MTSS Part Two: Essential Components of MTSS

Guest post by Bonnie Nieves, in collaboration with Class Composer

In the previous blog, I outlined the first step of initiating Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), a framework designed to meet the needs of each and every learner in a school district. When your school community has completed its inventory of instructional tools and supports for academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning, it is time to move on to putting these resources into action. 

The next steps include planning for three essential components of MTSS: 

  • Instruction that includes academic, behavioral, and SEL learning opportunities for all students.
  • Assessment tools that measure the effectiveness of this instruction.
  • Ensuring that your master schedule has space for per diem support for students.

MTSS is typically represented as a pyramid with Tier 1 universal supports being the foundation. It can be accurately represented as a triangle or funnel. 

All students receive universal supports and transition between tiers 1, 2, and 3 based upon progress monitoring data monitored according to a reliable universal tool at predetermined intervals. These tools do not need to be school-wide standardized tests. According to the American Institutes of Research (2021), high-fidelity screening is universal, accurate, and conducted at least quarterly.

Most students will remain in tier 1, some will transition to tier 2, and fewer will move to tier 3. If a school community finds that a large number of students are in need of tier 2 support, it would be prudent to investigate the evaluation tools and quality of the universal curriculum being used.

Now, envision a system of three triangles, one for each indicator: academic, behavioral, and SEL. Students may be at any of the three tiers for each of the three instructional areas (academic, behavioral, social-emotional) at any one time. For example, a student may be receiving tier 1 instruction for academics, tier 2 targeted support for behavioral instruction, and tier 3 for social-emotional instruction.

When teachers work with all of this information, academic, behavioral, and social-emotional, it can require a great deal of time and organization. Providing for all students is essential and each of these represents important data points that teachers need to focus on in order to provide the best for students. However, there needs to be a more effective and efficient way to do this.

MTSS and Class Composer 

Class Composer provides everything that teachers need to be able to monitor student progress and is readily accessible to anyone, at any time. It enables all teachers to access the information they need about each individual student when they need it. Easy to track and record student growth toward individualized goals.  Simplify how you manage all the assessment data collected! With progress monitoring

Having access to all this information in one space enables teachers to create a supportive learning community for students. These teacher-student connections lead to the development of the essential relationships that need to exist for all students to be successful.

Give Class Composer a try today using their sandbox. You will experience a simpler, more streamlined experience when in the easily accessible, data-driven platform that promotes student academic achievement and the development of essential SEL skills.

Head to Class Composer to learn more!

Coming up next:

The final part of my MTSS blog series will elaborate on two essential components: assessment tools and instructional resources. Assessment tools that can help your school community provide common experiences without impacting teachers’ ability to use Universal Designed for Learning (UDL) planning tools. Instructional resources for each of the three tiers for academic, behavioral, and social-emotional instruction.

About the Author

Bonnie Nieves is the author of “Be Awesome on Purpose” and has over a decade of experience as a high school science teacher. She has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Leadership. Her passion for creating immersive and authentic experiences that fuel curiosity and creating student-centered, culturally responsive learning spaces that promote equity and inclusion has led her to establish Educate On Purpose Coaching.

In addition to being an award-winning educator, Bonnie works to ensure equitable and engaging education for all through her work as a copy editor at EdReports and Classroom Materials and Media reviewer for The American Biology Teacher journal. She serves on the MassCUE board of directors and enjoys connecting with educators through social media, professional organizations, conferences, Twitter chats, and edcamps. Bonnie is a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science, and the National Science Teaching Association. She encourages you to connect with her on Twitter @biologygoddess, Instagram @beawesomeonpurpose, Clubhouse @biologygoddess, and LinkedIn.

Please visit www.educateonpurpose.com for information about her current projects.

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