MTSS & RTI
SYSTEMS OF SUPPORT
MTSS: What is it all about?
Different models (e.g., RTI, MTSS, PBIS) have served to inform and guide practice in using data-based decision-making to differentiate instruction in response to student needs. At the core, each of these models provides a tiered approach to instruction using a continuum of supports and a decision-making structure based on student information. Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) have been used to address academic achievement while at the same time encouraging safe and positive learning spaces for all students (Lane, Carter, Jenkins, Dwiggins, & Germer, 2015). According to Utley and Obiakor (2015) “The MTSS framework consists of principles of response to intervention (RtI) and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) and integrates a continuum of system-wide resources, strategies, structures, and evidenced-based practices for addressing barriers to student learning and [social-emotional success]”
MTSS consists of different levels of support, or tiers, to address the needs of all students. Tier I is considered to support all students universally; Tier II is additional intervention intended to support 10-15% of students that do not respond to Tier I supports; and Tier III is reserved to support 5-7% of students that require more intensive intervention (Lane, et al, 2015). RTI (a system of tiered support for academic success) and PBIS (a system of tiered support for behavioral success) are both frameworks bolstered by significant research indicating effectiveness (Burns, Appleton, Stehouwer, 2005; Fuchs & Fuchs, 2006; Horner, Sugai, & Lewis, 2015). Districts need intentional decision-making and shared vision regarding readiness, implementation, and effectiveness guided by a leadership team (Freeman, Miller, & Newcomer, 2015).
North Platte Public School District is dedicated to systematic and systemic processes for continuous improvement and data-based problem-solving. The district’s IDEAL Continuous Improvement Process was implemented in 2015. The process serves to inform continuous improvement through systems of support including professional learning communities, purposeful professional development, and identified instructional model, and a curriculum development process. IDEAL is an acronym representing a five-step process: Identify common assessment to track student data, Describe student strengths and limitations on each common assessment, Evaluate by posing open-ended questions to investigate student limitations based on student results, Act by planning strategies and activities to address student limitations, and Learn by monitoring student progress and make adjustments to address student needs for continuous growth (see Figure A). The systems of support combined with the IDEAL process guide the district at all levels from district-level goals to individual, student-level goals (see Figure B). The district utilizes common district assessment data to continuously analyze data for student outcomes within professional learning teams.