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    How Your Department Could Be Benefiting From Branching Minds Right Now

    Instituting MTSS, Leadership in MTSS, Branching Minds Platform

    Just about every department and role in a school district benefits from the Branching Minds platform! Branching Minds is a comprehensive MTSS solution designed to transform the way school districts support students, making the work of education both practical and sustainable. 

    Math Fluency: We Need a Comprehensive Approach

    Interventions and Learning Supports' Strategies

    A guest post from the math experts at BlueStreak Math

    The past 15 years have been revolutionary in our understanding of student learning, especially in mathematics. As new studies emerge on the impact of fluency on student performance and researchers identify more impactful ways to support and sustain learning, it’s critical that we refresh our understanding of math fluency and adapt our methods for teaching math to maximize student success. 

    One Reason Your MTSS Might Be Failing, and What To Do About It

    MTSS Practice, Instituting MTSS, Leadership in MTSS

    Hooray! You've already laid the groundwork for MTSS success by establishing a clear vision for the work in collaboration with your colleagues. The initial hurdle of getting systems off the ground and providing basic training for staff members on board has been completed. But now, as you move toward full implementation and continuous growth, you're stepping into the big leagues.

    5 Family Communication Resources for MTSS Success

    Instituting MTSS

    Recently, my sister asked me if emailing teachers several times a week is too much. She wanted to know how her three elementary-age children were doing in class, and one child in particular. Whether a parent, a teacher, or both, you know how important it is to work as a team. Families and school staff are working for the same outcome: student growth and success. 

    Supporting Early Literacy With MTSS and Branching Minds

    Instituting MTSS, Interventions and Learning Supports' Strategies, MTSS for Elementary, Branching Minds Platform

    The ability to read with fluency and comprehension is THE foundational academic skill that leads to all others. Despite the importance, reading performance in the US has been stagnant for decades. In 2022, only 32% of 4th graders demonstrated proficiency in early literacy skills. 

    Master Scheduling for MTSS: Options and Challenges

    MTSS Practice, Instituting MTSS

    Years ago, as part of a team opening a new high school, our principal emphasized the importance of site-based decision-making. With input from our leadership team, we dedicated considerable thought to our master schedule. Our principal reminded us that scheduling reflects our priorities, leading us to adopt a nonconventional schedule to support deep learning for all students. We decided on a 4x4 block schedule but heard the concerns raised by stakeholder groups, so we modified it. We alternated classes by quarter instead of semester. We also added an extra "floating block" in 9th and 10th grade English to offer additional literacy instruction for all students.

    How to Know if an MTSS Intervention Plan is Working (and What to Do if It Isn’t)

    MTSS Practice, Interventions and Learning Supports' Strategies

    So, you have identified students needing a support plan, created goals, selected and implemented appropriate interventions, and collected data using a progress monitoring tool or assessment. Fantastic! These are all necessary steps to supporting students through your Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

    Use It or Lose It: Invest Funds in What Will Last

    Instituting MTSS, Leadership in MTSS

    As the end of the fiscal year approaches, schools must exhaust allocated funds, whether from local, state, or federal sources. One approach is to view these funds as opportunities for one-time investments that will yield ongoing returns for students. 

    Here are some practical ways to invest remaining funds for long-term benefits:

    How To Utilize a Co-Teaching Model for Secondary MTSS Interventions

    MTSS Practice, MTSS for Secondary

    In my decade in the classroom, I worked with several co-teachers. Some were special education teachers, some para-educators, ELL teachers, and even gifted and talented teachers. Each year, the co-teaching relationship worked differently. And yes, some were more successful than others. But when we had planning time and appropriate facilitation, co-teaching benefited not only the students who required extra support but all the students in my classes.

    5 Data Security Questions for School Administrators

    MTSS Data Literacy

    Data is central to the MTSS framework. In fact, one of the most important components of an effective Multi-Tiered System of Supports is easy access to data from multiple sources, brought together in a way that supports intervention planning and delivery. But with access can come vulnerability. Schools often struggle to keep up with the cloud security and data privacy standards of their vendors, making them vulnerable to cyberattacks. EdWeek has gone so far as to call it the Cybersecurity Wild-West for schools!