Massachusetts Tiered System of Support (MTSS)

Description of the Protocols

Protocol #1: Shared Beliefs about Mathematics Instruction for Students with Disabilities

  • To identify both the team's shared and differing beliefs about math instruction for students with disabilities;
  • To use those areas of shared beliefs and differences to fuel discussion within the team that leads to greater understanding and agreement among the team about expectations in mathematics instruction for students with disabilities.

Protocols 2 & 3 the essential understandings of both students with disabilities and rigorous mathematics instruction. Leadership Team members will establish a shared body of knowledge related to these two areas and how they interact.

Protocol #2: Essential Understandings about Students with Disabilities

  • To identify and discuss the demands, difficulties and needs of students with disabilities as learners of mathematics;
  • To better understand how to use an IEP as a tool to inform mathematics instruction for a student with disabilities.

Protocol #3: Essential Understandings about Rigorous Mathematics Instruction

  • To establish a shared definition of "a rigorous mathematics experience for all students;"
  • To become familiar with how the Standards for Mathematical Practice help deepen students' understanding of content.

Protocols #4 & #5 bring together the previous thinking and work around students with disabilities. After the theoretical discussions in the first three protocols, participants have the opportunity to delve into concrete examples. Protocol 4 focuses on one student with disabilities. Protocol 5 introduces several students in order for the leadership team to think about how to plan robust Tier 1 instruction that meets all of their needs.

Protocol #4: Aligning Barriers and Strategies

  • Learn a process that can be replicated with teachers for using the accommodations and modifications (specially designed instruction) included on a particular student's IEP to support that student's work on identified math content and math practice standards.
  • Learn how to modify a math task for a student with a disability without reducing the rigor.

Protocol #5: Responding to a Range of Learning Needs

  • Deepen understanding of the importance of a process for aligning appropriate accessibility strategies with students' strengths and difficulties, the goals of the mathematics task, and the potential barriers for students;
  • Learn how to use the Accessibility Framework as a reference for choosing effective instructional strategies for a diverse group of learners to plan for rigorous mathematics instruction.
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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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