Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is a term used to describe an evidence based model of educating students that uses data-based problem-solving to integrate academic and behavioral instruction and intervention.
How are students identified for interventions?
Staff members have data meetings to discuss standard academic achievement measures such as NWEA Map and Aimsweb testing as well as formative and summative assessments to identify students whose performance is outside the average range among their peers. The assessment might identify learners who struggle with reading and mathematics, social and emotional concerns, or other concerns affecting the student's educational performance.
What are interventions?
Interventions are supplemental learning activities that hold a reasonable potential to accelerate learning for students who struggle. Interventions will have a scientific or evidence research base. Examples of interventions can range in intensity with regard to duration, frequency, and group size.
Is MTSS really special education under another name?
MTSS is not a special education program. The model does promote early intervention for students who may struggle with core academic learning and/or behavior and attempts to close achievement gaps so that the gaps do not become pronounced as students advance through school.
What is the difference between Response to Intervention (RTI), Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support?
Both Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RTI) are in fact examples of a multi-tiered system of supports. Both of these systems provide a tiered framework for supporting student success with a focus on prevention. Hallmarks of these systems include a team approach, universal screening, using data to make decisions, implementing evidence-based practices, and progress monitoring.
Can students move in and out of interventions during the course of a school year?
Students can certainly move in and out of interventions during the course of a school year. Interventions are designed to narrow achievement gaps. When interventions are effective, students perform in a way that is more consistent with the average for their peers and they should continue to thrive within the core curriculum. In addition, signs of a learners’ academic struggle may emerge as a school year progresses, and a Grade Level Support Team would examine the nature of the struggle and develop or identify appropriate interventions to meet the students’ needs.
Can a student who is already receiving special education services participate in the same interventions with students without IEPs?
Interventions should be aligned to students’ needs. It is likely that students with special needs would participate in the same interventions that are appropriate for a broader range of students.
How does someone decide that a student should move from a Tier I to a Tier II intervention or from a Tier II to a Tier III intervention?
Teachers and other MTSS Team members will monitor students’ progress to measure the effect of interventions. When progress monitoring and classroom performance results indicate that student has made adequate progress and is no longer discrepant from peers, the student will no longer receive supplemental intervention, thereby receiving Tier 1 (Core) instruction only. If a student’s progress monitoring results and classroom performance indicate little progress, the student will receive more intensive intervention to try and reduce the discrepancy.
How are parents involved in the MTSS process?
Parents are an important part of the MTSS process. Universal screening data will be shared with parents . If a student is recommended to receive an intervention, parents will be notified of that recommendation through a letter. In addition, student progress will be shared with parents regularly. When a student is referred for Individual Problem Solving , the parent will be notified and their input will be gathered. Parents may be invited to participate in the problem solving process. If a decision is made to conduct an evaluation for the purpose of determining eligibility for special education services, the problem solving team will notify the parent and hold a domains meeting to obtain written consent for the special education evaluation.
What team members should be invited to grade level support meetings?
The grade level team members should attend and additional members could include support staff and/or administration depending on the concerns. The plan monitors should review the paperwork ahead of time to determine what concerns are noted from the team to determine if additional members should be included.
What team members should be invited to individual grade level support meetings?
The individual problem solving meeting should include team members that include the grade level team and any support staff that can support the area of concern. An administrator will also be present. Plan monitors are responsible for inviting the appropriate team members and scheduling the meetings.
At the individual problem solving meeting, who will facilitate the meeting?
The plan monitors can facilitate the meeting. The administrator will be there for support, however members of the team know the student the best and should facilitate the meeting to support a positive and productive meeting.
Should we have a standard agenda at the grade level and individual support meetings?
The paperwork should guide the discussions and the order in which to discuss each data point. The team can create an agenda based on this paperwork and the individual needs of each student. An agenda for parents and staff is a great tool to guide the meeting and to maintain focus.
How long should we monitor interventions? What happens if a student needs more intensive instruction?
Typically we monitor interventions for 4-6 weeks and complete the follow up forms. There may be exceptions to each individual case. If the team, needs to make an exception or has data to support the need for a more intensive program, they should contact their administrator to discuss possible options.