MTSS / Transformation Zone

Lenawee ISD Transformation Zone

Lenawee ISD has entered into a “Transformation Zone” with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices (SISEP) Center.  A Transformation Zone (TZ) is developing infrastructure to positively change the educational system. Two Lenawee School Districts have been selected to participate in the Transformation Zone focusing on a proven effective innovation, Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). MTSS strives to meet the needs of whole child (cognitive, physical, behavioral, social, and emotional).

Pilots often don’t lead to sustainable practice and system change. The Transformation Zone will use implementation science to establish simultaneously MTSS and develop implementation infrastructure to assure effective use of MTSS and other initiatives. Typically in a pilot you start with an existing system and adapt the effective practices to fit it. In a TZ the existing system is changed to support the effective practices

Participating in this TZ will increase the capacity of local school district/LISD/MDE staff in providing students with quality tiered instruction while developing systems that can be replicated elsewhere.

This ties to the Michigan Top 10 in 10 goal 2 “Implement, with strong district and building leadership, high-quality instruction in every classroom through a highly coherent, child-centered instructional model where students meet their self-determined academic and personal goals to their highest potential.” Strategy 2.2 is to “Establish and implement with fidelity a high-quality Multi-Tiered System of Supports.”

The project thus far has included:

  1.  A mutual selection process to make sure MDE and LISD were both interested in this partnership (Saginaw ISD is also participating with Ingham ISD as a thought partner).
  2. Some guided learning on implementation science.
  3. A capacity assessment was used to determine areas of strength and weakness.
  4. An Initiative Inventory has been started to provide some baseline data on the resources dedicated to LISD initiatives.
  5. Presenting the project to local districts and following up with those interested while traversing a mutual selection process that mirrored the one with MDE.
  6. Selecting the two districts to work with, they are:  Clinton and Onsted
  7. Clinton Community Schools has selected Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports as their first area of focus. Onsted Community Schools has selected English Language Arts/Literacy as their first area of focus. Systems will be developed using implementation science to support these focus areas. Once these systems are functioning at 80% fidelity, a second focus area will be added.
  8. Clinton, Onsted and LISD staff have completed two of eight Cognitive Coaching professional learning days.
  9. Five days of MTSS professional learning have been scheduled and will begin in October.

MDE's MTSS Philosophy

A Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a comprehensive framework comprised of a collection of research-based strategies designed to meet the individual needs and assets of the whole child. MTSS intentionally interconnects the education, health, and human service systems in support of successful learners, schools, centers, and community outcomes. The five essential components of MTSS are inter-related and complementary. The MTSS framework provides schools and districts with an efficient way to organize resources to support educators in the implementation of effective practices with fidelity so that all learners succeed.

Five Essential Components

Team-Based Leadership 

An active, organized, knowledgeable and representative group exists to provide whole child (cognitive, physical, behavioral, social, and emotional) supports, remove barriers, coordinate and evaluate activities across the system. 

Tiered Delivery System

A responsive framework that provides instruction, interventions and supports intended to meet the needs and assets of the whole child. Based on an aligned curriculum, the instruction, interventions and supports are organized along a continuum to meet the needs of each and every learner.  Tiers are intended to be layered with intensification of supports as matched to learner need. 

  • Tier 1 is the research-based instruction and classroom interventions that will be available to all learners and effectively meet the needs of most.  
  • Tier 2 are supplemental, targeted interventions intended for some learners who require support or extension beyond tier 1.
  • Tier 3 supports provide intense individual interventions for few learners with highly accelerated, or severe and persistently challenged, academic and/or non-academic needs. 

Selection and Implementation of Instruction, Interventions and Supports

Instruction, interventions and supports are chosen because there is evidence that indicates expected success for the identified need. The selection process considers a whole child approach, the population of learner(s) being served, and alignment with the district’s existing philosophy, programs, and initiatives. Selection also considers the resources and capacity needed to support implementation with fidelity.

Comprehensive Screening and Assessment System

A comprehensive screening and assessment system is a coordinated system of multiple assessments and measures – each of which is valid and reliable for its specified purpose and for the population with which it will be used – designed to help educators make informed instructional and programmatic decisions. The system provides information about the needs and assets of each and every learner from a whole child perspective.  The data acquired through the system is used to inform understanding, policy and practice to support improved learner outcomes and school capacity.  

Comprehensive screening and assessment systems includes:

  1. Balanced assessment system (formative, benchmark/interim, summative)
  2. Universal screening measures and decision rules for using those data
  3. Progress monitoring assessments and decision rules for using those data
  4. Diagnostic assessment process 

Continuous Data-Based Decision Making

The utilization of all relevant whole child data to analyze, evaluate, and plan strategies that support sustainable systemic improvement and whole child learner outcomes. Data-based decision making is inclusive of the comprehensive needs assessment, efficient data collection practices for multiple data sets, and a formal improvement process. Data used are timely, valid, reliable, accurate and reviewed in ongoing cycles. The roles and responsibilities for data- based decision making within the system are clearly defined and executed.

Source Document:  MDE MTSS Practice Profile Draft 4.5