RTI to MTSS: What Does It Mean For Educators?

Across the country, educators strive to promote student growth and improve student achievement on a daily basis. Often, teachers do this by utilizing a tiered process that relies on data collection to track student progress.

Response to Intervention

Many teachers originally knew the tiered intervention process as Response to Intervention (RTI). RTI promoted data-driven decisions based on the student’s response to a research-based intervention or instructional method. RTI typically focused on academic areas for improvement, while another tiered process, known as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), was sometimes implemented separately to encourage behavioral growth.

Need for “Whole Student” Growth

Educators came to realize that while RTI or PBIS are helpful, neither process can be implemented individually. This is because, separately, the processes do not recognize how academic and behavioral / emotional growth are reliant on each other. Each individual process only paints a partial picture of a student’s overall potential growth.

Over time, the idea of a more comprehensive support system evolved into what is now known as Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). MTSS is an umbrella term for a tiered system that allows educators to support the whole student through multiple integrated means. This means educators are able to address both a child’s academic and non-academic needs.

MTSS - More Than Just Interventions, It’s a “Lifestyle”

MTSS not only promotes individual student achievement, but also encourages school and community support systems which positively affect student improvement, such as:

  • School Culture - A school culture that encourages collaboration and celebrates student achievement is proven to increase student growth.
  • Family / Community Engagement - Gathering student input from family allows educators to subsequently design more meaningful support plans for the student, while community “buy-in” to the MTSS process helps students feel encouraged.
  • Teacher Professional Development - Similar to analyzing data to make decisions for an individual student, districts can analyze student progress data to determine which areas of professional development that would be most effective for staff.

EmbraceRTI™ to EmbraceMTSS™: What Does the Name Change Mean to Embrace®?

Just as the RTI process needed to incorporate a more comprehensive approach, so must the software for documenting student data. By creating a more flexible data-entry process and a more personalized interface, EmbraceMTSS™ allows educators to record and report data for the whole student more efficiently than ever before!

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