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The Academy District 20 Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) provides academic and social/emotional/behavior support for all students in our district, based on their needs.  This comprehensive support system includes what has historically been known as Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS), and integrates these processes with a variety of other support programs and opportunities in the district.   ALL students in Academy District 20 receive universal supports through strong, differentiated, evidence-based instruction in academics and social/emotional learning opportunities.  At varying times, SOME students may need ADDITIONAL supports in a specific area(s).  The purpose of MTSS is to ensure that all students receive the right supports, in the right area, for the right amount of time.  

Read more about MTSS in Academy District 20




More about MTSS in Academy District 20

Academy District 20's MTSS system is:

  • Whole-school

All teachers, staff, and administrators are involved in supporting all students through a variety of proactive systems and intervention processes.


  • Data-driven

    Classroom tests, grades, attendance, teacher notes/tracking, progress monitoring assessments, observation notes, and state assessments are just some of the pieces of data used to help teachers understand the academic and social/emotional needs of students.


  • Prevention-based

    Schools work diligently to develop processes that prevent and intercede for concerning behaviors or academic deficiencies.


  • Consistent

    The district provides a common structure for all schools regarding intervention processes and procedures, while still allowing for customization at school sites, in order to meet their unique population's needs. 


  • Beneficial for EVERY student

    Researched, high impact, instructional strategies based on varying student performance levels allow us to move all students forward toward college and/or career readiness.


  • Layered through a continuum of supports

    When students are struggling to meet academic and/or behavior expectations, we are ready to provide them with the ADDITIONAL supports that are commensurate with the intensity of need required to help them meet individualized and grade-level goals. 


  • Evidence-based

    Through building strong relationships with students, as well as thoughtfully evaluating assessment data, educators analyze how students are responding to interventions and make course corrections as needed, as the student navigates success.


  • Collaborative with families

    In order for intervention work to be successful, families must be a part of the decision-making process.  The valuable insights provided by parents/guardians into the motivations of students, helps schools develop strong goal-setting and effective instructional plans.


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What is Universal support?

Universal supports benefit all learners through:

  • Quality, evidence-based instruction designed to meet a variety of students' needs
  • Standards-driven units of study
  • Positive social/emotional behavior expectations instruction
  • Valid and reliable assessment results that guide instructional decision-making
  • Instructional practices that are open, varied, and flexible enough to meet the needs of a variety of learners
  • Environments that allow students to access supports that they need for success


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What are Targeted layers of support?

Targeted layers of additional support benefit SOME learners who may need:

  • Additional targeted instruction/practice of specific standards of academic study or behavior expectations
  • Basic skills development/practice related to grade-level standards of academic study or behavior expectations
  • Additional targeted measurements of specific areas of development in order to monitor response to the interventions and inform decision-making

Targeted layers of support may be documented in an MTSS plan which helps guide decision-making for teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians.


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What are Intensive layers of support?

Intensive layers of additional support along with Targeted supports may benefit SOME learners who need:

  • Intensive instruction/practice of specific standards of academic study or behavior expectations
  • Highly customized instructional plans often developed by a team of educators to meet very unique needs
  • Frequent and specific measurements of highly defined area(s) of academic or behavior-related development in order to monitor response to the interventions and inform decision-making

Intensive layers of support may be documented in an MTSS plan which helps guide decision-making for teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians.


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How is MTSS related to Special Education or Talented and Gifted Education?


While MTSS is a comprehensive system to meet all learners' needs through a variety of learning opportunities, some students may need additional layers of support.  These students may have a specific MTSS Plan that documents their supports.  The MTSS Plan is primarily designed to assist teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians to define intervention practices for students who DO NOT have other prescribed learning plans (ie. 504's, IEPs, ALPs, READ, ELP, etc.); however, an MTSS Plan can benefit these students, as well, under specific conditions.  MTSS Plans can benefit students on other learning plans through the provision of supports, progress monitoring features, and planning for additional areas of concern outside of the scope/purpose of the prescribed learning plan(s).  For all students who need additional supports, an MTSS Plan is used to document the interventions used, as well as to document the effectiveness of the supports, so that decision-making can continue to progress with the evolving needs of the student.  In most instances, the MTSS Plan will effectively meet the needs of the learner.  In a few rare instances, data gathered through an MTSS Plan CAN be used as a required part of the evaluation process for specific learning disability (SLD) determination.  For more guidance, please speak with your student's school of attendance.  You can also visit Colorado Department of Education - Specific Learning Disabilities Site  or the Colorado Department of Education – Office of Talented and Gifted Education for more information.


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What is the family's role in MTSS?


Within the MTSS system, parents/guardians are an integral part of any student's plan for success.  Some examples of how families can be involved include contacting teachers about individual student performance, joining district and school accountability committees, attending PTO/PTA meetings/events, attending Parent Academy learning events, and being a part of program evaluations through school/district survey responses.  Through these opportunities, the district and schools are made aware of the needs of the community, along with how best to serve those needs. Parent/guardian involvement also increases awareness of what life is like for students in school and helps the student feel a sense of belonging.


Parents/guardians are encouraged to reach out to their student's school of attendance if they have concerns regarding their student; likewise, parents/guardians are consulted as a part of the decision-making process for interventions, instruction, motivations, and consequences, when concerns are initiated by the school.   During these discussions, parents/guardians can expect to interact with their student's teacher(s) and other support personnel.  The focus of these discussions is to review student data and share information in order to better understand why a student is struggling to meet grade-level expectations, as well as to determine next steps for helping the student achieve success. This plan of action is called the MTSS Plan.   These meetings will look different at different grade levels, and the involvement of the student in the decision-making process will increase as they grow older.  It is imperative that all involved team members (teachers, support personnel, parent/guardian, and student) are kept aware of the progress that a student is making while engaging in MTSS intervention supports, so that instructional adjustments can be made based on the knowledge that each member of the team contributes to the overall process and success of the student.


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Who do I contact to get more information?


Questions about your student's MTSS plan or individual school processes? 

Please contact your student's school of attendance.


Questions about MTSS in the state of Colorado? 

Please visit the Colorado Department of Education's MTSS site


For more information about MTSS in Academy District 20, please contact our Curriculum and Instruction department at 719-234-1223


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