Soon after completing my doctorate degree in reading and special education, I embarked in a journey to support struggling learners. I began my research trajectory by investigating why teachers refer bilingual English learners and Hispanic students for special education services. This line of research quickly led me to Response to Intervention (RTI) in the early 2000s. I began reading and learning about the implementation of RTI. I soon found funding to begin my own study in a large urban school district. Since then, I had studied and consulted for over 120 schools across the country from a variety of districts. I have provided ongoing professional development, developed graduate programs, and created online courses for a couple of companies to help teachers learn about multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) as an instructional framework that uses prevention and intervention for all students including bilingual English learners and students with disabilities.
MTSS refers to a framework that preventively organizes instruction and interventions for students by providing three tiers of instruction depending on need. Need is identified before students fail by using curriculum-based measurement at the beginning, middle, and end of the year minimally for all students. Based on this data schools and teacher teams and school can reallocate support for students who need it and monitor ongoing growth across grade levels and subgroup of students (e.g. English learners, English learners with disabilities). Teachers collect ongoing progress monitoring data to ensure that the additional tiered support provided is, in fact, making an impact on important education standards in reading and math for each student.
My goal today is to start a new video series where I provide you with my consultation services on how to begin the trajectory of implementation of MTSS. The series will consist of small video lessons that address each element of the model paired up with tools to help you implement it. I will address how the model embeds universal design for learning (UDL), culturally responsive teaching, and culturally relevant assessment practices to drive instruction. Below is my adaptation of the MTSS model triangle.
I hope to develop a video weekly. Feel free to send me questions and provide me with examples and feedback.
Claudia is a Full Professor of Education and Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Claudia is a researcher, consultant, and teacher educator committed to addressing the needs of bilingual students who are learning English and have a disability.