Selah School District is in the process of building a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) K-12 for Academics, Attendance and Behavior. The three systems work together to support students and their learning. This makes perfect sense because attendance impacts academic performance. Students misbehave when they struggle as learners. Students are more likely to be absent when they struggle as learners.
ACADEMICS. Key take-aways for me have been:
- Tier 1. The Core has to be highly effective. 80-90% of all students need to be successful at Tier One or, like a pyramid, the system will collapse.
- It is vital that teacher teams know what the essential/priority/core standards are. These are the standards that ALL students must learn and are the focus of Tier 1 Core Instruction.
- It is equally vital that all teachers use research-based instructional strategies. This must include effective differentiation. Our entire district is working through Best Practices at Tier 1 Daily Differentiation for Effective Instruction by Gregory, Kaufeldt and Mattos. There is a Secondary version and an Elementary version. I highly recommend it.
- ALL students get Tier 1 Core Instruction. “Pull outs” never happen during Tier 1.
- Tier 1 students get Tier 1 Core Instruction–“must know” standards. They also learn “nice-to-learn” standards.
- Tier 2 students get Tier 2 Targeted Interventions and Tier 1 Core Instruction.
- Tier 3 students get Tier 3 Intensive Interventions, Tier 2 Interventions and Tier 1 Core Instruction.
There are many, many posts at CORElaboratewa.org that address effective Tier 1 instruction. Brendan Johnson’s Help for RTI (Response to Intervention) includes lots of advice and many helpful ideas in the comments section. The RTI Action Network site has resources and information.
ATTENDANCE. Our district’s system of support for attendance is a work in progress. Check out CORElaborate blog Chronic Absenteeism by Aaron Brecek.
BEHAVIOR. I am on the team that is building the PBIS (Positive Behavioral and Intervention Supports) system for our high school. Students are taught the behaviors that are expected in the classroom, the lunchroom, the hallway, the parking lot and even the restroom. These behaviors are connected to our district’s “3 C’s”: Character, Capable, and College & Career Ready. Students are rewarded for behaving as expected and are complimented/thanked using 3 C’s language. Students are redirected consistently and respectfully using 3 C’s language when they do not behave as expected. The key is that the adults in the building—ALL of them—have to use the system in a consistent manner for it to work. That means building new habits. Check out another of Aaron Brecek’s blogs, Using Restorative Practices, or CORElaborate blogger Erin Lark’s That One Kid. Another resource is PBIS.org Home Page.
Bottom line: Our students need a pyramid of supports to ensure that ALL of them learn at high levels.
Married to Larry, an old Coast Guard salt and amazing man.I get to share Larry with our yellow lab, Sherman.
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