Continuum of Supports

The establishment of a Continuum of Supports is essential for all schools, to organize, articulate and tier the strategies, accommodations and interventions available to support the diverse needs of students. A comprehensive Continuum of Supports, developed and refined over time, helps to inform the collective question "so now what should we do?" and ensures the tiering of supports, not students.

Access a video where Lead Learner, Lorna Hewson, explains a Continuum of Supports.

Access a number of resources and samples below, to assist in the construction and ongoing refinement of an organization's Continuum of Supports, as well as the eventual development of additional resources in relation to the key supports within a school.

Reflection and Data Tools

The following tools can be used to reflect upon your structures and processes related to Continuum of Supports, as well as collect evidence to determine growth and impact over time.

Reflecting on Continuum of Supports (School-Based) - Template - Template to reflect on considerations related to establishing and refining Continuums of Support at the school level

Construction and Process

It is important that schools engage in the co-development of their continuum of supports, involving the determination, articulation and organization of what they already do to support students across the school. This involves understanding the difference between interventions, accommodations and strategies.

Resources and Templates
Four Tier Support Overview - An overview that shows the four tiers of support outlined in a collaborative response, how they connect to universal, targeted and individualized supports and a brief description for each tier.

Examining Interventions Template - Organizer to help identify if supports meet the criteria for an intervention. To learn more, access a blog posting describing the difference between interventions, strategies and accommodations.

Continuum of Supports Development Process Slides - Slides to be used/modified to guide your school team through the development of a continuum of supports, with links to samples, posters and other potential resources.
Four Tier Overview Posters - Posters describing each support tier, intended to be utilized when initially organizing the interventions, strategies and accommodations happening in a school.

Pyramids and Continuums

Creating a visual collection of supports for each area of focus in a school provides an accessible menu that can be referred to during collaborative team meetings, as well as help to clarify what are the Tier 1, 2, 3, and 4 supports to be considered when supporting students. Consider the development of a continuum for each area of focus being attended to in your school (literacy, numeracy, social-emotional, student engagement, etc.).

Resources and Templates

Continuum of Supports - General Template - Intended to be printed as an 11x17 paper resource, sharing the interventions, strategies and accommodations to be considered when discussing the needs and subsequent supports for students.

Continuum of Supports - Literacy Template - Intended to be printed as an 11x17 paper resource, organizing the literacy interventions, strategies and accommodations in relation to the five threads of reading and writing.

Refining Our Continuum of Supports Template - Valuable organizer to assist schools in the review and refinement of their Continuum of Supports once initially developed.

Memorial Composite High School COVID-19 Continuum of Supports - A tiered collection of supports to access, to ensure scaffolded supports for students engaged in online emergent teaching due to COVID-19.
Copyright 2020, C. Jensen - Memorial Composite High School, Parkland School Division, AB. Shared with permission.

Kildare School Pyramid of Reading Supports - Overview of Reading Supports developed by Kildare School, to support collaborative team meeting conversations and determine classroom and school-based supports to consider in relation to reading.
Copyright 2020, T. Jeske - Kildare School, Edmonton Public Schools, AB. Shared with permission.

Continuum of Supports Sample (Literacy) - Continuum of Supports adapted from a school that shows Interventions, Strategies and Accommodations in a placemat format for literacy.
Continuum of Supports Sample - Continuum of Supports developed by Crescent Heights High School, with links to valuable resources in relation to a number of the supports at all tiers.
Copyright 2020, S. Barth - Crescent Heights High School, Medicine Hat Public School Division, AB. Shared with permission.

Continuum of Supports Sample - Continuum of Supports developed by Herald School, with a myriad of supports at each tier and links for many.
Copyright 2020, K. Corbett - Herald School, Medicine Hat Public School Division, AB. Shared with permission.

Behaviour Continuum of Supports Sample - Behaviour Continuum of Supports developed by Kisipatnahak School.
Copyright 2020, L. Ouellette - Kisipatnahak School, Maskwacîs Education Schools Commission, AB. Shared with permission.
View additional continuum of support samples contributed by our partners.

Scaffolding Supports

Resources, such as checklists and visuals connected to a Continuum of Supports, can help to guide the scaffolding of supports from one tier to another, ensuring that supports are increasing in intensity for students, beginning at the classroom level. Students do not move from Tier to Tier, but rather have supports from the next tier added to the current supports already in place.

Resources and Templates

PWEC Playbook - A guiding document for Peace Wapiti Enterprise Centre, an alternate education school that uses the playbook to assist their conversations when determining how best to support student success.
Copyright 2020, K. Thon - Peace Wapiti Enterprise Centre, Peace Wapiti School Division, AB. Shared with permission.
View additional scaffolding support samples contributed by our partners

Support Descriptions

Providing descriptive overviews and other resources in relation to supports can assist staff in understanding and utilizing the most highly impactful supports for students. In time, these overviews can serve as a "playbook" to provide clarity for supports, as well as clearly articulate how specific supports can be used to ensure success for students.

Resources and Templates

Intervention Description Template - Overview template to provide clarity related to key interventions in a school's Continuum of Supports and ensure staff understand how to access resources and enact the support for greatest impact for students.

Beaverlodge Tier 2 Supports Overview - Explanations for key Tier 2 supports used frequently to support students at Beaverlodge Regional High School.
Tier 2 Overview - Discovery Cards Sample - Overview description for a Tier 2 support in a sample school, showing an overview of the support, resources needed and additional notes related to the use of the support in the classroom.