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Select an icon to get started learning about the Essential Components that make up the MTSS practice.

 

 


 

Term 1 - Team Based Leadership

TERM 2 Consensus

Term 3 - Evidence Based

Term 4 - Collaborative Teams


 

Term 5 - Tiered Delivery System

Term 6 - Comprehensive Screening and Assessment

Term 7 - Data Based Decision Making


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Team-Based Leadership

 

 

What does it mean? 

A representative Leadership Team comprised of key stakeholders (grade levels/department/specials/general and special educators) is responsible for leading and coordinating MTSS efforts. The leadership team collects and analyzes a range of data for decision-making, including fidelity of implementation data, student outcome data, and intervention success data and communicates the current status with regular updates to staff, students, parents, and the community. The leadership team oversees the use of data for systematic problem-solving, attends to the fidelity of implementation, and the development of systems to promote sustainability and remove barriers to implementation.

 

Why It’s Essential

A team approach helps to distribute the workload among multiple individuals and facilitates collaboration and communication. Teams (district, building, and educator) that collaborate and communicate contribute to the alignment and cohesion across the multiple levels of the system. The alignment and cohesion of leadership teams allows for a systematic approach to data-based problem solving and keep the focus on improved outcomes for all students.

 

Implementation

Core features of effective team-based leadership include:

  • Shared accountability and responsibility for developing and maintaining the MTSS framework
  • Monthly meetings scheduled as part of the master calendar.
  •  Established meeting norms and clear roles/responsibilities for all members
  • Use of a consistent, standardized meeting agenda and corresponding action plan (e.g., TIPS Meeting Minutes and Problem-Solving Action Plan Form) at each meeting to guide the meeting and emphasize the ongoing use of data to inform decision making
  • Use of a formal shared decision-making process.
  • Procedures for communication and work with other collaborative educator teams (e.g. Tier 2, Tier 3, grade level teams).
  • Action planning and integration with the continuous school improvement planning process
  • Formalized feedback loops from learners, families, community, faculty, and staff to inform the system

For more detailed information onTeam-Based Leadership, review the 

 

Resources 

 

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Consensus & Commitment

 

 

Overview

Collective responsibility for ensuring growth and success for all learners is assumed by each person within the school system, therefore key stakeholders (e.g., superintendent, principals, teachers, instructional support personnel, etc.) must arrive at consensus regarding the importance of adopting the MTSS framework and commit to the principles and practices that guide implementation. To achieve this, faculty and staff must first have a working knowledge and understanding of the core principles of MTSS.

Why It’s Essential

Building consensus creates the good-will and buy-in that reflects a mutual understanding and agreement to support the actions and responsibilities involved with the implementation of MTSS. Successful implementation, durability, and scaling up of MTSS is dependent on the commitment of all stakeholders to allocate sufficient time and resources.

Implementation

Indicators that characterize consensus and commitment include:

  • Administrators, leadership teams, faculty, and staff have watched the MTSS overview that is available on the OPI Teacher Learning Hub and have a working knowledge and understanding of the core principles of the MTSS framework.
  • The majority of the staff (80%) agree to adopt MTSS based on the results of the MTSS Staff Consensus Survey.
  • District and building administrators commit to allocating the time and resources needed to support the implementation of MTSS and to actively engage in the process by:
    • Establishing a Leadership Team at the district and building levels
    • Scheduling and attending monthly leadership team meetings
    • Designating a facilitator with allotted time to carry out MTSS tasks

For more detailed information on Consensus and Commitment, review the

 

Resources

 

 

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Evidence-Based Instruction, Intervention & Supports

 

 

Overview

Instruction, interventions, and supports are selected that are strongly supported by high-quality, rigorous research that indicates the practice will be effective for the intended population. The selection process for adopting an evidence-based curriculum or intervention across Tiers considers the population of learners being served and alignment with district philosophy, capacity, programs, and initiatives.

 

Why it’s Essential

Using Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs) with fidelity leads to an increase in the likelihood of positive student outcomes and responsiveness to learner’s needs, and to a decrease in wasted time and resources because educators start with an effective practice or program and are not forced to find one through trial and error.

 

Implementation

Below are indicators of effective practices for the selection and implementation of evidence-based instruction, interventions and supports.

  • The curriculum is accessible and culturally responsive to the demographics of the student population.
  • The curriculum and interventions are based on high-quality research findings that indicate a likelihood of positive outcomes.
  • Multiple data sources are used to inform the selection of curriculum, instruction, intervention, and support practices (e.g., demographic, achievement, process, perception).
  • An established review process is used to assess the evidence base for instruction, intervention, or practices before adoption.
  • There is a process to include parents and families in the selection process.
  • There is a continuum of EBPs to meet a range of learning needs from accelerated to severe and persistently challenged.
  • Resources are allocated equitably to all educators to ensure implementation fidelity. High-quality professional learning is provided to staff in adopted curriculum, intervention, and practices to ensure fidelity of implementation.

For more detailed information on Selection of Evidence-Based Instruction, Intervention, and Support, review the

 

Resources 

 

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Collaborative Teams

 

 

 

Overview 

Collaborative teams (grade level, departmental, Tier 2, Tier 3) work interdependently to learn about and communicate the impact of instruction using evidence of student progress to improve outcomes for all students. Collaboration occurs within a framework that increases focus through a standard agenda and problem-solving process, analyzes data, and 

Collaborative Teaming Graphic.  School Level: Evaluates school process, monitors fidelity of processes, identifies problems and concerns, and manages data.  Student Level: Progress monitoring processes, diagnostic assessment, assess additional factors, and systematic review of data to inform intervention.

Why it’s Essential 

A cohesive approach to student achievement requires a collaborative approach where teachers use assessments to inform individual and collective practice. Collaborative teams (grade level, departmental, Tier 2, Tier 3) explore data for patterns and determine the causes for success and performance gaps. These teams put data at the center to guide instruction, adaptations, and interventions, to identify students or groups of students who need additional support, and to monitor student progress. Successful collaboration results in data-informed instruction, data-focused school level and student goals, and data-centered professional development. 

 

Implementation 

Core features of collaborative teams are: 

  • Team members take ownership and accept accountability for the outcomes of all students 
  • Team members have easy, efficient access to data that is graphically displayed and can be viewed, aggregated and disaggregated for analysis. 
  • Teams collaboratively develop common purposes and goals for improved student outcomes within a culture that embraces data-based decision making for continuous school improvement. 
  • Teams effectively utilize team processes (agendas, minutes, dialogue and discussion, norms, logistics, consensus, roles, standard problem-solving process, protocols). 

For more detailed information on Collaborative Teams, review the 

 

Resources

 

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Tiered Delivery System

 

 

 

Overview

The multi-tiered approach provides a responsive framework that helps to match academic, social-emotional, and behavioral instruction, intervention, and supports of all students. The tiers are intended to be layered with increasingly intensive supports matched to learner needs. MTSS is not a specific “model” but a framework of effective practices, interventions, and system change strategies that have empirical support and individually have been demonstrated to be effective.

MTSS%20Pyramid

 

An important component of the tiered framework is the quality of Tier 1 (i.e., the core curriculum), where all students receive high-quality instruction that is culturally and linguistically responsive and aligned to Montana state achievement standards. In a well-designed MTSS system, Tier 1 instruction should be effective and sufficient for about 80% of the student population. When screening indicates a student needs additional support to be successful, evidence-based interventions of moderate intensity are provided. These Tier 2 interventions, which are in addition to the core instruction, typically involve small-group instruction and intervention to address specific identified problems. Students who respond adequately to Tier 2 support return to Tier 1 (the core curriculum) with ongoing progress monitoring. Students who show minimal response to Tier 2 instruction receive additional Tier 3 support, which is more intensive and individualized.

 

  • Tier 1 is the research-based instruction and classroom interventions that are available to all learners and effectively meet the needs of most.
  • Tier 2 are evidence-based supplemental, targeted interventions intended for some learners who require support beyond Tier 1.
  • Tier 3 supports provide intense individual interventions for a few learners with highly accelerated, or severe and persistent academic and/or non-academic needs.
 
 

Why it’s Essential

The framework of a multi-tiered approach provides for efficient and effective allocation of resources. When appropriately used, the tiers support each learner to experience success by meeting their unique needs. Salient to this preventative approach are universal screening, a high quality core instruction, progress monitoring, increasingly intensive tiers of intervention, and fidelity of implementation.

 

Implementation

Core practices that characterize effective implementation of tiered delivery of supports include:

  • High-quality core instruction is in place that meets the academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs of most students (80%).
  • Guidance is provided to faculty and staff to ensure effective use of modeling, practice opportunities, feedback, re-teaching, assessment, intervention, cultural and linguistic responsiveness as part of instruction.
  • Well defined systems are in place to facilitate systematic assessment, data-informed decision-making, progress monitoring, and fidelity of implementation.
  • A continuum of interventions is available that include criteria for matching the student to the right evidence-based intervention, quick access, intervention protocols, progress monitoring, and monitoring for fidelity of implementation.
  • Communication systems are in place for all stakeholders (educators, students, families, community, etc.) regarding the current status and student progress.
  • High-quality professional learning opportunities are provided to enhance the use of differentiation and effective classroom practices, and to guide instruction and learning across the tiers.

For more detailed information on Tiered Delivery Systems, review the

 

Resources

 

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Comprehensive Screening & Assessment

 

 

 

Overview

A comprehensive screening and assessment system draws on multiple valid and reliable assessments and measures designed to inform instructional and programmatic decisions. Screening includes activities to identify learners who are not mastering grade-level standards and expectation, while further assessment is used to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses in order to determine appropriate intervention or support. Comprehensive screening and assessment includes:

  • Balanced assessment system (formative, benchmark/interim, summative)
  • Universal Screening measures and decision rules for using data
  • Progress Monitoring assessments and decision rules for using data
  • Diagnostic assessment process for the identification of specific need and administration of the assessments
 

Why it’s Essential

A comprehensive screening and assessment system contributes to an outcomes-driven approach that includes meaningful evaluation and commitment to continuous improvement. The data are used to guide determine which practices, interventions, and system change strategies are needed to improve student achievement. When districts and schools work within an MTSS framework, student assessments are a critical component of the entire system. The assessments are used to identify successes and gaps within a system and contribute to program evaluation. Data allows schools to evaluate the overall impact of student supports and can assist in decision-making and inform instruction at the student, classroom, school and district level. A comprehensive system also provides valid data that can be communicated to students, teachers, parents, administrators, and the community.

 

Implementation

Core features of a comprehensive screening and assessment system include:

  • Reliable and valid screening tools used with all students at least three times a year with the first occurring within the first four months of school
  • An assessment calendar that includes the following:
    • Three universal screening windows per year that includes all students for reading, math and social-emotional/behavior
    • Progress monitoring windows
    • Diagnostic assessment windows
    • Regular monitoring for fidelity of administration and data entry
    • Documented time for regular and systematic use of data from the screeners and assessment
  • School personnel use reliable and valid screening tools to identify students with at-risk social behavior.
  • Universal Screening uses tools that:
    • Address several areas of the whole child (e.g. academic, social-emotional, behavior)
    • Are quick, efficient, valid, reliable and predictive of future learner outcomes
    • Are appropriate for the learners in the setting
    • Are monitored for the fidelity of administration and data entry (as applicable)
    • Are designed for the purpose of screening rather than assessment.
    • Are administered 3x annually
  • Progress monitoring tools are used that:
    • Address several areas of the whole child (e.g. academic, social-emotional, behavior)
    • Are valid and reliable
    • Are monitored for fidelity of administration and data entry
    • Produce data that are used systematically to evaluate the quality, equity, and efficiency of instruction, interventions and support to create a responsive system that enhances individual learner outcomes
    • Are designed for the intended purpose of progress monitoring
  • Diagnostic assessments are used that:
    • Address several areas of the whole child (e.g. academic, social-emotional, behavior)
    • Are valid and reliable, normed for the population and are age appropriate
    • Include a process for the identification of specific need and administration of the assessments
    • Are monitored for fidelity of administration and data entry
    • Produce data that are used systematically to evaluate the quality, equity, and efficiency of instruction, interventions, and supports to create a responsive system that enhances individual learner outcomes

For more detailed information on Comprehensive Screening and Assessment, review the <Montana MTSS Essential Components>

 

Resources

 

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Data-based Decision Making

 

 

 

Overview

Data are used to analyze, evaluate and plan strategies that support sustainable system improvement and learner outcomes. This includes conducting needs assessments, efficient data collection practices for multiple data sets (e.g. demographic, student achievement, satisfaction, process data), and a formal process to guide decisions. Data-based decision making (DBDM) requires that data are timely, valid, reliable, accurate and reviewed in ongoing cycles. The roles and responsibilities for data-based decision making within the system are clearly defined and executed.

 

Why It’s Essential

 

Using a DBDM process shifts the work of school leadership teams from a reactive or crisis driven process to a pro-active, outcomes driven process, and sets the stage for continuous improvement. Data analysis allows for evidence to guide decision making for both the effectiveness of the system and for the needs of all learners. Examination of data using a standard problem-solving process to review all of the aggregated and disaggregated data for a district, school, groups of students or individual students provides information to narrow the problem to identify potential interventions and strategies.

 

Implementation

Core practices that characterize effective and continuous DBDM include:

  • The Leadership Team has access to and uses multiple sources that are used for DBDM and determine impact:
    • Aggregated and disaggregated academic and behavior outcome data
    • Input data (e.g., demographic)
    • Process data (e.g., quality of instruction, programmatic)
    • Outcome data (e.g., learner test scores, dropout rates, office discipline referrals)
    • Perception data (e.g., surveys)
    • Fidelity data
  • At a system level, data are analyzed at least three times each year to
    • Set and monitor progress on action plan and school improvement goals
    • Map, align, and reallocate resources (fiscal, personnel, time, facilities)
    • Determine needs and progress of all learners across all tiers of support
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of practices across all tiers all tiers of
  • At a student level, data are used to
    • Assess, adapt and improve academic and behavior support practices
    • Determine which students need additional support
    • Identify decision rules (e.g. benchmark cut points, ODRs) to determine which students receive additional Tier 2 or Tier 3 support or intervention
    • Progress monitor student rate of growth in Tier 2 and Tier 3
    • Increase intensity of intervention based on inadequate rate of growth
  • Faculty and staff receive professional learning opportunities and ongoing coaching in the effective use of data

 

For more detailed information on Continuous Data-Based Decision Making, review the <Montana MTSS Essential Components>

 

Resources

 

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Team-Based Leadership

Team-based leadership graphic with interconnected circles with people symbols inside them representing teamwork

Overview

A representative Leadership Team comprised of key stakeholders (grade levels/department/specials/general and special educators) is responsible for leading and coordinating MTSS efforts. The leadership team collects and analyzes a range of data for decision-making, including fidelity of implementation data, student outcome data, and intervention success data and communicates the current status with regular updates to staff, students, parents, and the community. The leadership team oversees the use of data for systematic problem-solving, attends to the fidelity of implementation, and the development of systems to promote sustainability and remove barriers to implementation.

 

Why It’s Essential

A team approach helps to distribute the workload among multiple individuals and facilitates collaboration and communication. Teams (district, building, and educator) that collaborate and communicate contribute to the alignment and cohesion across the multiple levels of the system. The alignment and cohesion of leadership teams allows for a systematic approach to data-based problem solving and keep the focus on improved outcomes for all students.

 

Implementation

Core features of effective team-based leadership include:

  • Shared accountability and responsibility for developing and maintaining the MTSS framework
  • Monthly meetings scheduled as part of the master calendar.
  •  Established meeting norms and clear roles/responsibilities for all members
  • Use of a consistent, standardized meeting agenda and corresponding action plan (e.g., TIPS Meeting Minutes and Problem-Solving Action Plan Form) at each meeting to guide the meeting and emphasize the ongoing use of data to inform decision making
  • Use of a formal shared decision-making process.
  • Procedures for communication and work with other collaborative educator teams (e.g. Tier 2, Tier 3, grade level teams).
  • Action planning and integration with the continuous school improvement planning process
  • Formalized feedback loops from learners, families, community, faculty, and staff to inform the system

 

For more detailed information onTeam-Based Leadership, review the <Montana MTSS Essential Components>

 

Resources 

 

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Consensus & Commitment

 

Overview

Collective responsibility for ensuring growth and success for all learners is assumed by each person within the school system, therefore key stakeholders (e.g., superintendent, Consensus & Commitmentprincipals, teachers, instructional support personnel, etc.) must arrive at consensus regarding the importance of adopting the MTSS framework and commit to the principles and practices that guide implementation. To achieve this, faculty and staff must first have a working knowledge and understanding of the core principles of MTSS.

 

Why It’s Essential

Building consensus creates the good-will and buy-in that reflects a mutual understanding and agreement to support the actions and responsibilities involved with the implementation of MTSS. Successful implementation, durability, and scaling up of MTSS is dependent on the commitment of all stakeholders to allocate sufficient time and resources.

 

Implementation

Indicators that characterize consensus and commitment include:

  • Administrators, leadership teams, faculty, and staff have watched the MTSS overview that is available on the OPI Teacher Learning Hub and have a working knowledge and understanding of the core principles of the MTSS framework.
  • The majority of the staff (80%) agree to adopt MTSS based on the results of the MTSS Staff Consensus Survey.
  • District and building administrators commit to allocating the time and resources needed to support the implementation of MTSS and to actively engage in the process by:
    • Establishing a Leadership Team at the district and building levels
    • Scheduling and attending monthly leadership team meetings
    • Designating a facilitator with allotted time to carry out MTSS tasks

 

For more detailed information on Consensus and Commitment, review the <Montana MTSS Essential Components>

 

Resources

 

Return to Top

Evidence-Based Instruction, Intervention & Supports

Evidence based instruction, intervention & supports graphic with computer and tablet

Overview

Instruction, interventions, and supports are selected that are strongly supported by high-quality, rigorous research that indicates the practice will be effective for the intended population. The selection process for adopting an evidence-based curriculum or intervention across Tiers considers the population of learners being served and alignment with district philosophy, capacity, programs, and initiatives.

 

Why it’s Essential

Using Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs) with fidelity leads to an increase in the likelihood of positive student outcomes and responsiveness to learner’s needs, and to a decrease in wasted time and resources because educators start with an effective practice or program and are not forced to find one through trial and error.

 

Implementation

Below are indicators of effective practices for the selection and implementation of evidence-based instruction, interventions and supports.

  • The curriculum is accessible and culturally responsive to the demographics of the student population.
  • The curriculum and interventions are based on high-quality research findings that indicate a likelihood of positive outcomes.
  • Multiple data sources are used to inform the selection of curriculum, instruction, intervention, and support practices (e.g., demographic, achievement, process, perception).
  • An established review process is used to assess the evidence base for instruction, intervention, or practices before adoption.
  • There is a process to include parents and families in the selection process.
  • There is a continuum of EBPs to meet a range of learning needs from accelerated to severe and persistently challenged.
  • Resources are allocated equitably to all educators to ensure implementation fidelity. High-quality professional learning is provided to staff in adopted curriculum, intervention, and practices to ensure fidelity of implementation.

For more detailed information on Selection of Evidence-Based Instruction, Intervention, and Support, review the <Montana MTSS Essential Components>

 

Resources 

 

Return to Top

Collaborative Teams

Collaborative teams graphic with gears appearing as if they're working and rotating together

Overview 

Collaborative teams (grade level, departmental, Tier 2, Tier 3) work interdependently to learn about and communicate the impact of instruction using evidence of student progress to improve outcomes for all students. Collaboration occurs within a framework that increases focus through a standard agenda and problem-solving process, analyzes data, and 

Collaborative Teaming Graphic.  School Level: Evaluates school process, monitors fidelity of processes, identifies problems and concerns, and manages data.  Student Level: Progress monitoring processes, diagnostic assessment, assess additional factors, and systematic review of data to inform intervention.

Why it’s Essential 

A cohesive approach to student achievement requires a collaborative approach where teachers use assessments to inform individual and collective practice. Collaborative teams (grade level, departmental, Tier 2, Tier 3) explore data for patterns and determine the causes for success and performance gaps. These teams put data at the center to guide instruction, adaptations, and interventions, to identify students or groups of students who need additional support, and to monitor student progress. Successful collaboration results in data-informed instruction, data-focused school level and student goals, and data-centered professional development. 

 

Implementation 

Core features of collaborative teams are: 

  • Team members take ownership and accept accountability for the outcomes of all students 
  • Team members have easy, efficient access to data that is graphically displayed and can be viewed, aggregated and disaggregated for analysis. 
  • Teams collaboratively develop common purposes and goals for improved student outcomes within a culture that embraces data-based decision making for continuous school improvement. 
  • Teams effectively utilize team processes (agendas, minutes, dialogue and discussion, norms, logistics, consensus, roles, standard problem-solving process, protocols). 

For more detailed information on Collaborative Teams, review the <Montana MTSS Essential Components>

 

Resources

 

Return to Top

Tiered Delivery System

Tiered delivery system graphic with layers of color stacked to represent the levels of the system

Overview

The multi-tiered approach provides a responsive framework that helps to match academic, social-emotional, and behavioral instruction, intervention, and supports of all students. The tiers are intended to be layered with increasingly intensive supports matched to learner needs. MTSS is not a specific “model” but a framework of effective practices, interventions, and system change strategies that have empirical support and individually have been demonstrated to be effective.

An important component of the tiered framework is the quality of Tier 1 (i.e., the core curriculum), where all students receive high-quality instruction that is culturally and linguistically responsive and aligned to Montana state achievement standards. In a well-designed MTSS system, Tier 1 instruction should be effective and sufficient for about 80% of the student population. When screening indicates a student needs additional support to be successful, evidence-based interventions of moderate intensity are provided. These Tier 2 interventions, which are in addition to the core instruction, typically involve small-group instruction and intervention to address specific identified problems. Students who respond adequately to Tier 2 support return to Tier 1 (the core curriculum) with ongoing progress monitoring. Students who show minimal response to Tier 2 instruction receive additional Tier 3 support, which is more intensive and individualized.

Tiered Pyramid Graphic.  Tier 1: Core Instruction.  Tier 2: Targeted Intervention. Tier 3: Intensive Intervention.

 

 

  • Tier 1 is the research-based instruction and classroom interventions that are available to all learners and effectively meet the needs of most.
  • Tier 2 are evidence-based supplemental, targeted interventions intended for some learners who require support beyond Tier 1.
  • Tier 3 supports provide intense individual interventions for a few learners with highly accelerated, or severe and persistent academic and/or non-academic needs.
 
 
 

Why it’s Essential

The framework of a multi-tiered approach provides for efficient and effective allocation of resources. When appropriately used, the tiers support each learner to experience success by meeting their unique needs. Salient to this preventative approach are universal screening, a high quality core instruction, progress monitoring, increasingly intensive tiers of intervention, and fidelity of implementation.

 

Implementation

Core practices that characterize effective implementation of tiered delivery of supports include:

  • High-quality core instruction is in place that meets the academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs of most students (80%).
  • Guidance is provided to faculty and staff to ensure effective use of modeling, practice opportunities, feedback, re-teaching, assessment, intervention, cultural and linguistic responsiveness as part of instruction.
  • Well defined systems are in place to facilitate systematic assessment, data-informed decision-making, progress monitoring, and fidelity of implementation.
  • A continuum of interventions is available that include criteria for matching the student to the right evidence-based intervention, quick access, intervention protocols, progress monitoring, and monitoring for fidelity of implementation.
  • Communication systems are in place for all stakeholders (educators, students, families, community, etc.) regarding the current status and student progress.
  • High-quality professional learning opportunities are provided to enhance the use of differentiation and effective classroom practices, and to guide instruction and learning across the tiers.

For more detailed information on Tiered Delivery Systems, review the <Montana MTSS Essential Components>

 

Resources

 

Return to Top

Comprehensive Screening & Assessment

comprehensive screening and assessment graphic with magnifying glass

Overview

A comprehensive screening and assessment system draws on multiple valid and reliable assessments and measures designed to inform instructional and programmatic decisions. Screening includes activities to identify learners who are not mastering grade-level standards and expectation, while further assessment is used to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses in order to determine appropriate intervention or support. Comprehensive screening and assessment includes:

  • Balanced assessment system (formative, benchmark/interim, summative)
  • Universal Screening measures and decision rules for using data
  • Progress Monitoring assessments and decision rules for using data
  • Diagnostic assessment process for the identification of specific need and administration of the assessments
 

Why it’s Essential

A comprehensive screening and assessment system contributes to an outcomes-driven approach that includes meaningful evaluation and commitment to continuous improvement. The data are used to guide determine which practices, interventions, and system change strategies are needed to improve student achievement. When districts and schools work within an MTSS framework, student assessments are a critical component of the entire system. The assessments are used to identify successes and gaps within a system and contribute to program evaluation. Data allows schools to evaluate the overall impact of student supports and can assist in decision-making and inform instruction at the student, classroom, school and district level. A comprehensive system also provides valid data that can be communicated to students, teachers, parents, administrators, and the community.

 

Implementation

Core features of a comprehensive screening and assessment system include:

  • Reliable and valid screening tools used with all students at least three times a year with the first occurring within the first four months of school
  • An assessment calendar that includes the following:
    • Three universal screening windows per year that includes all students for reading, math and social-emotional/behavior
    • Progress monitoring windows
    • Diagnostic assessment windows
    • Regular monitoring for fidelity of administration and data entry
    • Documented time for regular and systematic use of data from the screeners and assessment
  • School personnel use reliable and valid screening tools to identify students with at-risk social behavior.
  • Universal Screening uses tools that:
    • Address several areas of the whole child (e.g. academic, social-emotional, behavior)
    • Are quick, efficient, valid, reliable and predictive of future learner outcomes
    • Are appropriate for the learners in the setting
    • Are monitored for the fidelity of administration and data entry (as applicable)
    • Are designed for the purpose of screening rather than assessment.
    • Are administered 3x annually
  • Progress monitoring tools are used that:
    • Address several areas of the whole child (e.g. academic, social-emotional, behavior)
    • Are valid and reliable
    • Are monitored for fidelity of administration and data entry
    • Produce data that are used systematically to evaluate the quality, equity, and efficiency of instruction, interventions and support to create a responsive system that enhances individual learner outcomes
    • Are designed for the intended purpose of progress monitoring
  • Diagnostic assessments are used that:
    • Address several areas of the whole child (e.g. academic, social-emotional, behavior)
    • Are valid and reliable, normed for the population and are age appropriate
    • Include a process for the identification of specific need and administration of the assessments
    • Are monitored for fidelity of administration and data entry
    • Produce data that are used systematically to evaluate the quality, equity, and efficiency of instruction, interventions, and supports to create a responsive system that enhances individual learner outcomes

For more detailed information on Comprehensive Screening and Assessment, review the <Montana MTSS Essential Components>

 

Resources

 

Return to Top

Data-based Decision Making

Team based decision making graphic with pie chart and graphs

Overview

Data are used to analyze, evaluate and plan strategies that support sustainable system improvement and learner outcomes. This includes conducting needs assessments, efficient data collection practices for multiple data sets (e.g. demographic, student achievement, satisfaction, process data), and a formal process to guide decisions. Data-based decision making (DBDM) requires that data are timely, valid, reliable, accurate and reviewed in ongoing cycles. The roles and responsibilities for data-based decision making within the system are clearly defined and executed.

 

Why It’s Essential

 

Using a DBDM process shifts the work of school leadership teams from a reactive or crisis driven process to a pro-active, outcomes driven process, and sets the stage for continuous improvement. Data analysis allows for evidence to guide decision making for both the effectiveness of the system and for the needs of all learners. Examination of data using a standard problem-solving process to review all of the aggregated and disaggregated data for a district, school, groups of students or individual students provides information to narrow the problem to identify potential interventions and strategies.

 

Implementation

Core practices that characterize effective and continuous DBDM include:

  • The Leadership Team has access to and uses multiple sources that are used for DBDM and determine impact:
    • Aggregated and disaggregated academic and behavior outcome data
    • Input data (e.g., demographic)
    • Process data (e.g., quality of instruction, programmatic)
    • Outcome data (e.g., learner test scores, dropout rates, office discipline referrals)
    • Perception data (e.g., surveys)
    • Fidelity data
  • At a system level, data are analyzed at least three times each year to
    • Set and monitor progress on action plan and school improvement goals
    • Map, align, and reallocate resources (fiscal, personnel, time, facilities)
    • Determine needs and progress of all learners across all tiers of support
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of practices across all tiers all tiers of
  • At a student level, data are used to
    • Assess, adapt and improve academic and behavior support practices
    • Determine which students need additional support
    • Identify decision rules (e.g. benchmark cut points, ODRs) to determine which students receive additional Tier 2 or Tier 3 support or intervention
    • Progress monitor student rate of growth in Tier 2 and Tier 3
    • Increase intensity of intervention based on inadequate rate of growth
  • Faculty and staff receive professional learning opportunities and ongoing coaching in the effective use of data

 

For more detailed information on Continuous Data-Based Decision Making, review the <Montana MTSS Essential Components>

 

Resources

 

Return to Top