SBRS Tiered Model of Therapy Service Delivery - Simcoe

Introducing New Tiered Model of Therapy Service Delivery in Simcoe School Boards

CTN is excited to share news about the way we are providing occupational and physical therapy in Simcoe County. We hope that by evolving the ways in which therapists provide services in schools, we will be able to provide more support for our teachers and lessen wait times for our students. The new system we are using is called a Tiered Model of Service.


Are you a school staff member hoping for more information? Please read the FAQ document we created for schools, here.


FAQ (click the + for answer)


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    What is a Tiered Model of Delivery?
    A tiered model is a multi-level system of interventions in which each tier (or level) represents more intensive services. Kids receive services as needed at each tier and can receive interventions at more than one tier at the same time. The needs of the child, school staff, and family are considered when deciding the interventions required.  

    The goal of Tiered Services is to build capacity in educators, to promote inclusion and to support all kids within Simcoe County. Each Tier involves different levels of support/observation provided to the student, family and educators involved. The model is designed to be flexible, and students may move between tiers as needed.
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    How does Tiered Service Delivery work?

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    At the Universal level (Tier 1), all kids and educators are supported. This could look like recommendations to a teacher on classroom set-up to lower sensory stimulation, or general guidance for learning fine motor skills. The Targeted intervention (Tier 2) is necessary for some students who need more targeted and specific interventions to support the development of skills and strategies necessary to participate fully in school. Individualized intervention (Tier 3) is essential for only a few students.This involves specific assessments and intensive, individualized intervention.
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    What will Tiered Services look like at my child’s school?
    During the school year, OTs will cycle through all English elementary schools. While in the school they will be working together with teachers to support the students. The OT may:
    • observe students in their classrooms, the gym, or playground
    • assist teachers and school staff with ideas and ways for students to participate more effectively in classroom activities and routines
    • recommend different types of tools or equipment that may be helpful to any child in a classroom
    • support teachers in determining if additional OT or PT services may be of benefit to a student
    If any child appears to need more individualized recommendations, the school will discuss this with parents and request permission to make a referral to CTN’s School Based Rehabilitation Services.

    To see Tiered services in a classroom, please see the following video:
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    What are the benefits of this method compared to the referral-based service we are used to?
    The new model is designed to provide the right level of intervention, based on the student’s needs, using UDL principles. By evolving the way therapists provide services in schools, therapists will collaborate further with teachers and shorten wait times for students. Students receive the appropriate level of support in the context that the support is required (e.g., classroom, gym, recess). This model is already used in several regions across Ontario, Canada and internationally.
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    What if my child requires more direct support?
    If the Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) or the therapist feels that their needs go over that of universal strategies, they will approach the teacher to consult on next steps. If a decision is made to recommend your child for Tier 2 or 3 service, you will be contacted by a member of your school team and your consent will be requested to proceed with the service.
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    What if my child’s needs are urgent?
    If a student is not physically able to attend school (e.g., unable to access school building or washroom), they are considered a priority referral and arrangements will be made to have the therapists assess the student and their environment in a time-sensitive manner.
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    Will I be informed when an OT is observing my child?
    Parents have been informed through school communication that an OT may visit their classroom and make observations. If your child requires Tier 2 or 3 level support, additional consent information will be provided.  

    If you have any questions or concerns about an OT being in your child’s classroom, please contact the principal at your child’s school.