This manual has been developed to provide important information and local guidance about the “new” Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and the Early Warning System (EWS). The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) put MTSS into effect in fall 2015. While MTSS is still a relatively new term in Mississippi and in our district, the term applies to what we originally knew as Response to Intervention (RtI). RtI dates back more than a decade to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004. Linkages between MTSS, EWS and RtI will be addressed in this manual. In the fall of 2016, MDE introduced the Early Warning System (EWS) which will impact how we approach MTSS. The Early Warning System brings into existence some new terminology and an additional acronym, EWS. This manual’s purpose is to summarize and streamline our local efforts and expectations for uniformly implementing both systems. Staff should use this manual as a point of reference. It is our intent that this manual: (1) explains what is new, (2) clarifies what has changed in how we approach helping our students achieve academic success, (3) strengthens our emphasis on the use of uniform practices system-wide, and 4) clearly conveys what SCCSD expects instruction to look like and include. This document is a “work in progress”. It will be refined, adapted, and changed as the need arises.
Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
MTSS is best defined as a framework for effective problem solving to improve student outcomes. MTSS will impact ALL students. MTSS relies on data and evidenced based research and intervention to reach decisions about instruction and learning. MTSS requires the use of collaboration and teamwork at all levels including the district level, schools (personnel) students, and home (parents). With the inception of the MTSS acronym there has been a shift from the Three Tier Intervention Model we have known for some time to a multi-tiered system. MTSS incorporates a number of linked, even overlapping, requirements/laws into one coordinated effort. MTSS maintains the three tiers of instruction that came into effect in 2005, and has added the requirements of Child Find which in the past was only thought of in the context of special education.
The requirements of Mississippi’s Literacy Based Promotion Act, Dyslexia Law, the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004, State Board Policy Chapter 3 Section 41 Part, Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Process Standard 20 are all embedded into MTSS. In the federal IDEA law, the process of intervening to assist struggling students is called Response to Intervention (RtI).