Understanding the Connections between the School Improvement Process and MTSS
The above illustration is an attempt to show the connections between the School Improvement Process and Requirements and the Multi-Tiered System of Supports Framework. This is provided in order to create a common way to share vocabulary, understand contributing factors, and strengthen connections between all stakeholders in DSISD student growth.
Starting at the outside of the illustration and working into the center, you will notice a narrowing focus to the individual student. The entire driving force of this illustration is the outside circle of Gather, Study, Plan, and Do. This is referring to the use of data in order to drive all decisions that are effecting districts, schools, and students. All data should be used in order to drive decision making, but it will vary when looking at different stages of the system. For instance when looking at building and district accreditation/effectiveness, planning teams will need to stay focused on the state mandated summative assessments, graduation and drop-out rates, and other required factors. As teams narrow the focus to individual students, the data can be narrowed to Interim, Formative, Monitoring (academic and behavioral), etc. data sets – always keeping in mind their effect on the state summative assessments and mandates.
The next level shows the areas that have some of the largest influence on making adjustments to the system in order to improve student achievement for all learners. These areas include Engaging Stakeholders, LEA Leadership, Stakeholder Empowerment, and Professional Learning. Through changes to these four areas – systems can grow and have positive impact on all students, parents, staff, and communities. These arrows are directed inward to where several different factors are listed and need to be considered. These are not the only areas to consider, but will have a great impact on all learners. In addition to this, these areas will also assist with building the RtI/MTSS Triangle that is located in the middle of the diagram. This Triangle illustrates the need for Tiered Instruction for all learners. This should be applied to each student in the system in order to ensure their growth and achievement. In the middle of the Triangle, there is an area titled Special Education Students. This further shows that the three Tiers are not separation of students by need, but shows that Special Education, 504, and General Education learners are included in all three Tiers and at all levels of intervention.
As we progress forward with integrating the School Improvement Process with a Multi-Tiered System of Supports, it is important that we remember all of these areas and bring attention to each level when we are supporting local districts, schools, and staff with creating an environment of student growth, achievement, and success. All levels are important and have an impact on student learning.