One semester in, MTSS transition is successful

By Kayleigh Rahn
Tuscola schools have seen a shift in how teachers are responding to and interacting with students in need of a classroom boost.

With a state-mandated need for an approach to intervention of at-risk students, this year Tuscola schools have adopted the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) practice that allows teachers to facilitate education decisions by using collaboration and data.

Now, one semester in, teacher coaches at each of the three buildings say they’re pleased with the new system.

“MTSS provides an improved process and structure for school teams to design, implement, and evaluate both daily instruction and specific interventions,” according to a letter from the school. “MTSS is a process that focuses on growth for all students.”

While each building was working through a similar system with Response to Intervention (RTI), after researching other districts, they’ve transitioned to a more specific system called MTSS. MTSS includes intervention groups for students at risk of failing by identifying weaknesses and enrichment for students who are meeting requirements. Tiers are identified in the process including classroom time, small group instructional support (Tiger Time, Activity Period, Etc.), and intense support for students with the greatest needs. Part of the program necessitates teachers to communicate and collaborate regarding specific students. The district met this need by approving seven early dismissals throughout the school year with the final three set for: Jan. 10, April 11, and May 9.

“It’s state mandated, but the drive behind it is to help the student,” said high school math teacher Rob Boyd. “How the schools address this is up to each school. It varies district to district, building to building.”

At the high school business teacher Jean Holmes and Boyd serve as building coaches for the new system. Their responsibility is to serve as a resource for the teachers as they analyze data and plan activities for the students.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 3 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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