As Student Support Coordinator, my role is to support our schools in the MTSS Framework including Response to Intervention (RTI), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Section 504. I work personally with each building level facilitator and team in order to ensure fidelity of programs and compliance with state and federal laws.
Multi-Tiered System of Supports - a system or framework that integrates assessment and intervention within a school-wide, multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and reduce behavioral problems. It promotes systems alignment to increase efficiency and effectiveness of resources. (Adopted from Center on Response to Intervention, 2010). This allows instruction/interventions to match to student needs and ongoing monitoring of progress. MTSS is a framework for all students.
Response to Intervention (RTI) - a process in which schools identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student’s responsiveness, and identify students with learning disabilities or other disabilities. (Center on Response to Intervention). In Georgia, RTI and MTSS are NOT synonymous terms. MTSS is used as an umbrella term and the system encompasses PBIS and RTI. RTI is embedded in the data-based decision-making component and remains a part of the multi-level prevention system. It is also included in the screening and progress monitoring components.
What is PBIS?
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an initiative aimed at improving school-wide discipline and the overall school climate through positive methods rather than solely punitive ones. PBIS is based on the RTI model and applies evidence-based practices and strategies for all students in an effort to decrease problem behaviors and establish a positive school culture. The purpose behind PBIS is the decrease in behavior infractions leads to increased academic achievement. Each school has established a PBIS team which is responsible for monitoring and strengthening the program at their respected sites.
What is Section 504?
Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights statues that focused on the prevention of discrimination. Section 504 prohibits discrimination of an individual based on a disability. This covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving Federal financial assistance. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Since public school systems are federally funded, they must comply with this law.