MTSS Framework


Team Leadership

School level team

At the heart of a MTSS is the school level team.  Sometimes known as a school improvement team, this team acts as the principal problem-solving driver for the entire MTSS.  The school level team identifies and addresses school-level barriers, monitors and supports the development of systems, establishes and maintains a robust educator support system, monitors implementation fidelity, and analyzes student outcome data.  

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grade level team

A grade level team is sometimes referred to as a continuous improvement team.  Many schools utilize grade level teams that meet regularly to discuss grade level (or sometimes a span of grades) practices, instruction, effectiveness of instruction, student growth, and in some cases team policies, behavior, and areas/needs for improvement.

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classroom level team

At the head of the classroom team is the primary teacher.  As the classroom teacher, they are responsible for creating a learning environment that is equitable, inclusive, and conducive to social, behavioral, and academic growth.  While not always viewed through a team lens, understanding how to harness the power if this team is a necessary step to providing inclusive supports at tiers 1, 2, and 3.

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Individual Student Team

The Individual Student Team initially consists of the teacher, student, and family or caregivers of the student.  Individual Student Teams sometimes get overlooked when considering the universal teaming structure of a school's MTSS framework, when in reality it is the team that may hold the most leverage in student success in school - as such, it is extremely important that efforts to establish this team from the start should be carefully considered.

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Educator Support System

Instructional Coaching

Teachers are the number one most effective influence on student outcomes (Marzano, 2008).  Instructional coaching is an ongoing, intentional practice that is designed to strengthen the capacity of the personnel in your building.  Like students, educators can benefit from a "what I need, when I need it" model that helps them to improve in areas of growth, and elaborate on areas of strength.  

Professional Learning

Instructional coaching and professional learning go hand in hand in a comprehensive educator support system.  Professional learning can be targeted to an area of need, but it can also be targeted to a particular interest of the educator.  Like students, educators need to be allowed some voice and choice in their professional learning goals and activities.

Layering of Support for all Children

 MTSS and Summer Learning? How do I approach that?

1. Start with the data
    We want summer learning oportunities to be fun and engaging, so starting with the data may feel a little heavy.  It doesn't have to be, though.  Starting with the data simply means getting a "quantified" or "numerical" idea of where your summer group is in terms if meeting or exceeding learning standards for their grade level, then using that information to guide your choices in summer learning focus and engaging activities.

What data?
 - Recent Universal Screener
If your school conducted an end-of-the-year screener, take some time to gather the scores of the children that are in your summer group.  What percentage of your group are meeting/exceeding benchmark in reading? Math?  What percentage of students are below benchmark? 
- Analyze and plan
   From there, take a look at the subcategories.  For reading, it might be fluency and/or vocabulary; for math it might be numeracy or algebraeic reasoning.  Try and choose activities, games, and learning around those areas that are weakest.  Low fluency score? Do a readers theater with music, props, a stage, and lots of oral reading practice with corrective feedback.  Alebraeic reasoning score? Make your summer camp or programs center around numbers.  Games, songs, challenges.. any activity that might help to boost the fall benchmark for students.

-Have Fun!
Choose activities that are rich in skill building, but don't feel like learning and you can have a success, engageing summer program that your students will love.



Layering of supports for all children begins in the school and classroom environment.  A well designed environment can strengthen access to instruction in the tier 1 and tier 2 setting by providing environmental supports that can empower children in their learning.

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Effective instruction for all students includes academic, behavioral, and social-emotional teaching and supports.  High quality instruction delivered with fidelity helps ensure student growth and achievement for all.  

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equity and inclusion

School-wide MTSS embraces the philosophy that equity and inclusion can be achieved by incorporating Universal Design for Learning, and embracing the mindset of "teach the hardest to reach, the rest will follow."  Equity and inclusion is all about looking for, and eliminating barriers that exist to exclude and hold students back.

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Effective Practices

data-informed decision making

"Data don't make decisions, people do," Dr. Dean Fixen.  This quote sums up the heart of data-informed decision making practices and reminds us to be mindful of the difference between what the letters and numbers of data collection say versus what an individual child, class, grade, or family might need.  

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problem solving process

A critical component to a highly functioning MTSS is the adoption of a consistent problem solving process that allows schools to use data to identify specific problems, but then works through a process that is action-based so that change can occur.  A consistent process will allow for easier monitoring of how interventions are working.

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Family and Community Partnerships


Sometimes referred to as "family engagement," family partnerships focus on the shared responsibility of the education for each and every student.  Partnerships begin with a structured and predictable process, regular and open communication, and opportunities to provide feedback.

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Strong, established partnerships with community members and community groups is an essential part of a successful MTSS, and your community wants to help!  Regular communication with the school unit can help to foster these connections and bring a variety of opportunities for students.

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