Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

MTSS Bootcamp: What Do Teams Takeaway?

by Mike Minor, M. A., NCSP, Western Regional MTSS Lead Consultant

For the 2017-18 school year, the MTSS Bootcamps will be separated into three distinct trainings: Elementary Interdisciplinary Teams, Middle Interdisciplinary Teams, and Secondary Interdisciplinary Teams. The Elementary version addresses the conceptual and practical underpinnings of school improvement. This is done through the implementation and sustainability of a tiered system promoting the growth and achievement of all students across content areas. The Middle version addresses the unique characteristics and needs that are observed within our middle schools. It draws from the Elementary and Secondary Bootcamps as well as focuses on concerns shared by middle school teachers. The Secondary version has been modified to resemble the work being done with the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), which is aiming to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates for students in Pennsylvania with disabilities. The SSIP Theory of Action is applicable to all schools and within it espouses the role of a multi-tiered system of academic supports and evidence based practices for all students.

The foci of the trainings challenge and empower staff to self-identify their strengths and needs and take an action plan back to their building. Staff have reported the team time to discuss and plan and network with colleagues has broadened their understanding and appreciation and invigorated them to go back to their building with a renewed drive. Scheduling, grade level data meetings, calculating rate of improvement, Chart Dog, understanding the systemic elements within a tiered framework, and having a catalogue of evidence based interventions are repeated takeaways of the Bootcamps.

The Bootcamps were well attended this past school year across the grade levels. Trainings were provided at the regional PaTTAN centers, IUs, and in individual districts. There was wide representation at the trainings: school teams that have not yet implemented MTSS but are ready to do so, school teams that are implementing but have experienced staff/administrator turnover in recent years, and already implementing school teams that wanted to assess where their implementation and sustainability were compared to newer research and practices.

Recently a Superintendent said how valuable he found the training because MTSS requires ”everyone coming together for a common purpose.” He devoted in-service time for his entire K-12 staff to learn about MTSS. An elementary level teacher from one of the trainings said she has always used data but now realizes the role and function of “using data to help all students”. A secondary level teacher said she now appreciates that “implementation requires everyone” in order for systemic change to be implemented and sustained. The teacher further elaborated on the role of intentional and focused collaboration between staff members to achieve higher student outcomes and afford students the opportunity to thrive in their academic context.

Please see the PaTTAN calendar for upcoming MTSS Bootcamps in your area www.pattan.net.

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