Frequently Asked Questions
Why call it MTSS opposed to RtI?
As you read publications and talk with individuals about RtI you will soon realize they are talking about a variety of different issues. The term RtI is typically much narrower than what is meant by MTSS. Some of these topics include: the identification of a student with specific learning disabilities under IDEA, individual student problem solving approach to interventions, standard protocol approach to interventions or possibly a school wide approach. In Kansas, MTSS encompass all of these issues and more as you can see in the definition and core beliefs.
Is MTSS only about reading?
A building that is fully implementing MTSS would be addressing both academics and behavior through a school wide approach. The Principles of MTSS are consistent across academics and behavior. It is up to a building staff to review data to determine whether they should choose to begin implementing academics, behavior or both.
Is MTSS the same in all schools?
No. While all schools in Kansas share the same goal for MTSS, they may go about accomplishing that in different ways. Schools in our state have different resources and may have different ways of working together.
Is MTSS mandated by the KSDE?
No, MTSS is included in the Kansas State Board of Education Strategic Plan as an effective system to deliver instructional supports, but not mandated. Districts and schools may choose their level of participation in MTSS. However, schools who are identified as Focus and Priority schools and participating in the Kansas Learning Network (KLN) outlined in the Kansas Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility waiver, are required to implement an effective tiered instructional system, such as MTSS. This includes screening of all students, planning for interventions and fidelity, implementation of evidence-based instructional interventions related to student data/need, and monitoring of student progress through collaborative teams. Curricula, instructional strategies, and assessments utilized in the tiered system of instruction are selected at the district/school levels.
What about special education evaluations using MTSS?
If intense intervention attempts are unsuccessful, or if what works requires a very intense or high level of support to maintain the child’s progress, the team may carry the intervention forward into a special education initial evaluation; progress alone within an MTSS is not sufficient to make special education eligibility decisions. Also, at any point in time regardless of the interventions or supports being provided to the student, the parent may request an initial evaluation. During any initial evaluation the team will be part of carrying out a more intense intervention plan to determine (1) is the child a child with an exceptionality and (2) does the child need specially designed instruction in order to progress in the general education curriculum. The outcome of this process is always an intervention plan. If the child is found to be a child with an exceptionality, the plan will be an Individual Education Plan (IEP). If the child is not found to be a child with an exceptionality, the plan may be a Student Improvement Plan, or in some instances a Section 504 plan. In the end, it should be the school's goal to have a plan in place that they think will work for the child and a progress monitoring system to help determine if the plan is working.