*08-09 FTE for District Coordinator Identified
*District Leadership Team Established
*3 Year Plan for Sustainability
BEACONS & Check, Connect, & Expect Federal Research
Projects Implement PBIS
School Year
Where are they now?
2010-2011 PBIS in Highline
• District PBIS Coordinator
• District PBIS Team – Representative
• Establishing PBIS Coaches Cadre
• Monthly Meetings
• 25 PBIS Schools – Tier 1 School-wide
• 12 Schools – Tier 2 Screening & CC&E
• 7 Schools – Tier 3 Systems Established
• Capturing PBIS Baseline in 8 more
Why has screening been such
an important part of PBIS in
We know we have students exhibiting
problem behavior?
486 incidents of violence/gang/weapons in 4 middle school
13 elementarys processed 6284 Major Office Discipline Referrals =
1,571 hours or 262 days of instructional time lost - fighting,
aggression, bullying, non-compliance, etc
1713 Major incidents of defiance/disobediance/disruptive conduct
were reported in 4 middle schools
4 middle schools processed 3827 Major ODRs = 957 hours or 159
days of instructional and leadership time lost
Elementary and Middle School ODR data in O7-08 School Year
Prevention Logic for All
(Walker et al., 1996)
• Decrease development of new problem
• Prevent worsening of existing problem behaviors
• Redesign learning/teaching environments to
eliminate triggers & maintainers of problem
• Teach, monitor, & acknowledge prosocial
RtI Application Examples
General educator, special educator,
reading specialist, Title I, school
psychologist, etc.
General educator, special educator,
behavior specialist, Title I, school
psychologist, etc.
Curriculum based measurement
SSBD, record review, gating
Curriculum based measurement
ODR, suspensions, behavior incidents,
precision teaching
5-specific reading skills: phonemic
awareness, phonics, fluency,
vocabulary, comprehension
Direct social skills instruction, positive
reinforcement, token economy, active
supervision, behavioral contracting, group
contingency management, function-based
support, self-management
Core, strategic, intensive
Primary, secondary, tertiary tiers
 2009 Bridget Walker, Ph.D.
How Did We Screen?
• Conduct SSBD Screening at October staff
• Counselors & psychologists help define
externalizers & internalizers & lead process
• Teachers identify & rank students in order of
• Teachers complete the screening protocol on
top 3 internalizers & 3 externalizers
• Bldg. PBS Team scores screening, compares
screening to previous years ODRs &
identifies targeted group and individuals for
intensive supports
What tools did we use?
• SWIS ODRs - Office Discipline
Referrals Web-based System
( )
• SSBD - Systematic Screening for
Behavior Disorders
• 08-09 compared the SRSS -Student
Risk Screening Scale & SSBD in 4 HSD
• Teacher Nomination
Year 1 of PBIS & CC&E
Students with 0
or 1 Referrals
Students with 25 Referrals
Students with
6+ Referrals
Students with
9+ Referrals
77.87 %
83.95 %
90.71 %
14.86 %
11.82 %
7.94 %
7.26 %
4.22 %
1.35 %
4.22 %
1.86 %
0.34 %
Who was identified for Check,
Connect, and Expect?
• 488 students in 4 years were identified & given
permission for CC&E
• 15 schools screen and use screening for targeted
group interventions
• About 70% of students are successful
• 15% of students need a little more
– Academic tutoring, social skills instruction, problem solving
• 15% of students need more intensive individualized
function-based supports or a different intervention
Student Meets CC&E Criteria
Via SSBD Screening, ODRs,Teacher Nomination
Program Phases
Daily Program Routine
Basic Program
Basic Plus Program
(as needed)
The Power of Key
Students who build strong positive relationships
with school staff have significant long term
reductions in:
school drop outs
court adjudications
substance abuse
teen pregnancy
suspensions and expulsions
academic failure
(Hawkins, Catalano, & Arthur, 2002)
A strong positive alliance with school staff is a
key aspect of the development of resiliency.
WAREA 2007
Key Relationships Cont’d
Students who build strong positive relationships
with school staff showed significant increases
*academic performance
*positive social relationships
*improved parent relationships
*student self-esteem
*work completion
*sense of safety at school
(Hawkins, Catalano,&Arthur, 2002)
WAREA 2007
Progress Monitoring of Students
Responding and those Nonresponder
How has screening changed
the way we do business in
Helps us match students to building supports
Provided teams with common language
Strengthened behavioral expertise for all staff
Students are identified earlier & more
efficiently without having to “qualify”Oct.vs Apr
• Helped make the shift in thinking about
addressing behavioral concerns the same
way we address academic concerns • Teach! Re-teach! Model! Practice & Motivate!
Impact of PBIS from
2007-2008 to 2009-2010
• Reduction in office referrals from 6,284 to
3,457 is 45% reduction or 2,827 fewer
• Administrative, instructional, and academic
engaged time recaptured = 707 hours or
118 days
Highline Elementary Schools Reduce
# of Out of School Suspension Days
1393 Days OSS
1244.5 Days OSS
735.5 Days OSS
Highline PBIS School
Year 4 of PBIS & CC&E
Students with 0
or 1 Referrals
94.65 %
98.32 %
95.87 %
Students with 25 Referrals
4.28 %
1.53 %
3.82 %
Students with
6+ Referrals
1.07 %
0.15 %
0.31 %
Students with
9+ Referrals
0.15 %
0.00 %
0.15 %
System wide reductions in
suspensions for special education
(from 07-08 to 08-09 School Years)
• Out-of-school suspensions <= 10 days
reduced by 31.72%
• Out-of-school suspensions > 10 days
reduced by 47.05%
• Total out of school suspension reduced by
How might screening work in
your school?
What questions do you have for