History and Future of MTSS in Florida

In June of 2008, The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) published a Response to Instruction/Intervention (RtI) Implementation Plan, which provided the initial, formal, state-level framework to assist districts with critical components, definitions and applications to support the development of school-wide implementations. This document marks an important point in our state's development, reflecting the collective intent at that time. Since 2004, Florida has engaged in continuous efforts to make sense of how systematic problem-solving and the RtI framework integrate the various elements of Florida’s system of education.

As Florida’s Phase I, Implementation for Problem-solving and Response to Instruction/Intervention, came to a close in 2011, Phase II of the statewide implementation of a MTSS has emerged. The statewide Florida Positive Behavior Support and Florida Problem-Solving/RtI Projects are merging their efforts with Technology and Learning Connections for Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning to support district-wide implementation of an integrated (academic and behavior) data-based planning and problem-solving system.

Florida’s Phase II, state-level priorities include:

  • Consensus Building
    • Re-organize, recommit, and establish a coordinated way of work for state teams and advisory groups to represent each FDOE instructional division, accountability, university/college partners, state-wide projects, and parent organizations
    • Further develop a shared knowledge, foundational beliefs, and commitment across state-level personnel to integrate problem-solving and supporting the full implementation of a MTSS
    • Collaborate with policy makers to provide leadership and facilitate policy-level changes that support implementation of a MTSS through a shared vision and written commitment disseminated to all school district superintendents
    • Gather data to identify the assumptions, beliefs, skills, and professional development needs of state-level personnel in relation to scaling up implementation of a MTSS across the state
    • Consistently promote the shared vision of one system meeting the needs of ALL students with MTSS as the platform for integration of initiatives such as Standards-based Instruction, Collegial Learning (i.e., Lesson Studies), Teacher/Leader Proficiency Model, and continuous school improvement.
  • Infrastructure Development
    • Link State level teams to Regional Administrative Unit:, State-level projects, and District Based Leadership Teams by establishing a clear and functional operating and communication system to ensure that the entities that comprise the infrastructure are able to implement a statewide MTSS in the most efficient and effective manner. As a result, District Based Leadership Teams will
          • Assign and provide personnel with the requisite knowledge and experience to support coordination and implementation of MTSS across the district.
          • Support the capacity development and sustainability of the implementation of evidenced-based practices at both the district and school levels.
          • Support the development and implementation of district plans that ensure the integration of general and special education resources and expertise resulting in successful implementation of MTSS at the school level.
    • Create and maintain the structure and responsibility for the implementation of Florida’s MTSS statewide by establishing state-level work groups to address critical training and technical assistance  needs for districts towards scaling-up MTSS in the areas of  program evaluation model/process, leadership/teaming, coaching, secondary implementation, PK-12 alignment, data-based problem-solving, and family/community engagement.
    • Create and maintain the structure and responsibility for the implementation Florida’s MTSS statewide by developing a training and technical assistance delivery system through the reorganization of inter-project staff  to support enhanced collaboration and coordination for the delivery of integrated training and technical assistance at the district level, development of district level needs assessment, development of a technical assistance protocol, and the use of technology for collection and dissemination of information.
  • Implementation
    • Statewide MTSS projects including PS/RtI, PBIS:MTSS, and the Technology and Learning Connections collaborative will provide training and technical assistance support by utilizing district-level needs assessment data to determine training and technical assistance supports to be delivered, developing an inter-project strategic plan to address district needs based on needs assessment data,  collaborating on supporting district’s efforts to implement their plan to scale-up MTSS as needed, providing necessary training and technical assistance from inter-project collaborative staff to district based leadership teams, and evaluating
          • Effectiveness of training and technical assistance by inter-project collaborative staff
          • District level outcomes/impacts