Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) » IASD's 5 - Year Plan

IASD's 5 - Year Plan

IASD's 5-Year Plan

Successful MTSS implementation is highly complex and is informed by accurate decisions.  It also has to be built from the ground up, which is why the focus is currently on K-3 with plans to continue to integrate and fold in upper grade levels as we move into full implementation.  Effective MTSS teams collect and analyze systems and data systematically to ensure students’ needs are met. MTSS is made up of several components: screening and assessment, research-based instruction and curriculum aligned to the state standards, data-based decision-making and accountability, and coaching to support each aspect of MTSS.

Indiana Area School District was in the exploration/preliminary phases during the 2018-2019 school year, which included selecting universal screening tools, developing a schedule of assessment and progress monitoring, examining data-teaming and data-based decision-making processes, and analyzing the effectiveness of Tier 1 instruction (instruction provided to all students) in literacy.  MTSS in mathematics is currently in the preliminary phase, examining the effectiveness of core, or Tier 1 instruction.  

During the preliminary phases, based on universal screening data, it was discovered the core English Language Arts program was not sufficient in meeting the needs of our students, as only 60% of our students in grades K-2 were performing at benchmark (having skills at or above grade level).  

As a result, research-based programs rooted in the science of reading, were adopted to fill the gaps in core instruction, which included a phonological awareness and phonics program for implementation in the 2019-2020 school year.  The program in place prior to these additions focused primarily on metacognitive strategies, vocabulary, and comprehension, each of which are also important for our growing readers; however, if our students struggle to decode and read words, they will not be in a position to use these strategies as they progress through their educational experiences.  In grades K-2 students are learning how to read. In grades 3 and up, students are reading to learn. As a district, our primary focus is to fix our core and ensure we are effectively teaching students the invaluable skill of reading, so they are able to advance and flourish educationally.

Additionally, as part of Year 2 of implementation, students are able to be strategically grouped based on the results of the universal screening data.  W.I.N. (What I Need) time has been allocated to additional reading intervention and enrichment based on students’ needs. During WIN, teachers are utilizing supplemental instructional programs and/or enrichment activities to advance students’ learning.  Progress monitoring has been built in during this phase of MTSS occurring every 5 to 10 days of instruction, depending on the intensity of the intervention. Frequent progress monitoring ensures the intervention is working as intended. It also allows for flexible grouping based on individual students’ needs.

MTSS will be in full implementation in Year 3 in English Language Arts, as Tier 3 interventions are built in for students most at risk for reading failure.  Students requiring Tier 3 intervention will have instruction increasing in intensity (very skill specific and targeted) and duration (amount of time in an intervention).

In Year 4 of implementation, IASD will continue to be innovative and thoughtful about ongoing professional development, curricular advances, and student needs.  In Years 5 and beyond, IASD will work to sustain the system and practices with fidelity.