Universal screening is the process of regularly checking every student’s performance periodically during the school year. This helps identify students who are responding well to core instruction, as well as those who may require supplemental (some risk) or intensive (high risk) intervention and instructional support as an integral component to an effective MTSS program.
FastBridge screeners are administered three times a year for all students in grades K-12—fall, winter, and spring—because student performance can change drastically across the school year. A student may need support in the fall, but no longer require the added resources in the winter. Likewise, a student may score well in the fall, but struggle later in the year. FastBridge uses three screening periods to help teachers make informed decisions about intervention throughout the entire year at the school, class, and individual student level.
FastBridge has multiple benefits, such as:
- universal screeners given to students, three times each year
- progress monitoring to more frequently assess student skills
- predictive assessments for state assessment achievement
- adaptive, computer-based measures
- behavior assessments with numeric values and ranges
- reports for staff and parents
- less time spent on formalized testing
FastBridge provides evidence-based tools for reading, math, and behavioral screening that are brief and highly predictive of future outcomes—thereby maximizing instructional time and resources. The unique, multi-source, multi-method approach is designed to more accurately identify instructional groupings regarding students’ levels of proficiency, risk, and future outcomes. When used consistently with fidelity as part of an MTSS model, FastBridge provides teachers with exceptional and timely data to identify students at risk for academic and behavioral difficulty, as well as supports to implement the appropriate research-based intervention and instruction at the right time and build capacity for data-based decision-making.
Two of the most useful ways to look at the results of a FastBridge screening assessment are:
Benchmarks: These are the standards by which student scores are interpreted. They are used to determine whether students are on track to be successful or are at-risk. These are noted in FAST as “!” or “!!” when students are at some risk (!) or high risk (!!).
FastBridge benchmarks are not based on the scores of students in the school or district. Rather, they compare a student’s level of achievement to criterion aligned with relevant outcomes (e.g., state-mandated achievement tests). Teachers use these comparisons to identify how many students are falling behind.
Local Percentiles (aka Local Norms): These compare a student’s score to other student scores in your class, school, or district. Local percentiles are reported as percentile ranks and are color-coded.
Higher percentile ranks indicate better performance compared to lower percentile ranks. A percentile rank of 20 at the school level means that a student scored as well or better than 20% of other students in the same grade at your school (and not as good as 80%). Local percentiles / percentile ranks provide complementary information to data.
It might seem like these purposes are the same, but they are not.
Benchmark comparisons help teachers identify who is at, below, or above the expected level of performance for a particular grade.
Norm comparisons allow teachers to consider how their students match up to other students in the same class, school, or district. Normative comparisons complement benchmark comparisons.
SAEBRS and mySAEBRS- Social-Emotional
SAEBRS (Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener) is a brief, efficient tool for universal screening of student risk for social-emotional and behavioral problems for students in Grades K through 12.
Behavior and academic success are intimately connected and need to be intelligently addressed together. SAEBRS is grounded in this conceptual model, which specifies that school success is predicated not just upon academic achievement, but also success within multiple inter-related behavioral domains. SAEBRS is used to evaluate students’ overall general behavior, as well as risk for problems within the following specific types of behavior:
Risk for Social Behavior Problems: Student displays behaviors that limit his/her ability to maintain age-appropriate relationships with peers and adults.
Risk for Academic Behavior Problems: Student displays behaviors that limit his/her ability to be prepared for, participate in, and benefit from academic instruction.
Risk for Emotional Behavior Problems: Student displays actions that limit his/her ability to regulate internal states, adapt to change, and respond to stressful/challenging events.
Individual Screening: By evaluating in which of the three specific domains (i.e., academic, social, or emotional) a student may be at risk, educators may determine what type of support is most appropriate and which problem behaviors should be prioritized through intervention. For instance, if a student is only at risk for emotional problems, a school may decide to target the student’s emotional behaviors via the application of social-emotional learning programs.
- Student Self-Screening: The mySAEBRS tool allows students to self-assess their social, academic, and emotional behavior with a simple, brief, online interface.
Group Screening: SAEBRS data is also useful in program evaluation, and in determining how groups of students may be best supported at Tier 1. For instance, data showing a significant percentage of students are at-risk in Social Behaviors could be used to indicate whether a school should invest in the support of classroom management practices given the prevalence of social behavioral concerns among numerous students.
Reports are available at the individual student and class levels to evaluate student performance against local norms and cut scores corresponding with varying levels of performance on criterion gold standard behavior rating scales.
FastBridge Supports MTSS
MTSS is an educational process that provides high-quality, research-based instruction and intervention based on individual learners’ academic, social, and behavioral needs, which are identified through screening and progress monitoring. Adjustments to instruction and interventions are based on students’ performance and rate of learning success.
MTSS models include universal screening of all students, multiple tiers of intervention delivery, a collaborative problem-solving approach, and an integrated data collection and assessment system to inform decisions at each tier of instruction and intervention delivery. The emphasis is on school-wide, differentiated universal core instruction in Tier 1; Tiers 2 and 3 provide intensive and increasingly individualized interventions:
Tier 1 (Low Risk) – All students receive effective, differentiated instruction provided by a classroom teacher using evidence-based core curriculum. Tier 1 is expected to bring approximately 80% of students to acceptable levels of proficiency.
Tier 2 (Some Risk) – For students who don’t respond effectively to Tier 1 instruction, Tier 2 supplements core instruction using targeted, evidence-based small-group interventions to help them catch up. This supplemental instruction is expected to bring up to 15% of students to proficient levels.
Tier 3 (High Risk) – Involves the application of intensive, evidence-based interventions which are designed to increase the rate of student progress for the approximately 5% of students who need very intensive 1:1 intervention.
There are numerous benefits of MTSS, most notably improving education for all students. Implementation of an effective MTSS program eliminates the “wait to fail” situation that prevents at-risk students from receiving intervention sooner versus later. MTSS also provides support to teachers with instructionally relevant, easily understood information which allows them to know what works now to improve a student’s skills. And, MTSS encourages better collaboration between teachers and families.
FastBridge helps facilitate and support the implementation of MTSS with an integrated data collection and assessment system to inform decisions at each tier of instruction and intervention delivery and provide built-in support for teachers to be successful and know what to do to support each student. FAST helps:
- Identify Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 assessment and intervention practices across reading, math, and behavior domains.
- Establish decision criteria at each tier so teachers can intervene early.
- Match instruction to each student’s unique learning needs.
- Easily understand data with school, class, and student reports that will support collaborative problem-solving, intervention identification, and delivery.
- Monitor student progress frequently with evidence-based assessment and use progress monitoring data to target and adjust instruction within each tier.
- Use research-based instructional strategies at the right time.
- Document and encourage parental involvement in all steps of the process.
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