MTSS in Skokie School District 73.5
Partnering to support each student's learning needs
District 73.5 MTSS Definition
Also known as Response to Intervention/Instruction (RtI)
Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) emphasizes the principle that all students can learn when:
- All teachers differentiate instruction to enhance learning within a research-based core curriculum.
- Early access to a multi-tiered system of research-based interventions is provided.
- A problem-solving approach that depends on the use of reliable data and the progress monitoring of learners to assess the effects of interventions is used.
Multi-Tiered System of Supports
Students' academic and behavioral needs are met through a multi-tiered system of support. All students receive core (Tier 1) instruction. When a student needs additional support, they receive supplemental interventions that increase in intensity to match a student's needs. At times, students require enrichment to support their learning; this is also supplemental to core instruction.
Problem Solving Process
Skokie School District 73.5 uses a problem solving process that assesses students’ academic and behavioral skills and matches instruction to these skills to improve student outcomes. In District 73.5, problem solving is defined as a process that includes a clear definition of the problem, a systematic analysis of why the problem is occurring, an explicit intervention plan, and progress monitoring to determine the effectiveness of efforts to improve student performance.
Problem solving occurs at three teaming levels within the school system: school wide problem solving, grade level problem solving, and individual problem solving.
Essential Components of a MTSS
MTSS supports the goal of Continuous School Improvement. MTSS always contains these essential components:
- Comprehensive Commitment & Leadership
- Data System
- Problem Solving & Team Structure
- Multi-Tiered System of Instruction & Intervention
- Implementation Monitoring & Ongoing Action Planning
Frequently Asked Questions about MTSS
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MTSS emphasizes the principle that all teachers can differentiate instruction to enhance the learning of all learners. The model emphasizes early intervention and the use of a multi-tiered system of research-based interventions. The model also emphasizes a problem-solving and decision-making approach that depends on the use of reliable data and the progress monitoring of learners to assess the effectiveness of interventions.
School staff rely on standard academic achievement measures (e.g. FastBridge universal screening data, NWEA Measures of Academic Progress, common 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, or learners whose achievement in these areas is advanced.
Interventions are supplemental learning activities that hold a reasonable potential to accelerate learning for students who struggle. Interventions will have a scientific research base. Examples of interventions can range in intensity with regard to duration, frequency, and group size.
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.
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 Problem Solving Team would examine the nature of the struggle and develop or identify appropriate interventions to meet the students’ needs.
A teacher will collaborate with their school’s Grade Level Problem Solving Team. The team will analyze assessment results and classroom performance. The team will determine the appropriate steps to take to serve the needs of the child and inform parents/guardians about intervention plans. In some cases, the analysis might suggest that learning challenges are so significant that intensive Tier 3 interventions are necessary immediately.
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.
A school-based team will be prepared to choose from a range of interventions. Having an array of possible interventions allows the team options in applying a series of efforts to advance a child’s learning. The continuum outlines a range of interventions from the relatively simple to more intensive learning activities.
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 the 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.
Parents are an important part of the MTSS process. Universal screening data will be shared with parents three times a year when graphs are sent home. 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 after limited progress has been noted despite intervention, 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.