Level Up with Literacy

The State Support Team 1 Literacy Newsletter

Hello! Level up with Literacy is the latest tool from State Support Team 1 designed to provide you with timely literacy information and resources to help you meet your goal of providing a high-quality education to all learners.

Shared Leadership in Literacy and MTSS

Monitoring and implementing an effective district or school-wide literacy plan to ensure all learners receive equitable access to rigorous and evidence-based Tier 1 instruction and supports across the literacy & language continuum is hard work!


This is why in our last issue, we explored the importance of shared leadership. (If you missed it, you can read the December's Level Up with Literacy here.) Leadership centered in equity should ensure that representation for all learners is present and actively contributing to overall school improvement efforts.


This month, we take a look at how shared leadership is a critical component of implementing and monitoring effective Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS).

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Ohio's Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement and MTSS *

The Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) structure provides a framework for supporting learners based on their unique needs. It can guide staff in designing effective instruction and appropriate interventions as part of school improvement efforts.


The MTSS System:

  • includes a continuum of evidence-based, system-wide practices to address academic and behavioral needs
  • calls for frequent, data-based monitoring to inform instructional decision-making
  • addresses the varied, often complex needs of learners
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A multi-tiered system of supports for reading includes a three-tier model of instruction to provide effective core instruction and address reading difficulties as quickly as possible. Under this model, each tier adds a level of intensity that is designed to accelerate the learner’s rate of learning and avoid learners requiring intervention for multiple years (Kilpatrick, 2015).


As a learner responds positively to the instruction, the intensity is gradually faded. The movement within the tiers of instruction is fluid and data-based, and the tiers represent instruction and supports, not categories of students.

* MTSS information in this section is adapted from Ohio's Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement

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Instructional Supports

Supporting Students with Disabilities

For MTSS to be effective it must meet the unique needs of each learner and professionals involved in the planning process must mirror learners receiving instruction. OCALI provides an organized planning tool to help support the development of lessons in the team planning process that helps ensure access for all.

System-wide Supports

Using the Reading Tiered Fidelity Inventory

The Reading Tiered Fidelity Inventory (R-TFI) gives Building Leadership Teams the ability to assess the implementation of a School-wide Reading Model*. The R-TFI is designed for use within a data-based decision-making process in coordination with student outcome data.


Additional Resources:

School-wide Reading Model

Multi-tiered structures encompassing:
  • systems to address the continuum of reading needs across the student body,
  • evidence-based practices focused on the Big Ideas of Reading designed to improve reading outcomes for all students, and
  • data use and analysis.

MTSS Tools for Supporting Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners

The Ohio Department of Education provides checklists to assist schools in the development of processes to ensure English Language Learners, including those with disabilities, receive equal education opportunities and timely intervention to enable progress in school.


MTSS Tool for Supporting Literacy Instruction for Gifted Learners

When students with gifts and talents are left out of the MTSS framework, they may not make the academic gains they are capable of achieving.


In consideration of all students, we must reframe the standard protocol interventions to offer additional enrichment, challenge, and enhancement for learners with strengths in the targeted area.


You may find this informational worksheet helpful in your work in this area.

More MTSS Resources

Additional MTSS tools are available from the Massachusetts Department of Education. They were created in collaboration with Katie Novak, a national presenter in UDL who has presented throughout the State of Ohio.


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Madison Avenue School of Arts

Lindsey Day, School Leader at Imagine Madison Avenue School of Arts sets an incredible example of how effective Shared Leadership is a critical component of Using Literacy as a Lever for School Improvement. Ms. Day has been leading her building through a change initiative and has stayed the course of the building’s plan and it shows in student outcomes.


  • Staff representation for all learners on the Community School Leadership Team
  • Leadership utilizes a decision-making process to select & deselect curriculum & assessment tools aligned to the Big Ideas of Reading
  • Teachers are supported in providing evidence-based strategies with fidelity through the use of a literacy coaching

State Special Education Profile Data indicates a 20.83% gain in reading proficiency for students with disabilities from the 17-18 school year to the 18-19 school year.

Imagine Madison Avenue has also teamed up with State Support Team 1 for assistance in facilitating the Reading Tiered Fidelity Inventory, Elementary Edition to evaluate their Tier 1 School-Wide Reading Model with their leadership team. The next steps are to use the data to support their completion of the One Needs Assessment & CCIP.


Thank you, Ms. Day and Imagine Madison Avenue for your commitment to literacy and school improvement!

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Other Learning Opportunities

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We are here for you!

Please feel free to reach out if you have questions or need guidance on instruction, increasing educator capacity, shared leadership, or any other literacy-related topic.

There are no copyright restrictions on this document; however, please cite and credit the source when copying all or part of this document. This document was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Award #H027A200111, CFDA 84.027A, awarded to the Ohio Department of Education). The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and no official endorsement by the Department should be inferred.