Boulder Valley School District: What is MTSS?


October 29, 2021

Lately, there has been increasing discussion in the Boulder Valley School District about Multi-Level Support Systems or MTSS. Some of our families told us they didn’t know what it meant. Here is a brief explanation.

Simply put, MTSS is a philosophy of how support is provided to students both academically and socially-emotionally. It ensures that all students receive universal instruction / support, but also that more flexible and individualized help is available when a student needs it.

RELATED: Academic and emotional support and MTSS

The three levels of support

MTSS is made up of universal, targeted and intensive support. The goal through our curriculum and daily teaching is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to be successful.

Universal

The goal, as always, is to ensure that every student receives first and foremost high quality universal education and social and emotional support from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Target

If a student is having difficulty with a specific concept in math, reading, writing or maybe they are having trouble with friends or experiencing a traumatic emotional event, we are ready and able to help. in this area, with targeted support. The aim is for this support to be very focused on the specific needs of the pupil for a measured period of time.

“When we identify student challenges – whether academically or behaviorally – all students have access to timely and flexible support,” said Nativity Miller, assistant superintendent of Student Access and Opportunity.

Intensive

Sometimes a student needs a more focused intervention that spans a longer period of time.

A quick example of our daily life

It’s similar to our health and well-being. Every year, we can see our doctor for a preventive check-up and hear routine messages about healthy eating and exercise. It is the universal medium.

In some cases, they may spot something unusual that might require specialist help. This is targeted support.

If we are involved in an accident, emergency care or emergencies are there to help in the most serious cases. This is intensive support.

One size does not fit all

We recognize that every child is different. They will learn differently, have different experiences, strengths and challenges.

The MTSS process is important because it allows us as educators to be flexible to meet the needs of each student.

In many cases, additional support is temporary

We all want our children to be supported, when needed, but we also want their experience to be as normal as possible – in the classroom with their unlabeled friends, if possible.

“MTSS should provide as much support as a student needs, for as long as they need it, but we should also celebrate when they achieve their goals – whenever possible,” Miller said. “[Engaging in MTSS] is not a life sentence and it is certainly not a route to special education. It is a way of saying, on this concept or this standard, the student is in difficulty – let’s catch up. And then there may be a new standard, new concept, or new behavior that they might not be grappling with. I think it’s this ongoing process of monitoring our students’ progress, and then reflecting and refining our practice to meet the needs of the children. “

Families must play a role

Miller says it’s critical for families to be involved in their child’s education and part of that is keeping them updated whenever an educator has concerns about a child’s performance or behavior. student.

“We are trying to create a way for parents to be informed earlier, as soon as a problem arises, so that we can say, ‘it is in this area only and here is what we are going to try to do to respond to students “Then if what we are implementing works, we will continue to use that strategy or intervention, and if it does not work, we will try something else. It is essential that we involve and collaborate with parents” Miller said, “They know their kids better than we do.

Often times they can give us insight into who their student is and how they are responding, so that we can design specific and targeted support for the student as an individual. “


This press release was produced by Boulder Valley School District. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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