Instituting MTSS Leadership in MTSS Branching Minds Platform

    You see the need for an MTSS platform to streamline and support your work with students, but how do you bring others on board, especially when you’re not “the boss?” First, don’t discount your influence with the decision-makers in your school district! As someone directly involved in providing instruction and intervention for struggling students, your perspective and experience can be a compelling agent for change, but only if you speak up and carefully make your case.

    That's why this blog post is here: to offer you practical strategies, helping you advocate effectively for the purchase of an MTSS platform. By highlighting its potential to transform teacher collaboration and improve student outcomes, we aim to empower you in making a persuasive case for obtaining the tools you and your colleagues need to accomplish the work of MTSS. 

    To make your case for an MTSS platform, follow these steps:

    1. Identify the Need

      Clearly define the problem(s) that an MTSS platform can address, answering the question “What’s in it for …”

      • You (and your peers)
      • Your administrator at the school level
      • District leadership as a whole

      Ensure your proposal highlights how a platform aligns with MTSS principles and would support data-driven decision-making, differentiated instruction, progress monitoring, and collaboration across tiers.

    2. Align With the District’s Goals

      Demonstrate how the use of an MTSS platform aligns with the district's educational goals, priorities, and initiatives. Highlight areas where a platform would make a positive impact and contribute to student achievement or teacher effectiveness. The key is to always start with district initiatives and students’ data-driven learning priorities. Build from a place of shared concern to help administrators see that your inquiry is not “niche” but is actually critical to accomplishing district goals for equitable instruction, early intervention, and systematic progress monitoring.

    3. Research MTSS Platforms

      As much as we might wish this was a simple process of finding a great platform and adopting it, most districts must go through a bidding process or “Request for Proposals” to ensure fairness and objectivity as they purchase software products. Be sure to do your homework to present the best options to your district administrators. Gather information about MTSS platforms, including features, benefits, cost, and compatibility with existing systems. Consider researching reviews, case studies, and success stories from other similar schools or similar districts in terms of size, state, or demographics. In the process, leverage a rubric to help you compare platforms. 

      💡Related Resource: The Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Buyer's Guide

    4. Develop a Proposal

      Create a formal proposal that outlines the benefits of having an MTSS platform (at all levels: students, educators, admins), along with expected outcomes. Structure the proposal with clear sections addressing the problem, solution, potential costs, and potential risks. Use data and research to support each section, focusing on how an MTSS platform can enhance data analysis, intervention coordination, stakeholder collaboration, and overall student growth.
    5. Build a Support Network

      Collaborate with colleagues who share similar needs or interests in the tool. Formulate a group or committee to collectively present the case for a platform. Include representatives from various roles, such as teachers, interventionists, school psychologists, social workers, and special education staff, to demonstrate cross-departmental support and showcase the platform's benefits for diverse student populations.

    6. Meet With the Decision Maker

      Request a meeting with your administrator to present your proposal. Seek their support and coordination in arranging a meeting with the district MTSS administrator or similar decision-making role. Present the proposal, highlighting key points that emphasize a platform's potential impact on improving student outcomes within an MTSS framework.



      In recent research conducted by EdWeek Market Brief:

      “When a school or district official is receptive to a product brought to their attention by a teacher, the next step in the process can vary greatly, according to the survey data. The largest block of teachers surveyed  — 33 percent — say they were asked for more detailed research on the product they were recommending.”

      Anticipate concerns and be prepared to address them with supporting evidence. Emphasize how an MTSS platform is compatible with existing district systems and supports any MTSS best practices already in place. 

    7. Arrange a Demonstration

      Seeing is believing! If possible, arrange for a demonstration of your top platform for a selection of stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, and relevant staff. Showcase its functionality, user-friendliness, and alignment with MTSS best practices. Allow decision-makers to experience an MTSS platform firsthand and witness how it can support their specific roles and goals within the district's MTSS implementation.

      Follow up with the district administrator to address any additional questions or concerns. 

      Your proposal may go to a district committee as the bidding process is started, or the process may be simpler. If appropriate, offer to be a lead link between the administration and MTSS platform companies, bringing all necessary parties to the conversation. Be flexible and open to modifications of scope based on feedback, budget, priorities, or other. Make sure to keep everyone in the loop, and if things do not move forward, do not drop the ball. Ask when you could bring this back again since admins are also constrained by budgets, priorities, and other strategic initiatives that may not be so obvious.

      Remember to remain persistent, professional, and focused on the educational benefits of the tool throughout the process. Good luck!

      Additional Resources to Check Out:
      💡 EdWeek article: The Right Platform Should Empower Educators
      💡 Blog: Making the Case That MTSS is NOT Just Something Extra



     Transform teacher collaboration in your school and effectively, efficiently, and equitably support the holistic needs of ALL your students with an MTSS Platform!

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    Tagged: Instituting MTSS, Leadership in MTSS, Branching Minds Platform

    August 29, 2023

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