Supporting the MTSS Framework
We designed Abre to meet the challenges of silos. Helping students grow takes effort. Teachers (and parents) shouldn’t have to jump through a variety of hoops to understand how best to help their kids.
Solving silos is key to supporting the MTSS process. How? Let’s find out.
First, what is MTSS?
MTSS stands for “Multi-Tiered System of Supports.” It’s a framework used by schools to promote student success. It’s a robust framework, backed by social science, and used by many schools and districts to support struggling students
MTSS looks at addressing two core elements of struggling students:
- Behavior and;
- Academic performance.
MTSS isn’t a scripted framework. It doesn’t define a particular program, there is a range of popular programs under the MTSS umbrella. It does, however, have key components.
The Key Components of MTSS
Schools that use the MTSS framework have six key components.
- Screening. Screening tools that assess students in the areas of behavior and academic performance.
- Student plans. A committed plan to address identified struggles.
- Strategies. The use of evidence-based instructional strategies to help students. No gut feelings, if you will.
- Professional development for educators. Quality educator training is vital to MTSS implementation.
- Family involvement. Supportive family members are integral to the collaborative process.
- Monitoring. Monitor progress to know what is and isn’t working.
Two of the most popular programs within MTSS are Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RTI). PBIS is a program for encouraging productive and positive behaviors from students. RTI is a program that systematically helps students grow in their academics. I should note that RTI frequently contains components that address behavior as well. It’s probably no surprise that behavior affects academic performance.
Pulling all these components together into a coherent process takes effort. Done wrong, this can result in loads of extra work and confusion for teachers, students, and parents. Done well, students grow, teachers focus on teaching, and parents feel part of the learning process.
Let’s take a look at how Abre pulls the components of MTSS together through a controlled narrative.
For academic screening, schools can use Abre’s Assessment App for district-wide assessments. That said, many schools rely on more universal screening tools. Some common examples of tools used are:
- State assessment results
- NWEA MAP scores
- STAR (Renaissance Learning) data
Abre collects the results of these third parties and displays them in a clean dashboard for teachers and administrators to use. There is no need to hunt for information in different siloed applications.
What about behavior screening? Abre Behavior tracks student behavior over time. With it, administrators and teachers can see trends, common issues, and insights into school culture. Behavior data is viewable alongside academic screening data and is part of a student’s profile.
Creating a student plan is simple in Abre. We have a detailed recipe on how to create RTI Plans in Abre. Broadly, the RTI plan works as so:
- Create the RTI Form in Abre. Designate it a plan.
- Assign the plan to the student.
- Use interventions.
- Update the plan with data.
Students can have more than one plan. Indeed, Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) are also common. All plans become part of the student profile and, once approved, can also be viewable by parents.
Once students are identified and on a plan, how does a school go about using evidence-based strategies for helping students? There are, of course, many evidence-based strategies (Formative Instructional Practices,Project-Based Learning, etc.). Abre helps schools bring such strategies into a single, coherent location through Abre Curriculum.
Learning is critical to teachers as well. Professional development helps deploy an MTSS framework with fidelity. Fortunately, Abre provides an entire Professional Learning Solution schools use to help grow their educators. The solution includes:
- The creation of staff professional development plans.
- The tracking of growth against that plan (and can be used for license renewal).
- The ability to create and share professional learning courses.
Again, the focus here is to not jump around from silo to silo to monitor how a student is performing. Abre Students brings all the student’s essential data points into one central dashboard. Teachers can monitor their students daily. They can view how well student plans are followed and, critically, if adjustments are required.
The unified school experience Abre brings to teachers also is available to parents. Parents can log in to Abre, see tailored announcements and resources, and access their student’s profile. This knowledge helps them with their involvement in their child’s learning.
Abre Supports MTSS
The MTSS framework provides a robust means for helping at-risk students. Abre fully supports the MTSS framework by providing an integrated platform for educators, students, and parents. By simplifying the processes involved in the framework, Abre can drive efficiencies in the MTSS process and impact student growth.