Minnesota Multi-Tiered System of Support Roadmap
Minnesota Multi-tiered System of Support District Roadmap
The Minnesota Multi-tiered System of Support (MnMTSS) Roadmap describes a process for districts evaluate their current levels of implementation, plan for continuous improvement towards optimum operation and monitor systemic fidelity and implementation progress. The MnMTSS Roadmap includes self-evaluation tools which measure the implementation of the MnMTSS Framework components and subcomponents. Districts integrate improvement efforts into one improvement plan, based on results of the self-evaluation. Progress on this plan is monitored at least annually.
Before reading this document, visit the Minnesota Department of Education’s MnMTSS webpage and read the Minnesota Multi-tiered System of Supports Framework.
Included in the MnMTSS District Roadmap:
- Self-Evaluation of the MnMTSS Framework Implementation for District Leadership Teams (SEMI_DLT)
- Level I of the SEMI_DLT measures the foundational elements of an MnMTSS
- Level II of the SEMI_DLT measures elements that will lead to enhanced MnMTSS implementation
- Level III of the SEMI_DLT measures elements that will lead to advanced implementation
- MnMTSS Action Planning Guide for district teams.
- Calendar for District Leadership Team Review of systems level data
Why use the MnMTSS District Roadmap?
Implementation Science and Equity
The MnMTSS Roadmap encourages use of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) frameworks and practices. Implementation practice refers to the use of evidence that has and continues to emerge from scientific research on successful implementation. “Equitable implementation occurs when strong equity components (including explicit attention to the culture, history, values, and needs of the community) are integrated into the tools of implementation science in order to facilitate effective implementation of effective programs for a specific community or group of people” (Metz, Woo & Loper, 2021, 29-31).
Minnesota’s rich diversity of relationships, values, needs and resources require coherence to achieve ambitious goals for learners, families and communities. Coherence involves people, individually and collectively, sharing a deep understanding of the purpose and goals of MnMTSS. Coherence is difficult to achieve when people and schools are overloaded, fragmented and exposed to perceived frequent changes in priorities.
MnMTSS seeks to bring together people, systems and processes coherently focused on an integrated approach to meeting learner needs. This will require effective leadership, shared commitments, collaborative actions and continuous monitoring of processes and results. MnMTSS recognizes that coherence does not happen immediately. The MnMTSS Roadmap describes a process informed by periodic self-assessment, planning and persistent action.
Description of Tools Included in the MnMTSS Roadmap
District and School Self-Assessments of MnMTSS
The District Self-Evaluation of Implementation (SEMI_DLT) describes the products, processes, and procedures required for implementation of the core components, subcomponents and indicators of the MnMTSS framework. It is a practical performance evaluation intended to inform systems change. It is not designed to evaluate individual educators; it is used to ensure that staff are effectively supported throughout the implementation of an innovation (Sims & Melcher, 2017).
Action Planning Guide
Action planning is a process through which a district team records, synthesizes and reflects on the data obtained from the SEMI and any supplemental measures. such as a District Capacity Assessment and/or an Initiative Inventory, undertaken. Team use these data and knowledge of their unique context to prioritize goals and create actionable steps to meet those goals. See the MnMTSS Action Planning Guide for district teams.
District Steps for Evaluating Current Level of Implementation
Step 1: Establish a District MnMTSS Leadership Team
Purpose and Function
MnMTSS teams are an essential part of the infrastructure that makes implementation possible. These collaborative linked teams include an MnMTSS district leadership team, building leadership teams, grade-level teams or professional learning communities (PLC) and student intervention teams. The purpose of the district and school leadership teams are to ensure that the infrastructure is developed and maintained to support staff in implementing, maintaining, and scaling-up MnMTSS. The MnMTSS District Leadership Team is responsible for ensuring that resources, structures and processes are in place to guide evidence-based decisions, effective actions and systems improvement across all school-based teams in the district.
The MnMTSS District Leadership Team should consist of leaders responsible for behavioral health, special education, curriculum and instruction, equity and inclusion, technology, business and finance, research and evaluation, a representation of school principals and teachers and the district’s superintendent.
A newly formed MnMTSS Leadership Teams should meet monthly for the first few months and then phase to at least every other month to ensure timely review of implementation efforts and monitoring of progress toward short- and long-term goals.
Initial Responsibilities of the MnMTSS District Leadership Team
- Conduct the SEMI_DLT and analyze supplemental measures.
- Determine priorities for increasing levels of implementation of the five components.
- Consider who else in the organization has the credibility and the capacity to serve as additional champions for MTSS in order to foster trust and understanding throughout the district.
- Fold or braid current district initiatives into the MnMTSS framework.
- Develop a communication plan that fully articulates the “why” of implementing and/or improving MnMTSS, alignment to current initiatives and the role and expectations for every staff member.
Ongoing Responsibilities of the MnMTSS District Leadership Team
- Ensure MnMTSS is consistent with all relevant school district policies and plans.
- Based on building readiness, plan with school principals for building implementation.
- Allocate resources to support MnMTSS implementation.
- Ensure data systems can fully support decision making at all levels.
- Develop a professional learning and coaching plan which ensures district and building leaders are supported as they lead implementation of MnMTSS and all school staff can gain knowledge and skills as appropriate to their role in MnMTSS.
- Identify central office staff to provide data access, procedural safeguards and forms to support community- or faith-based organizations’ roles.
- Review district-level implementation and fidelity data at least annually, and use the results to improve implementation by:
- Updating implementation plan annually.
- Updating communication plan as needed or at least annually.
- Updating professional development plan as needed or at least annually.
- Monitor internal and external barriers and threats to implementation of MnMTSS (e.g. funding, leadership turnover) and plan/adjust accordingly.
- Identify, communicate and celebrate progress.
The work below may be the responsibility of a larger district team but the work of the MnMTSS district leadership team should be integrated. (See Subcomponent 1.2.1)
- Establish a culture of continuous improvement and engage stakeholders to assess systems performance and develop a plan of action to improve student outcomes. Reviews systems implementation data, program fidelity data, student, staff and community perception data and student outcome data in academics, social-emotional learning, behavior and mental health.
- Periodically conduct a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA), Root Cause Analyses and an examination of Resource Equity across all ten dimensions.
Step 2: Review the MnMTSS Framework
In order to ensure clarity and agreement on the “why” of MnMTSS, the District Leadership Team should take time to read and discuss the MnMTSS Framework.
Step 3: Prepare to Conduct the SEMI_DLT
- Schedule an MnMTSS District Team Meeting to conduct the SEMI_DLT.
- Schedule a pre-meeting to review the SEMI and discuss how to gather the data and information needed.
- Each team member should individually prepare by doing the following:
- Review the SEMI_DLT. This tool is organized by the MnMTSS Framework core components under which the subcomponents and indicators are listed. Each indicator has one or more Evaluation Element used to determine the current level of implementation.
- Based on evidence from local sources, each team member determines which Evaluation Elements are consistently and reliably present within the district. The Scoring Criteria included within the evaluation tool determines a score for an indicator that ranges from 0 to 5, with 5 indicating optimal implementation.
Step 4: Hold a Team Meeting to Conduct the SEMI_DLT
- During the team meeting, results from the individual ratings from team members are summarized, noting areas of convergence and divergence of opinion.
- Team members discuss Items with a divergence of opinion and the team comes to consensus on ratings in light of evidence and shared understanding of the meaning of the scoring criteria. When consensus is not reached, the team can agree to a median score.
Step 5: Engage in Data-Based Action Planning
- Once overall results are established, schedule a meeting to use the data to develop an action plan using the MnMTSS Action Planning Guide for district teams.
- The DLT_SEMI should be re-administered annually and the data it provides used to update the MnMTSS implementation plan and/or Handbook. (See Subcomponents 2.1 Leadership and 4.1 Systems Evaluation).
Alison Metz, Beadsie Woo, and Audrey Loper, "Equitable Implementation at Work," Stanford Social Innovation Review 19, no. 3 (2021): A29–A31.
Barbara Sims and Brenda Melcher, "Active Implementation Frameworks: Their Importance to Implementing and Sustaining Effective Mental Health Programs in Rural Schools," in Handbook of Rural School Mental Health, eds K. D. Michael & J. P. Jameson (Springer International/Springer Nature, 2017), 339– 61.
Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Diverse Learners