Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Note: This article was originally published in the Lake Washington PTSA Council newsletter on September 20th  LWPTSA Currents – September 2021 

Cassandra Sage, LWSD School Board Director, District Three

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! Fall is my favorite season in large part because school begins once again and the excitement of learning and connecting with others is at the forefront. Whether your student is online or in person, academic and social opportunities renew as we come together, no matter what space we are in.

Many LWSD staff and board members worked throughout the summer in preparation for this new year of learning, focusing on what students need to advance academically, with strong supports in place for emotional wellbeing. You will no doubt hear the term MTSS spoken at curriculum night, sent in email and posted to social media.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support is a framework that LWSD piloted in the 2018-2019 school year to provide academic, social and behavioral supports to students on a more individual basis. Kids are considered on a personal level to determine what additional assistance they may need in order to succeed in school. In the 2019-2020 school year, the MTSS framework expanded to more schools in the district and this year all schools are utilizing this process to identify areas students may need extra help, to address any learning loss resulting from recent disruptions to education. The framework also supports socio-emotional wellbeing and addresses behavioral challenges if they surface.

Our district’s mission is “Each student will graduate prepared to lead a rewarding, responsible life as a contributing member of our community and greater society”. In support of this mission, the board [has adopted] a policy on anti-racism, non-discrimination, equity and inclusion. The MTSS framework is one of the new tools that will give us information not just on academic progress but also on how our students are experiencing their school environment and whether it feels welcoming, safe and inclusive. If we focus solely on academic results, we only see data on achievement gaps. Incorporating MTSS data gives us additional insight on how to address opportunity and achievement gaps more proactively.

Best wishes to students, staff and parents,

Cassandra

 

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