4 Ways Electives and Arts Classes Support MTSS

    MTSS Practice, MTSS for Secondary

    One of my favorite memories as an artistic and creative child was when the “art lady” came on Fridays to my 4th-grade class. She would introduce a project, and we got to pull out those crayons and paints we stored in our desks. We learned to do “stained glass” with tissue paper, draw pumpkins, and learn what to do when we made mistakes. 

    How MTSS Provides Foundational Support in High School

    MTSS for Secondary

    As a former MTSS coordinator, I always anxiously awaited universal screener results. I wanted to know every single student who needed support and interventions. Optimistically, I believed that once all students on my high school campus had been identified as needing additional support, we, as a school community, would quickly begin creating interventions and support plans to ensure all of our students were successful. 

    5 Practical Reading Comprehension Strategies for Secondary Students

    Interventions and Learning Supports' Strategies, MTSS for Secondary
    According to the Nations Report Card, in 2019, only 34% of 8th-grade
    students read at grade level.
    Unfortunately, gaps in reading skills have continued to grow since that time, not just as a whole but also between racial and economic subgroups. Because reading is essential for success in every content area throughout secondary school, helping students with reading deficits is every middle and high school teacher’s job, not just the interventionist or language arts teacher. 

    How To Empower Secondary Teachers Through MTSS

    MTSS Practice, MTSS for Secondary

    I am the first to admit that I didn’t even know how to get my students more intense help for many years. As a new 7th Grade ELA teacher, I just thought I was failing as a teacher. As I gained experience and training, specifically in English as a Second language, I learned how to make my instruction more accessible and to identify those students that needed help beyond core instruction. In many ways, I remained at a loss for how to provide the intervention they needed.

    Implementing MTSS at the Secondary Level: Answering 4 Common Questions

    MTSS Practice, MTSS for Secondary

    We all enjoy the collegial swapping of stories from our early days of teaching and chatting about the teaching memories we have collected over the years. This dialogue of shared experiences is extremely valuable as it can provide some laughs, illustrate how far we have come, and remind us that we are not alone, especially as we continue to learn new skills or take on new initiatives.

    Giving Students Agency With a Seat at the MTSS Table

    MTSS Practice, MTSS for Secondary, MTSS for Elementary

    Every year I head to my doctor's appointment for my annual check-up. This year, I thought about all the screeners that the doctor used to determine my overall health, as well as the conversation we had in her office as we sat at the table reviewing my results. 

    Best Practices at Tier 1 For the Secondary Level

    Tier 1 - Core Instruction, MTSS for Secondary

    School leaders and teachers have a tendency to rush to implement behavior or academic interventions plans for struggling students, without first taking the time to problem solve why students are struggling in the first place. I witnessed this firsthand in my nearly ten years as a high school assistant principal. 

    As a first-year high school teacher, it was almost instinctual to pull a struggling learner (often an English Language Learner or a student well below grade level) out of the classroom and work with them individually. Wasn’t this one-on-one attention precisely what this student needed? Wasn’t I helping them by teaching them at their level? They didn’t have to sit through a lesson feeling lost and frustrated, and I didn’t have to worry about them feeling lost in this environment. Instead, I could work with them individually and get them caught up. 

    While I intended to help, I did not realize I was causing more harm than good, which was evident by my student’s lack of progress by the end of the year. At the time, I didn’t understand the importance of a strong, frequently revised Tier 1 curriculum, differentiated for all learners, and the importance of using interventions as supplemental instruction for struggling learners. 

    Infrastructural Alignment for MTSS

    Instituting MTSS, MTSS for Secondary, MTSS for Elementary

    Winning the MTSS Tug-Of-War -- How to Create Infrastructural Alignment for MTSS

     

     

    There is a universal truth when starting any sort of new project, vision, implementation, or system change: a disruption and reallocation of time and resources must be addressed. With the addition of a new goal, there will be a back and forth battle as finite (time, staffing, money) resources are reassigned. To minimize or alleviate the exhaustion that accompanies the tug-of-war, alignment should be the goal of every leader. 

    Progress Monitoring for MTSS at the Secondary Level

    MTSS Assessment Data, MTSS for Secondary

    As a professional development consultant for Branching Minds, I work with teachers and administrators from all over the country. I frequently get asked how progress monitoring should look at the middle school and high school levels.

    MTSS in Secondary Schools: Major Challenges, and How to Overcome Them

    MTSS for Secondary

    Secondary teachers and leaders often cite difficulties and frustrations when they are asked about their current RTI/MTSS practice or implementation. My own experience with this work started when a district-level administrator walked into my office (about 2 seconds into my first year as a high school Asst. Principal) and dropped off a thick binder titled MTSS (that used to be titled RTI). Here you go. Run with this and see what you can do. MTSS? In high school? Why, how?

    Some leaders don’t see the point of MTSS in secondary schools and think of it as a framework that belongs in elementary schools. Others understand the importance of implementing a strong practice, but when they take steps towards establishing the structures and procedures they meet many challenges and quickly get frustrated, which was my experience almost immediately.