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MTSS & Academic Support

Go Beyond teaching; cultivate learning

One Student at a Time

Our multi-tiered system of support, or MTSS (also known as RtI – Response to Intervention), provides small group instruction and individualized attention, allowing students to flourish academically, socially, and emotionally. Building on a clear curriculum base, students have opportunities for small group instruction. MTSS supports students on the continuum of learning from academic support to enrichment and extension. We assess student progress in regular, short intervals that provide a consistent feedback loop for teachers, impacting student learning throughout the year. Everyone is working on what they need next. 

How MTSS works in our elementary school: 

Core Instruction:
Our classroom teachers routinely monitor students’ responses to instruction and respond by providing opportunities during class for differentiated instruction and activities. This process is built into the way we instruct across subjects every day. This is the heart of support at our first “tier,” but to increase the power of our instruction, we offer other customized opportunities beyond the core.

Screening: 
We screen every student three times a year, and we provide individual monitoring monthly, bi-weekly, or even weekly,  depending on the student's needs. 

Data Review: 
After each student is screened, teachers, aides, the Director of Student Support, and the Director of Teaching and Learning meet to review each student's performance on the screening as well as a variety of classroom assessments. These teams of teachers make data-driven decisions about each student's learning needs. Then we place each student in a small group to provide just-right instruction, whether that is intervention, additional practice, enrichment, or extension. 

Tier Time: 
Every student receives targeted instruction in flexible groups without missing any core instruction three times a week. Tier Time groups for reading are provided to all our students in kindergarten through 8th grade, and for math in 1st through 6th grades. Advanced learners are provided with challenging instruction through a differentiated classroom approach, opportunities for extension during our MTSS groups, and the possibility of acceleration for students who would benefit. Everyone is working on what they need next.

MTSS Video

What we work on in small groups:

Reading:

  • Phonics and Phonemic Awareness

  • Fluency

  • Comprehension strategies through grade-level and above grade-level novel studies and non-fiction

  • Vocabulary and background knowledge

  • Metacognitive and critical thinking skills

Math: 

  • Flexible math groups to complement core instruction 

  • Intervention to fill gaps in prerequisite skills and concepts

  • Extra practice for automaticity in math facts, calculation, and new skills

  • Enrichment and extension of math concepts

How MTSS works in our middle and high school

Our emphasis on just-right instruction “one student at a time” continues in Middle and High School, providing students access to small group targeted instruction based on the student’s next steps in learning.

Core Instruction: 
Our classroom teachers routinely monitor students’ responses to instruction and respond by providing opportunities during class for differentiated instruction and activities. This process is built into the way we instruct across subjects every day. This is the heart of support at our first “tier,” but to increase the power of our instruction, we offer other customized opportunities beyond the core.

Supplemental Support:
3-times a week, students have the opportunity to work with teachers in smaller groups to meet individual learning needs. Teachers may identify the student’s need based on assessments or class performance, or students can  self-assess and initiate participation. In Middle School this period is called Homebase, and in High School, Focus Period. High School students also have access to Peer Tutors in all subject areas. All  middle school students and high school freshman receive training in the executive functioning skills necessary for success in school and beyond it, with options for continued small group support for students who demonstrate a need.

Differentiated Course Offerings to Maximize Instructional Fit:

  • Some subjects offer a co-taught section, instructed daily by a classroom teacher and a specialist (special educator or advanced learning instructor). This increases in-class opportunities for support for those who need it  and increases opportunities for small group differentiated instruction for all students in the class, including enrichment and extension.
     
  • In Middle School, students have access to a variety of paths for math instruction that differ in pace of instruction and scope of content to maximize student success. In High School, varied course options become available through Honors and Advanced Placement courses in a wide variety of subjects.
     
  • Small group intervention and support are also offered through daily Guided Study periods instructed by special educators who provide intervention and support for executive functioning skills, reading, writing and math in addition to homework support. Daily Math Lab is available in the High School.

Our Team

The Student Services Team includes six Educational Support Teachers, an Advanced Educational Support Teacher, two Social Workers, a Speech and Language Pathologist, a School Psychologist/Program Director, and our Director of Teaching and Learning. This team works directly with students, consults with staff and parents, and collaborates with public school and private providers for assessment, eligibility, and intervention needs. The staff supports evidence-based core instruction, supplemental intervention, and intensive intervention.

IEPs & 504 Plans 

We work hard to provide the accommodations, modifications, support and instruction needed to enable every student to be successful. While public schools are mandated by the state to provide Individualized Education Plans for students identified with a need for Special Education and 504 Plans for students with a disability that limits a major life activity, private schools do not fall under the same legislation. However, as part of our mission to serve diverse learners who possess a wide range of abilities, Timothy provides Individual Service Plans and Accommodation Plans that serve the same purpose as IEPs and 504 plans.

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