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Pyramid of Intervention

Proven Framework Helps Students Succeed in Academics, Behavior

Cincinnati Public Schools' Pyramid of Interventions — a three-tiered model, or framework, of instruction and intervention — is nationally recognized and grounded in research and best practices.

Launched in January 2007, the Pyramid of Interventions empowers staff to serve the district's diverse student population in a more systematic, data-driven, prevention-focused and collaborative way than ever before.

Parent Guide to the Pyramid of Interventions

Although called a "pyramid," CPS sometimes uses a cone shape to illustrate the Pyramid of Interventions, because it has a round pie-piece base made up of six components that best demonstrates the CPS model. More about the Pyramid Explanation:

Principals report good things happening with the Pyramid's use — such as seeing better student behavior in cafeterias, more children succeeding in general-education classes, and improved school rankings on the Ohio Report Card. 

Integrating Academic and Behavioral Needs

The Pyramid of Interventions - a name coined by CPS - began as a way to approach students' academic needs and behavioral needs in an integrated way. Traditionally, educators have addressed these two areas separately.

In 2005, the Ohio Department of Education was launching and evaluating a program called the Ohio Integrated Systems Model (OISM), based on a three-tiered intervention model endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. Its integrated approach was exactly what was sought, and, with some adaptation by CPS, became CPS' Pyramid of Interventions.

Three Levels of Support

The three tiers represent progressive levels of support — Schoolwide, Targeted and Intensive. Research shows that strong schoolwide instruction — the largest tier — leads to success academically and behaviorally for 80-90 percent of students. The targeted tier provides strategies for helping students who still are struggling, about 5 to 10 percent of students.  Strong initiatives at the Schoolwide and Targeted tiers greatly reduce the number of students needing the Intensive tier, about 1 to 5 percent.

The Pyramin becomes the framework within which all district-sanctioned initiatives fit for every student, with prevention programs to sustain performance for students who are doing well, and identification methods and successive levels of intervention for students needing more support — all while complementing and supporting existing programs.

Research suggests the three-tiered model helps make possible CPS' vision of providing high-quality learning opportunities for all students. Additional information on research and staff support.

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