Tiered Support within MTSS

Tier 1 Core Instruction: 
At Tier 1, all students receive scientific, research-based core instruction implemented with integrity and emphasizing grade-level standards and school-wide behavioral expectations. Instruction at Tier 1 should be explicit, differentiated and include flexible grouping and active student engagement. To ensure 80% of students’ needs are met at Tier 1, high-quality instruction is essential.
Tier 2 Targeted Group Intervention:
At Tier 2, students identified as being at-risk academically or behaviorally through universal screeners are provided scientific, research-based interventions in addition to the core. Approximately 10 to 15% of students should need supplemental instruction at Tier 2 to become proficient. Tier 2 interventions are implemented with groups of students demonstrating common skill deficits or social/emotional/behavioral risk characteristics. These students should be observed on Branching Minds, where a collaborative intervention plan is developed, monitored, and documented.
Tier 3 Intensive Individualized Intervention:
Students who have not demonstrated progress with targeted group interventions at Tier 2 require more time in more intensive interventions. Tier 3 interventions are distinguished from Tier 2 interventions because they are individualized based on data collected in individual problem solving, occur with smaller student-teacher ratios (e.g., ideally 1-on-1, however, groups of 3 to 5 students or a larger group broken into a few groups of 3-5 students, is acceptable for middle and high schools), and possibly occur for a longer duration of time (e.g., more daily minutes or more weeks spent in intervention). About 5-10% of students will require this level of intensive support.
Branching Minds
Branching Minds
Branching Minds is the current platform that we use to assist our teams in making data-driven decisions through the MTSS process. It helps teachers to follow best practices of problem-solving while working efficiently, effectively, and collaboratively from the start. Branching Minds houses not only our universal screening data but also provides immediate access to a variety of research-based interventions that teachers can utilize when intervening with tier 2 and tier 3 students. These interventions can then be monitored to ensure adequate growth. 
Next Steps - Our Referral Process for Special Education:

Prior to referral for a special education evaluation due to a suspected SLD, the following components of MTSS should be met:


Recommendations for Consideration of Eligibility in Special Education:

  • Daily Tier 1 (core) instruction
  • Weakest prerequisite skill targeted on instructional level for intervention
  • Intervention logs completed & student-specific within Branching Minds
  • Progress monitoring with a suggested minimum of 6 data points 
  • Fidelity checks completed with 80% integrity (completed by school admins or interventionist) 
  • Monthly MTSS data team meetings with ROI calculated
  • Documentation of parent communication of student progress completed within Branching Minds.
  • Recommended two changes in Intervention (if directly placed in Tier 3 Intervention) or one change during Tier 3 intervention if moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3
  • Gap Analysis indicates that a student’s progress is not sufficient for adequate growth when compared to other students in comparable interventions.  
  • Exclusionary factors (i.e., Vision, Hearing, English Language barrier, and Lack of Instruction) have been ruled out

Child Find: 

If a parent verbally requests an evaluation, staff should advise the parent to make the request in writing and send it to the principal/teacher/EC teacher of the school. Upon receipt, the EC personnel at the school will begin the special education process by scheduling an initial referral meeting to discuss the parent's request. During this process, interventions should continue within the regular education classroom. The IEP team will convene and discuss all relevant data at the initial referral meeting. The IEP team will then decide if moving forward with formal evaluations through the special education process is warranted and request the required components of eligibility.