What is MTSS?
🌊BRIDGE-RI defines MTSS as a framework for school improvement. This framework ensures that all students are supported in meeting academic, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes. All students means all students, including multilingual learners (MLL/ EL) and students with disabilities (SWD). In a multi-tiered system of supports, all students have equitable access to strong, effective core instruction using high quality curriculum and differentiated/ Universally Design for Learning framed instructional practices at Tier 1, evidence-based group interventions at Tier 2, and intensive, evidence-based interventions at Tier 3.
In simpler terms, MTSS is about ensuring that all students are holistically supported by connected systems & tools that are known to make a positive difference in achievement and overall well-being. These tools are not just available, their impacts are actively measured relative to individual and collective student success. While many MTSS conversations focus on intervention for struggling learners, the framework is also about prevention and enrichment. Think equity... everyone gets what they need as opposed to everyone getting the same.
While individual and collective student data serves to constantly inform the MTSS process, know that as a district the faces behind the data are most important. MTSS is a humanized framework where social emotional well being is just as important as academic success.
MTSS is certainly about the strengths and opportunities of our learners. At the same time MTSS is about educators and their strengths and opportunities. Educators also need supports and resources to maximize their capacity to engage students in connected learning.
The ultimate goal of MTSS is to reduce the need for advanced tiers of intervention by employing concepts such as Universal Design to give diverse learners more options for meaningful engagement and benchmark achievement within CORE curricula.
Students are diverse and teaching and learning must meet students where they are, whether the focus is on enrichment, prevention, or intervention.
All students are part of the MTSS process and framework at all times. There is not qualifying for or discharging from MTSS
MTSS is a regular education initiative
All students deserve to feel empowered in their learning and valued as members of our learning community
Although some students face barriers that have the potential to interfere with their ability to make optimum progress, there is evidence that schools can raise student achievement despite these barriers (Hattie, 2018; Meyer, Rose, & Gordon 2014).
MTSS is a framework to ensure that learning institutions utilize an evidence-informed, student centric approach to enrichment, prevention and intervention.
MTSS is a framework for school improvement and fully integrates and supports the strategic plan, school improvement plans & the district Vision of a Graduate (VOG)
To improve outcomes for all students, including high-performing students, English language learners, students receiving special education services, and those struggling with other barriers to learning.
Improve instruction and alignment of curricula across general and special education.
To create safe and supportive learning environments
To support students' mental and behavioral health as the foundation for learning empowerment
TIERED MTSS FRAMEWORK
All students are part of Tier 1 MTSS. In some cases, students may require temporary supports under Tier 2 or Tier 3. Rest assured that as a family you will be informed and guided when and if your child requires support beyond what is typical for all students every day.
TIER 1 INSTRUCTION AND SUPPORTS- (80% of learners)
Perhaps the most important piece of the MTSS framework- a strong TIER 1 and a strong CORE allows for increased equity and access in every classroom every day.
Every student, every day- Tier 1 is all about what educators do to provide learners with what they need to feel empowered by the core curriculum. A strong CORE curriculum that includes choice/voice as well as firm goals/flexible means is good for every learner.
Fully meets the needs of 80% of learners, part of the picture for 100% of learners.
Are resources available to ALL students in the CORE general education program. Think of the curriculum itself as the primary and most important Tier 1 support. The CORE is our high quality guaranteed and viable curriculum for all learners PK-12.
Are geared towards all students with and without disabilities or disadvantages.
Start with high quality guaranteed and viable CORE curricula, which are delivered through the lens of UDL, employing firm goals and flexible means for ALL students.
Think multiple ways to reach all learners as opposed to a good way to reach most learners.
Continue for all students regardless of need for Tier 2 or Tier 3 supports
Are about best practices in all classrooms and may include goal driven supports for groups of students and/or individuals
Are driven by regular evidence-informed discussions, keyed to student outcomes and instructional practices (What is the data showing us, and do we need to do things differently?)
Are keyed to rigorous standards
Are about breaking down, not watering down the CORE curriculum.
Must be high quality and include formative and summative assessments- which are linked to student feedback loops
Should be integrated with special education process elements to ensure the CORE is linked to goals and objectives in the IEP.
TIER 2 SUPPORTS (~15% of learners)
Occur in addition to Tier 1 supports
~ 15% of learners
Can involve working with a specialist (reading, math, etc.)
Involve targeted data driven goals keyed to the strengths and needs of the student
Are generally conducted in small groups
Can occur in or out of the general education setting
Offer additional opportunities to practice skills which support access to the CORE curriculum
Must be evidence-based and data supported in both delivery and progress monitoring
Can be delivered by the classroom teacher, a specialist or in combination. Skill building and practice may also be supported by a para-educator(s)
TIER 3 SUPPORTS (3-5% of learners)
Provide the most intensive supports- typically delivered with an increased frequency and duration
Are taught one on one or in very small groups
Typically occur outside of the general education setting by a specialist or special educator and may be supported for practice and extension by a paraeducator(s).
Tier 3 supports are not synonymous with special education, although Tier 3 supports can be delivered by a special educator under Tier 3 MTSS. Tier 3 supports are still considered short term and should not necessarily be viewed as a last step prior to sp. Education referral.
Must be evidenced based & data supported in both delivery and progress monitoring