As is true in any tiered support system, IL MTSS-N services are designed to address the needs of all, some, and few.
The trainings, online learning modules, and resources are open and available to all interested parties. The knowledge, skills, and related tools provided can serve as a starting point or refresher for those preparing to implement independently.
The “some” and “few” consist of districts identified by ISBE through several different factors. Our work with these districts is to provide support as they develop a MTSS to support all students, staff and parents. This support is aligned with the identified needs of the district and delivered through one or more of the three components of professional learning: training, coaching, and technical assistance. Our primary goal is to transfer skills and build sustainability.
For districts identified with high needs, this is accomplished through an active and iterative coaching process and development of internal coaching capacity within the district. The process begins with a call from one of our experienced IL-MTSS Network Capacity Coaches. The Network Capacity Coach will spend time with district leaders to understand the strengths and unique challenges of their district. Initial coaching conversations are structured specifically to explore the capacity of the district to implement practices with fidelity. The coaching partnership builds rapport, establishes trust and is based on mutual respect and shared understanding about where a district is currently and the vision they hold for their future.
Following the initial conversations, a data profile is developed to organize and house district and school demographic information, perception, student learning, and process data in an easy to access fashion. The data profile is more than just a needs assessment; it is an aggregate of multiple data sources needed to inform decision-making. A broad data picture provides insight into current outcomes, what is and is not working, what might need to change to improve outcomes, and other significant questions.
Once the data profile is analyzed, goals are established and an action plan developed. Action plans based on comprehensive data are able to move the entire system forward more efficiently and effectively, particularly because everyone on staff can see the complete picture and the impact of processes on student outcomes. It is the expectation that all work of the IL MTSS-N be blended with any other existing initiatives or plans with which the district is involved, especially any continuous improvement plans such as a DIP. Coaching support continues through the life of the action plan through a “coach the coach” and gradual release model, consistently focused on building the capacity of the district to function independently.
The establishment of a MTSS framework is the mechanism through which all other evidence based practices are identified and realized. It ensures thoughtful, data informed decisions, cohesive planning, and comprehensive implementation of those practices which the district has determined will best meet its unique needs. The IL MTSS-N is a direct resource for a number of highly effective evidence based practices and connects districts to other resources as appropriate. This is the final step in our collaborative effort. Districts completing the process can move forward confidently and independently, knowing they have a solid foundation on which to build.