Instituting MTSS Leadership in MTSS

    School’s out for summer! 🎉

    I remember blasting that song in my car on the final day of school each year (or for the younger generation, perhaps it’s “What Time Is It?” from High School Musical 2). To be honest, I blasted “School’s Out for Summer” in my classroom while waiting for that final bell to ring. Is there a better feeling than that first day of summer break? I have yet to find one.

    Educators in many districts across the country are in full summer vacation mode. The memes on social media are endless, and we love them. This is a well-deserved summer break. 

    Summer vacation is also a great time to catch up on some reading and do some learning for our own professional growth. The team at Branching Minds loves to read about MTSS as much as we love to talk about it. So, we’ve compiled a list of our top favorite MTSS and education books to help you pick your next summer read. While not all of these books specifically discuss MTSS, they do discuss issues and challenges currently impacting education and MTSS practice, such as equity and trauma. 

    Expert tip: We recommend you read these books by the pool with a cocktail in your hand… 

    1. Leading Equity-Based MTSS for All Students

      Authors: Amy McCart and Dawn Miller

      This book should be at the top of your reading list if you’re interested in learning more about MTSS and how to increase equity. Our professional service team loved this book so much that they created a book club around it. We’ve referenced it in multiple blogs, and continue to learn and grow from the insights provided by McCart and Miller. While there are some great MTSS resources for teachers in this book, there are also some great strategies and insights for education leaders, including: 
      • How to engage all students in learning with an equity-based approach to instruction 
      • How to resource map for MTSS 
      • How to apply evidence-based principles during MTSS implementation 
      • Which tools to use to systematize MTSS 
    2. Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives

      Author: Minal Bopaiah 

      If you’re interested in learning more about creating an equitable organization, whether at the classroom, school, or district level, Bopaiah’s book on organizational equity is a great place to start. While this book focuses mainly on equity in corporations, the emphasis on implementing systematic equity also applies to the education world. 

    3. Courageous Conversations About Race

      Author: Glenn E. Singleton 

      In this field guide on equity, Singleton creates an open dialogue about race conversations and the path to racial equity in schools. This book has been well received amongst districts across the nation. An accompanying podcast and online course are available to extend the conversation and analyze why conversations about race are important in schools.
    4. Implicit Bias in Schools: A Practitioner’s Guide

      Authors: Gina Laura Gullo, Kelly Capatosto, and Cheryl Staats 

      Continuing on the equity theme, Implicit Bias in Schools is a practitioner's guide to understanding implicit bias in education and how to address it. In this guide, educators learn about implicit bias, how it’s a problem, and how to fix it. Incorporating studies and data on the impact of implicit bias in education, the authors discuss how to bridge research and practice and transform educational practices to mitigate the impact of bias.
    5. Removing Labels

      Authors: Dominique Smith, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey

      Removing Labels is a guide on 40 techniques to disrupt negative expectations about students and schools. Exploring the topic of implicit bias, the authors strive to help educators identify implicit bias and how bias may lead to the “labeling” of students or schools. The focus of this book is to provide actionable steps for educators to address the practice of labeling with ready-to-go tools and resources for instructional planning and reflection.
    6. What Happened to You

      Authors: Oprah Winfrey and Bruce. D. Perry 

      What Happened to You is a narrative reflection and analysis of how trauma can affect our brains throughout our lives. Narrated by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry, this book explores the impact of trauma on behavior, and how positive regulation strategies and support can help individuals heal from traumatic experiences. Given the traumatic impact of COVID-19, this book can help educators learn more about how trauma can impact a student’s behavior or how it may be impacting our own responses. 

    7. Leading and Managing A Differentiated Classroom

      Authors: Carol Ann Tomlinson and Marcia B Imbreay 

      We featured this book before in our roundup of books to help build your MTSS practice, and it continues to be an excellent guide to differentiation. This book looks at a robust core with differentiated instruction, a tenant of MTSS. As we all know, differentiation is not one-size-fits-all, and it can feel very daunting when teachers work to translate the ideology into daily practice. 

      Many teachers report that managing a classroom with centers is often very difficult to manage from a behavioral perspective. They don’t have enough time to generate a meaningful curriculum for multiple groups in multiple subject areas. This book works towards clarifying the misconceptions and aims to provide practical strategies to make implementation more manageable. Written by teachers and for teachers, this book is essential for every educator’s bookshelf. 

      ➡️ Related Resource: The Differentiation Deal: Making a Case for Differentiation in the Classroom

    More MTSS Resources for the Summer

    Interested in learning more about MTSS? While this list focused on books related to MTSS and education, we’ve also created a list of books to help build your MTSS practice. 

    Are you in the early stages of implementing MTSS in your district? Check out the following resources to help navigate the early stages of implementation and learn more about MTSS. 

    Not in the early stages, but still want to check on your MTSS implementation and fidelity? Check out these resources:


    Let us help you build the right team!

    Branching Minds offers a variety of professional learning opportunities for states, districts, and schools to ensure instructional leaders, specialists, coaches, and teachers are able to implement RTI/MTSS as well as the BRM platform with fidelity and maximizes educators’ efforts to accelerate learning for all students.


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    Tagged: Instituting MTSS, Leadership in MTSS

    June 21, 2022

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