MTSS in TSD - Weekly Wednesday News

2022-2023 Series - Volume 32 (April 19, 2023)

This is our thirty-second edition for this school year! We appreciate your readership!

We use this newsletter to make connections regarding the implementation of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework in the Thompson School District (TSD).

> Access last week's edition.


Four people are going up a ramp. The first is on a bicycle, the second is walking with a roller suitcase. The third is in a wheelchair. The fourth is on roller skates. Caption says: What's necessary for some is good for all. Lead Inclusion logo is typed in the top left corner.

MTSS Framework related to TEE Compass Points

When we talk about MTSS, we lift up how a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a preventative framework...comprehensive, integrated, unified, and united...all ONE system with many sub-systems and many supports. As in, we can substitute the name of our system for the the word system. That means, we are a "Multi-Tiered Thompson School District of Supports".

  • Multi = Many, several, more than one
  • Tiered = Layered, built upon, supplemented, defined/divided intensifications
  • System = A district or school or instructional/institutional program or class...the "whole"
  • Supports = Sub-systems, services, strategies, programs, practices, the "parts" (that contribute to "the whole")

Remember the single sentence ("one-liner"):

MTSS is about the effective convening of adults to improve outcomes for students.

In this newsletter series, we focus on "what we can control", the Alterable Variables that we have operationalized in our Thompson Educational Expectations (TEE). These are "within our sphere of influence"; we have the capacity to change (for the better!!) each of the Compass Points:

  • Conditions for Learning (settings, parameters, and relationships that prevent barriers)
  • Learning Design (with clarity, align to standards, prepare scaffolding and ed tech, maintain concepts-based, backwards-designed, culturally-responsive approaches)
  • Learning Delivery (matching support to need, coherence/flow - between/across learning experiences, interactive, collaborative, differentiated, and culturally responsive pedagogy)
  • Evaluations of Learning (ongoing monitoring, iterative and formative to inform instruction, culminating and summative to imply impact or to reflect authentic learning - e.g., through performance tasks and measures)

NOTE: Consider all learning having the goal of transfer.

  • How are transferable competencies embedded in all of the TEE Compass Points?
  • How are the skills taught/learned transferable?
  • How are topics (e.g., content-specific terms, key understandings) "high-leverage" for transfer to other applications - not isolated to a singular task or purpose?

We typically suggest that each content piece included in the MTSS News relates to an individual TEE Compass Point or all of the Expectations. We also prioritize the content in our MTSS News on: adult language, belief, action, and behavior - because we are thinking about strategic, productive, intentional implementation that will be monitored to result in improved outcomes.

The more we are aligned in our understanding, the more consistent the learning experiences will be for each member of our learning community. Whether a school has a focus on Integrated Arts, Dual Language, STEAM...and so on, we know that it is our responsibility and OPPORTUNITY to ensure all of our learning experiences for students and adults address each of the TEE Compass Points. As a final reminder, think about how our infrastructure, the "pieces" of the MTSS "puzzle" (the Framework), enable us to "implement TEE with fidelity". Our MTSS puzzle pieces are the CO-MTSS Components:

  • Team-Driven Shared Leadership
  • Data-Based Problem Solving and Decision-Making
  • Family, School, and Community Partnerships (FSCP)
  • Comprehensive Screening and Assessment System
  • Layered Continuum of Supports (Evidence-Based Practices, Instruction, and Interventions)
How to Practice Teacher Clarity from @talesfromaverybusyteacher. 1. Create success criteria that align with learning goals. 2. Give students opportunities to assess their own learning. 3. Intentionally include students in the assessment process. 4. Provide students with rubrics and writing exemplars. 5. Build strong student-teacher relationships. 6. Encourage students to be reflective and celebrate growth.
Click to view: Social Studies Lesson Plans

CDE Free Social Studies Lesson Plans: "A free series of lesson plans has been developed to support secondary teachers in meeting the revised 2022 Colorado Academic Standards in civics which includes Evidence Outcomes on the Colorado Constitution."

Poster with header Critical Thinking. From left to right, two columns each for four rows, there is a comic that follow a rainy day scenario of a child with an umbrella and a cat with each square of the comic including these headings in this sequence. 1. Understand the problem. 2. Explore its boundaries. 3. Question assumptions. 4. Imagine new perspectives. 5. Identify weaknesses. 6. Justify a solution. 7. Acknowledge limitations. 8. Reflect on alternatives. Citation: Grant Snider for OECD/CERI
5 ways to prevent Challenging Behavior in your Early Childhood Classroom. Each of the five text descriptions has a representative icon to match it. 1. image of a schedule with text "Use predictable schedules." 2. image of a thumbs up with text "Use a 5-to-1 ratio of positive attention. 3. image of a checklist with text "Establish routines and within routines." 4. image of a teacher with text "Directly teach behavior expectations. 5. image of four children holding hands with text "Directly teach peer-mediated social skills." From Brookes Publishing, citation: Adapted from Teach-Reinforce for Young Children, Second Edition by Dunlap, Wilson, Strain, & Lee.
What People Think Empathy is Feeling sorry for someone; What Empathy Actually is: Sensing other people's emotions, Mirroring someone's feelings, Imagine what someone is thinking, Identify how a person is feeling, Feeling overwhelmed by others' tragedy, Really listening to what others have to say, Understanding another person's feelings, Imagining how someone is feeling, Seeing things from another point of view. Source: The Mind Journal
"If you don't have a relationship with your kid, a restorative circle's not gonna work. I can't repair the harm to a relationship that never existed," said Principal 34. Source: UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools, CA MTSS Pilot Program
Data and equity
On the right: Outline of the shape of a brain hovering above an open hand with palm up. On the left, it reads: "Your mind is your greatest asset. Train it to see opportunities instead of obstacles."

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Contact: Kim Z. Mannion
  • TSD Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Coordinator