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Screening for Intensive Intervention Needs in Secondary Schools: Directions for the Future

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Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Published online on


In this article, we provided descriptive and methodological illustrations of how to conduct systematic behavior screenings at the middle and high school levels to detect students with intensive intervention needs using one systematic screening tool: the Student Risk Screening Scale. We discussed the importance of systematic screening and presented data from secondary schools conducting systematic screenings to illustrate the proportion of students with these intensive needs. Results suggested 5.49% of the more than 10,000 students placed into the high-risk category, with results varying across states and school levels (middle vs. high school). Then, we offered recommendations for using systematic screening data to address the needs of middle- and high-school students including the use of research-based, intensive supports within tiered systems of support. We discussed challenges of conducting screenings in secondary school settings and addressed limitations and future directions for subsequent inquiry.