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Survey Results: How is RTI/MTSS Going in Your District?

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ESSA requires districts to adopt a systematic approach for data-based decision-making to enable a rapid response to students’ needs. As a result, many district leaders are considering or re-validating RTI/MTSS models.

Yet, these frameworks are infamously complex with many stakeholders and moving parts, and can be tricky to implement – and maintain – with fidelity.

“MTSS not only focuses on meeting students’ academic needs, inherent within RTI, but in addition addresses the social, emotional and behavioral development of children,” notes Jo Ann Hanrahan, Director of the Frontline Research and Learning Institute.

Given these complexities and ESSA’s focus on agile, data-based student support, how do administrators and educators feel about current RTI/MTSS efforts in their districts? What changes need to be made?

Findings from a recent Frontline Education survey shed some light.

RTI/MTSS Frontline Education Survey Results

Graph showing breakdown of districts that use an RTI/MTSS model

Graph showing breakdown of how long districts have been using an RTI/MTSS model

Graph showing how effective RTI/MTSS programs are at identifying struggling learners

Graph showing how confident districts are that struggling learners are being place in appropriate Tier

Graph showing districts' confidence that their Data Analysis Teams enforce valid entry/exit criteria for Tiers 2/3

Graph showing the breakdown of RTI/MTSS staff training process

Graph showing staff understanding of districts' RTI/MTSS goals, processes and best practices

Graph showing the breakdown of what districts hope improve about their RTI/MTSS programs

Food for Thought

While results show that school staff are confident in their ability to identify struggling learners, 52% said they have their doubts or are not confident that students are being placed in the right Tier. And 59% reported they have their doubts or are not confident that their school’s Data Analysis Team consistently enforces valid entry and exit criteria for Tiers 2/3.

Could this lack of confidence be related to gaps in a district’s RTI/MTSS training procedures? And, if staff lack confidence in the process, how does that impact student outcomes?

Consider how RTI/MTSS stakeholders in your district would respond to these questions. If, like 63% of survey respondents, RTI/MTSS-focused trainings are only sporadic in your district, think about how integrating district-wide best practices can help raise staff buy-in of your RTI/MTSS efforts.

When navigating the complexities of RTI/MTSS, a little staff confidence goes a long way. Give your team  a common language and base of operations for assisting struggling learners.