Instruction and learning experiences in classrooms within Urbandale Community Schools are based on high impact strategies. Teacher leaders throughout the District have identified instructional strategies that bring learning to life for every student and staff member.
The Iowa Department of Education provides guidance to all school districts to help all students, including struggling learners. To meet the needs of students who are having difficulty mastering cognitive, behavioral, or social-emotional skills, districts must consider tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students, including a process based on a multi-tiered system of support. The implementation of this type of support system has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of districts and charter schools to meet the needs of all striving and thriving students. Urbandale Community School District (UCSD) meets the requirement through the district’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework. This manual is intended to support district and campus staff in the planning and implementation of the district’s MTSS framework. UCSD is committed to the success of every student and recognized that because each student is unique, a “one size fits all” educational program is insufficient to meet the needs of all of our students. At various times and in various situations, students may need different types of support, and fulfilling this charge of supporting all students to meet their full potential will necessitate a teamwork and “all in” approach. Problem-solving and data-based decision-making in collaboration with colleagues is the most effective approach to improve outcomes for diverse student populations (Fullan, 2016). With a focus on creating life-long learners and contributing members of the community, we assume the responsibility for the growth and development of the whole child, understanding that academic, behavioral, and social-emotional instruction all play critical roles in the long-term success of our students.
A Multi-Tiered System of Support is a framework for effectively and efficiently delivering academic, social, emotional, and behavioral resources and supports. The purpose of the MTSS framework is to:
- Create a culture of excellence and equity;
- Provide clear and focused instruction, prevention, and intervention;
- Work toward continuous improvement aimed at results; and
- Ensure that all students are Life, College, Career, and Military Ready upon graduation.
MTSS is instructional support for all students. It is a common misconception that it is intended only as a pathway for referrals for special education, 504, or behavioral services. It is, instead, meant to progress monitor all students and provide early intervention to assure continuous improvement.
Urbandale schools will bring learning to life for every learner by creating a structure to ensure all the efforts of the district are coordinated and consistent.