USD 457 board discusses support system for students

10/9/2012

By RACHAEL GRAY

By RACHAEL GRAY

rgray@gctelegram.com

Support in behavior issues and curriculum will be more tailored to students under revisions to the Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports, two school officials told the USD 457 Board of Education Monday night.

MTSS is a term used in Kansas to describe how schools go about providing support for each child in their building to be successful and the processes and tools teachers use to make decisions, according to kansasmtss.org.

The goal of MTSS is to identify and address students who have different needs according to different tiers, Darren Dennis, assistant superintendent, said Monday night.

The district has two focus groups, or gap schools — Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center and Charles O. Stones Intermediate Center — based on Kansas state assessment scores, Dennis said.

Out of 66 Kansas schools on the list, the Garden City schools were 61 and 63. The list ranks schools that need the most improvement to the least improvement.

"They were that close from not being on the list," Dennis said.

Dennis said the MTSS could help catch students so they don't fall through the gaps.

"It's done purposefully and laid out in a logical sense," Dennis said.

The system recognizes that all students receive core instruction, some need more focus and few need intensive focus, Dennis said.

Tier 2 addresses students who need targeted instruction and Tier 3 offers comprehensive attention, Dennis said.

Tier 3 is not special education, Dennis said.

Leigh Ann Roderick, director of Elementary Education, said some students are successful with core instruction.

"Fifteen percent of our students need some support. If the pyramid works well, only about 5 percent of our students would need intensive instruction," she said.

The goal of MTSS is for schools to use resources in ways that enables every child to be successful by being prevention oriented, implementing evidence-based interventions for all students and tailoring interventions based on students' needs and using progress monitoring data to know when to make a change in instruction, the site said.

Dennis said the district should be more efficient with data gathering the next school year, as officials are making the transition to a different assessment product.

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