“Educating all students for success in life.”
Anchorage School District: One System
The Anchorage School District defines Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) as an integrated, multi-tiered system of instruction, assessment, and intervention designed to meet the academic, social/emotional and behavioral needs of ALL students. The framework is a “way of doing business" which utilizes high quality evidence based instruction, and assessment practices to ensure that every student receives the appropriate level of support to be successful.
Experience has demonstrated that in order to increase achievement, successful systems plan their improvement efforts collaboratively. Developing one common plan for improvement streamlines the school and district’s efforts and resources, through alignment of academic standards and behavioral expectations, implemented with fidelity and sustained over time, in order to accelerate the performance of every student to maximize improvement for all learners.
MTSS Essential Components
The Anchorage School District has defined MTSS and included 10 essential components to help clarify the definition. In order to be an effective and efficient system, all ten components must be present. To further simplify, the ten components have been combined to form 4 cluster areas: Instruction and Intervention, Data Evaluation, Stakeholder Engagement, and Problem Solving.
When schools and the ASD fully embrace and embed these components into their organizational structure, the outcome is a school-wide, prevention-based framework for improving learning outcomes for every student through a layered continuum of evidence-based practices and systems. The success of an MTSS framework is dependent on the effective interaction of student outcomes:
- data used for decision-making,
- use of evidence-based practices to get to student outcomes, and
- the systems which adults need in order to support the implementation of the practices.
MTSS Implementation Process
Phase I of Implementation for Problem Solving and Response to Intervention (RTI) began in 2002. RTI stemmed from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Historically Response to Instruction centered around academics, while Positive Behavior Interventions Supports (PBIS) addressed the behavioral realm.
Phase II of Implementation of Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) emerged in 2015. Response to Instruction has evolved into MTSS, and is now integrating academics, behavior and social emotional learning into one framework of supports. MTSS is identified throughout the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 and provides consistent methods to identify students who struggle, target tiered instruction and intervention supports, determine progress and support professional learning efforts for staff.