MTSS-Multi Tiered Support Systems
The Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Process at Harmony Ridge
The Teaching and Learning Cycle
When teachers teach, it is their goal to provide to each child the amount of support necessary to ensure that new learning takes place. For that to happen, the teacher must know exactly what each student knows, where the students’ strengths and areas of growth lie.
Teachers make decisions based on the Teaching and Learning cycle. This cycle describes the process by which teachers make instructional decisions to meet the needs of all students. There are six elements that make up the cycle-plan, teach, assess, analyze, adapt and reflect. Teachers must have an excellent knowledge of standards and expectations for students at their grade level to use this information wisely. The goal of any teaching is to produce new learning which in turn provides new assessments for the teacher to evaluate.
All teachers use this process to determine a child’s strengths and areas of growth. We meet weekly to share scholars’ work, to find the common misconceptions and to plan to fill missed learning accordingly. Sometimes, a student may need more focused instruction to be successful in his/her learning.
Tier 1 Instruction-Grade Level, Standards Based, For All
Planning with a standards based goal in mind leads to focused teaching. To that end, teachers discuss best practices in instruction in data teams and meet weekly with their grade level teams to plan collaboratively around core instruction. The teacher’s understanding of the instructional process and standards, combined with the input of team members, combined with the assessment evaluation of needs and challenges, guide the teacher in selecting the learning objectives for students and the methods in which those objectives will be delivered. The teacher’s careful planning provides experiences for each child that scaffold new learning, takes the learner to the next level of understanding and meets the needs of each and every child. This in turn, creates new opportunities for teachers to assess their students and continue the cycle.
Assessment and Evaluation
The cycle begins with assessment for all students at a certain level. For example, in the data team process, we at Edison use iReady in Literacy and Math, in combination with CSAP scores, ACCESS scores, interim scores, unit test scores, performance tasks and teacher observations (just to name a few) to evaluate our students strengths and weaknesses in reading and math. The grade level team evaluates the assessments and groups students accordingly according to their needs. The evaluation is formative, used to identify the teaching that is needed to help each learner move forward or to challenge each student at the proper level. The grade level team then discusses best practices in teaching so that student’s learning is optimal.
Tier 2 Instruction-Small Group, Designed to Scholars’ Specific Needs to Bridge Gaps to Tier 1 Instruction
Walk to Learn
This is where our Walk to Learn model fits in. Students are grouped through the data team process at levels to meet their individual needs. Through careful planning of a master schedule, each grade level teaches an intervention or extension at the same time. This allows all special education staff, intervention staff and paraprofessionals to be available at reading and math Walk to Learn time and to FLOOD a grade level. During this time, this extra staff allows for differentiated learning and smaller group size so that each and every child’s needs can be met. Your child will be grouped with students with similar needs. This may mean that they see a teacher other than their literacy or math teacher for Walk to Learn. Grouping is discussed every quarter in data teams and this grouping is fluid. As children’s needs change, so does their grouping. This is a progressive cycle in which more supports are added or removed as needed.
Tier 3 Instruction-Individualized, Designed to Scholars’ Specific Needs to Bridge Gaps to Tier 1 Instruction (may include Exceptional Student Services)
When a student has received Tier 2 services for a specified amount of time and does not show an adequate rate of growth over time, we may choose to move that student to a Tier 3 intervention. In Tier 3, students get one on one intervention designed to their learning needs. Goals are set, progress monitoring occurs and we work to find the best way to close gaps to the scholar accessing Tier 1 instruction.