• Stay informed about COVID-19 and the latest health and safety guidance for school districts
  • Update: BESE Tuesday, May 24th Regular meeting location changed to John W. McCormack Building, Ashburton Cafe Conference Room, 1 Ashburton Place, Plaza Level, Boston.
  • Systems for Student Success Office

    Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Academies: SY2022-2023

    The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is pleased to offer seven intensive professional development Academies designed to aid school and district teams with the implementation of tiered systems of instruction and support. Any district may apply for these MTSS Academies. However, please note that first priority will be given to districts with at least one school identified as 'Requiring Assistance' by the Massachusetts accountability system (in particular districts with schools that are in percentiles 1-10, have one or more specific student groups identified as "low performing", and/or has a high school with low graduation rates). Additional teams will be accepted for participation based on availability, readiness, and relative need.

    New Application Process:

    The MTSS Academies are being offered as part of a portfolio of DESE-sponsored opportunities for districts to receive targeted support during the 2022-2023 school year. Information and applications for all opportunities can be found in the newly developed Center for School and District Partnership (CSDP) Targeted Partnership Program Catalog.

    The Catalog application is designed for Districts to submit one application, regardless of the number of opportunities being applied for. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and we will make our first round of acceptance decisions after Friday, May 20th.

    Districts applying for the MTSS Academies are encouraged to apply for school and/or district teams that are ready and committed to participate in a rigorous, multi-year professional development opportunity. For questions, please reach out to Rebecca Shor .

    When applying to one of the MTSS Academies, please also be aware of the following information:

    • Evaluation & Improvement Efforts: As participants in DESE MTSS Academies, district and school teams agree to participate in any ongoing evaluation and improvement efforts. The following is a list of possible school- and district-level data that may be shared between academy partners, DESE, and/or potential third party evaluators.
      • Participation Data (e.g., attendance in trainings, technical assistance sessions, etc.)
      • Implementation Data (i.e., measures of implementation fidelity that could be reported by the school/district teams, by the Academy provider, or through observations and surveys, etc.)
      • School and District Outcome Data (e.g., suspension data, school climate data, attendance data, office discipline referrals, MCAS scores, etc.)
    • Possible Impact of COVID-19 on MTSS Academy Budgets and Activities: Please note that DESE's ability to add a new cohort of teams to each Academy is contingent on the availability of the necessary funds. In light of the extreme fiscal demands that the COVID pandemic has put on both state and federal budgets, there is a chance that DESE will not be able to accept as many teams as currently planned. We do not currently expect this to be the case but would be remiss in not mentioning the possibility. Likewise, DESE is considering how the COVID-19 pandemic may have a longer-term impact on both the content and delivery of professional learning supports. In particular, scheduled trainings and convenings are subject to change depending on the local and national health and safety guidelines.

    Culturally Responsive Practice Leadership Academy

    Culturally Responsive Practice Leadership Academy (District Focus): BlackPrint Consulting will offer a multi-year academy targeted toward groups of influential and strategic district leaders. The CRPL Academy aims to support district leadership in building internal local capacity to weave culturally responsive practices and a racial equity lens throughout their pedagogy, policies, structures, and systems. To this end, we will support leaders as they learn the foundational content of equity and eventually create strategic goals to embed culturally responsive and equitable practices across their districts. We will examine content on the intersection of race, culture, class, and schooling, accompanied by personalized consulting and guidance towards the adoption of a districtwide framework and the construction of goals.

    Goals:

    • To guide participant districts in learning foundational content of culturally responsive practices and equity.
    • To guide the adoption of a definition and framework for culturally responsive practices and support their norming in the local context.
    • To use the district framework for culturally responsive practice and feedback from BlackPrint observations to guide the creation of goals focused on building capacity and creating a trajectory for continual growth.

    During the 2022-2023 School year we will:

    • Facilitate initial district introductory/ informational meetings: June – July 2022
    • Conduct a one-day institute initiating the content and setting the stage for the 2022-2023 school year
    • Facilitate a series of professional development in order to introduce the content of equity and share lessons, perspectives, and experiences: Every other month from October 2022 to April 2023
    • Facilitate individual district meetings to introduce equity-based planning and use that process to explore a topic/issue in the district: December 2022 – May 2023
    • Conduct individual district walkthroughs/school visits at representative samples of schools to inform district goal setting: One round per district from January – April 2023
    • Organize individual district support hours depending on need and the scope of district work: Spring of 2023

    To learn more about the district-focused CRPL Academy, please read this flyer or the Academy-At-A-Glance summary.

    Culturally Responsive Teaching Academy

    The Culturally Responsive Teaching Academy, led by AdaptiveX, is focused on building school-level leadership, knowledge, and expertise in culturally responsive teaching. Schools select teams of Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) Leaders to be trained in research-based "Promising Practices." These leaders support teachers on-site through a dynamic peer learning cycle consisting of six modules.

    • Goal 1: CRT Leaders strengthen their knowledge and work in their schools to provide initial exposure of CRT to faculty/staff
    • Goal 2: CRT Leaders engage in a 6 week cycle with a group of teachers at their school site.
    • Goal 3: District and CRT leaders develop systems to sustain and replicate these practices (e.g., through the development of CRT-aligned rubrics, incorporating into evaluation tools, etc.)

    During this 3-year Academy:

    • Selected schools will need to dedicate time for CRT Leaders and participating teachers to meet weekly (60 min weekly)
    • CRT Leaders and participating teachers in PLC will participate in Quarterly workshops in starting in September 2022 (3 Days)
    • CRT Leaders attend an introductory workshop in June 2022 (1 Day)
    • CRT Leaders and participating teachers in PLC will participate in workshops in August 2021 (3 Days)

    To learn more about the school-focused CRT Academy, please read this flyer or the Academy-At-A-Glance summary.

    Inclusive Instruction Academy

    Join internationally recognized leaders in the field, led by Novak Education Consulting, for a 3-year Inclusive Instruction Academy! Research shows that outcomes for students are improved when they are educated in inclusive environments that meet their needs. Our main goal is to provide customized support to effectively include students with diverse learning needs in their general education settings with a focus on universal design for learning. Below are the main Academy goals:

    • Increase student outcomes on student-focused assessment measures.
    • Integrate inclusive practice/UDL in all settings
    • Develop robust in-class support models, with an emphasis on co-teaching, to support students with disabilities and English learners.
    • Organize and utilize assessment data to inform decision making related to professional development activities, resource allocation, and coaching
    • Build multi-tiered system of support utilizing evidence-based instructional practices and interventions
    • Create consistent teacher knowledge base on Universal Design for Learning
    • Identify the activities and routines of effective leaders that are most critical to leading successful change in the area of inclusive instruction
    • Build in-house capacity with a robust train-the-trainer model for coaches

    Each year during this 3 year Academy, participating teams will receive:

    • Leadership Webinars and Newsletters
    • Personalized Planning Support Sessions
    • Data Coaching
    • Site Specific Technical Assistance
    • Coach Support Sessions and Graduate Course Seat
    • PLC
    • Book Group
    • Book Group Facilitation Manuals

    You can learn more about this by reviewing our overview flyer , reviewing our Academy-At-A Glance summary or by contacting Kristan Rodriguez, Academy Manager.

    Tiered Literacy Academy

    This three-year Tiered Literacy Academy is dedicated to evidence-based literacy and acceleration practices in tier 1. The Academy will also focus on targeted and intensive literacy support for students in tiers 2 and 3. In addition, the Academy will work with teams to design schools that have high quality instructional materials, evidence-based instructional and intervention practices, and robust assessments. Finally, the Academy also will provide support for staffing, scheduling, and data models designed for effective tiered systems.

    The Tiered Literacy Academy goals include:

    • Increase student literacy outcomes
    • Provide literacy instruction that values and represents access and equity for all students, with a focus on culturally sustaining, linguistically supportive, and universally designed practices
    • Use your existing school improvement plan, strengthen/craft your work around literacy instruction.
    • Organize and utilize assessment data to inform decision making related to professional development activities, resource allocation, and coaching
    • Build a multi-tiered system of support utilizing evidence-based literacy instructional practices
    • Create consistent teacher knowledge base on the core components of comprehensive literacy and principles of effective instruction
    • Create master schedules that support tiered literacy instruction
    • Identify the activities and routines of effective leaders that are most critical to leading successful literacy change
    • Build in-house capacity with a robust train-the-trainer model for coaches

    Each year during this 3 year Academy, participants will receive:

    • Leadership Webinars and Newsletters
    • Personalized Planning Support Sessions
    • Data Coaching
    • Site-Specific Technical Assistance
    • Monthly Coach Support Sessions and Graduate Course Seat
    • PLC
    • Study Group
    • Webinars

    You can learn more about this by reviewing our overview flyer , reviewing our Academy-At-A Glance summary or by contacting Kristan Rodriguez, Academy Manager.

    *Please note: Since 2018, Novak Education Consulting and Commonwealth Consulting Agency have designed and led the Tiered Literacy Academy. The contract is undergoing a routine renewal and the provider will be selected in late spring. Depending on the selection decision, the structure and activities of the Academy could change to some degree.

    Tiered Math Academy

    DESE, in collaboration with US Math Recovery Council, is pleased to offer an intensive multi-year professional development and technical support experience designed to collaborate with school and district teams to develop and implement a tiered system of mathematics support.

    The content of the Tiered Mathematics Academy coursework and meetings will focus on:

    • Developing educators' math content and pedagogical knowledge through a series of professional development courses and follow-up support
    • Increasing capacity at the school and district level by developing an in-district trainer/coach
    • Supporting distributed leadership
    • Establishing routines and structures that support continuous improvement in instructional practices
    • Improving student outcomes by utilizing data and enhancing teacher practices

    Massachusetts Tiered Math Academy Timeline:

    • Participation in the Academy begins with the establishment of a math leadership team to strategically plan for success. The initial plan includes a series of courses and supports to begin to build a comprehensive and sustainable approach to tiered math instruction. Team members learn how to administer and analyze diagnostic assessments and plan instruction based on assessment results.
    • Graduate level credit available for most courses.
    • The 3–4 year rollout described below varies according to a school's/district's size, strengths, needs, and staffing.
    Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4*
    Math Leadership Team established and initial multi-year plan proposed

    MR Intervention Specialist:
    Intensive year-long course (for an interventionist, a special educator and/or a math coach)

    • 9 days face-to-face or 67 hours virtual
    • Daily intervention with students
    • 1-to-1 coaching

    (Highly recommended for serving students grades K–2)

    Add+VantageMR Champion Course:
    Leadership course for facilitating AVMR Course 1 & 2 in-district (Prerequisites of MRSp1 and AVMR C1 & C2)

    • Synchronous Learning: 33 hr.
      Asynchronous: 28 hr.

    Implementation & Support

    • Strategic planning and on-going consultations with local math leadership team
    • Curriculum development sessions
    • Access to USMRC Level 3 membership
    • On-site and remote check-ins

    Technical support focuses on Math Leadership Team:

    • Implementation structures for tiered support with the development of a strategic school/district plan for mathematics teaching and learning
    • District or school math leader/coach will facilitate AVMR Course 1 & 2 and provide on-site, ongoing technical support for all educators
    • Development of infrastructure for local sustainability after participation in the Academy
    • Additional leadership courses may be offered to further support a sustained implementation
    • Regular Math Leadership Team meetings to support strategic planning and content knowledge. (7–10 per year)

    If needed, Add+VantageMR Champion Course:
    Leadership course for facilitating AVMR Course 1 & 2 in-district (Prerequisites of MRSp1 and AVMR C1 & C2)

    • Synchronous Learning: 33 hr.
      Asynchronous: 28 hr.

    Implementation & Support

    • Strategic planning and on-going consultations with local math leadership team
    • Access to USMRC Level 3 membership
    • On-site and remote check-ins

    Technical support:

    • Quarterly meetings with the Math Leadership Team to support expanded implementation across the district — moving towards full implementation.

    Add+VantageMR (AVMR) Course 1 and 2:

    • 24 hours or
      4 days per course (both virtual and face-to-face formats available) with asynchronous assignments

    Or Add+VantageMR Fractions

    • Eight,120-min virtual sessions with asynchronous assignments

    Implementation & Support

    • Strategic planning and on-going consultations with local math leadership team
    • Curriculum development sessions
    • Access to USMRC Level 3 membership
    • On-site and remote check-ins

    Add+VantageMR (AVMR) Course 1 and 2

    • 24 hours or
      4 days per course (both virtual and face-to-face formats available) with asynchronous assignments

    Or

    Add+VantageMR Fractions

    • Eight, 120-min virtual sessions with asynchronous assignments

    Technical Support:

    • Administer and analyze assessments.
    • Regular Math Leadership Team meetings to support strategic planning and content knowledge. (7–10 per year)
    • Face-to-face and virtual responsive technical assistance for course participants and the Math Leadership Team.

    Implementation & Support

    • Strategic planning and on-going consultations with local math leadership team
    • Curriculum development sessions
    • Access to USMRC Level 3 membership
    • On-site and remote check-ins

    Technical Support:

    • Administer and analyze assessments.
    • Use assessment data to plan instruction across all tiers of instruction.
    • Regular Math Leadership Team meetings for strategic planning and implementation supports. (7–10 per year)
    • Face-to-face and virtual responsive technical assistance for course participants and the Math Leadership Team.

    *A 4th year of support may be provided depending on need and available funding.

    To learn more, feel free to read this flyer or the Academy-At-A-Glance summary, or view this informational video.

    Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Academy

    A strong system of social, emotional, and behavioral supports—across all three MTSS tiers has been shown to lead to positive outcomes for students including academic success and positive mental health. The Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Academy, led by Education Development Center, will support districts in building evidence-based, data-driven, and culturally responsive systems of support using two research-based frameworks: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).

    In year 1, participating district and school teams will select one of two tracks—SEL or PBIS, and receive focused professional development and coaching to build local capacity to implement programs, practices, and policies organized around either of these two frameworks. Throughout the three-year journey, teams will participate in academy-wide events directed at the integration of social, emotional, and behavioral supports.

    Over the course of three years, teams will work closely with academy subject matter experts on the following:

    • Effective social, emotional, and behavioral classroom-based programs and practices
    • School-wide and classroom-based behavior expectations
    • Strategies for responding to student behavior across all settings
    • Small group supports for students with low to moderate social-emotional, behavior, or mental health struggles (e.g., support group for students with social-pragmatic challenges)
    • Intensive, individualized mental health support services for students with high mental health needs, including through collaboration with community-based mental health providers
    • Data-driven process for assessing students strengths and needs, matching students to interventions, and monitoring progress
    • Centralized planning and decision-making including
    • Schoolwide communication and coordination, including: integration of SEL into academic instruction, common SEL standards that are vertically aligned, and coordination of supports using a Whole Child lens
    • Staff development and support, including: trauma-sensitive training for all adults, and clear roles and responsibilities for supporting students' social and emotional growth.
    • School-based teams that use data and teacher referrals to identify students who need tier 2 and 3 supports.

    To learn more, feel free to read this flyer or the Academy-At-A-Glance summary.

    Systemic Student Support (S3) Academy

    What is the Academy?

    The Systemic Student Support (S3) Academy is co-facilitated by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and Boston College Lynch School of Education's Center for Thriving Children. We partner with schools to reimagine student support to focus on the holistic development of every child. A strengths-based, preventative approach to student support will become part of the foundational structure of each participating school, ensuring that every child receives the support they need at the time they need it.

    How do we do this?

    • Examine and fortify your school's student support processes, shifting to a proactive model. Build upon existing structures to review student data, discuss strengths and needs for all students, and connect them with resources.
    • Create an individual plan for each student's success based upon a holistic review of their strengths and needs.
    • Place equity at the center of student support practices. Ensure teams make student support decisions that affirm each child's cultural and linguistic identity.
    • Organize resources, interventions, and enrichments in order to connect students to the support they need at the time they need it.
    • Rather than focusing on existing student support structures, some teams may choose to adopt the City Connects model of optimized student support. Academy providers will work with each team to assess if this option would be a good fit for their local context. (Please note that this option would require additional personnel and financial commitments on behalf of the school/district.)

    Research from Boston College's Center for Thriving Children shows evidence that when schools address the individual and holistic needs of each and every child through an integrated student support model, student outcomes are positively affected. Research further shows that taking a whole child, every child approach to student support leads to:

    • Increased grades and tests scores
    • Increased student attendance
    • Decreased dropout rate
    • Improved school climate and culture
    • Improved student-teachers-family relationships

    To learn more, feel free to read this flyer or the Academy-At-A-Glance summary.

    Last Updated: May 4, 2022

     
    Contact Us

    Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

    Voice: (781) 338-3000
    TTY: (800) 439-2370

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