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Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Screening Resources

 

Hamilton Southeastern Schools is fortunate to serve students and families in a high performing school district. There are many efforts that contribute to such accomplishments. One of these efforts is termed: Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS). Our MTSS model for students and families is a specific structure led by an MTSS Leadership Team at each school to help every child realize success.
 
Our K-12 model supports the developmental needs of young children, early adolescents, and students at the secondary level.  MTSS, formerly referred to as Response to Instruction (RTI) focuses on the success of the whole child, through the purposeful design of strong core instruction, and the need for targeted intervention to support academic growth, physical health, behavioral health, and social emotional well-being.
 
 

 

Your school’s MTSS Leadership Team consists of their MTSS coordinator, administrators, counselors, and specialists.  These leaders support their School Improvement Plan, professional development and work together as a Child Study Team to discuss student needs that require more targeted intervention. If you have questions about support for your student, please contact your school. They will direct you to someone on the MTSS Leadership Team. 

We refer to the identification of needs in Tiers. Your student may be referred for further support: in academics, physical health, and social emotional well-being based on classroom observations, assessments, and screeners.  

 

 
All students benefit from a school culture that values collaboration among highly qualified teachers that provide strong core instruction found in Tier 1. The classroom teacher supports a variety of needs and consults with their team when they need support. While most if not all students will be successful with Tier 1 instruction occasionally a few students may need extra assistance.
 
Families will be contacted should a student progress into Tier 2 or Tier 3 support. Your input is especially valuable in building a supportive plan for school and at home use. Tier 2 and 3 plans are in place for designated periods of time. Working through tiers are important as we collect data to determine how students are responding and if we need to shift any pieces of the instructional routine or intervention. While it is not common, sometimes, students will present with urgent needs related to gaps in school attendance, disruptive behaviors, or other substantial needs that require an advance directly to Tier 3 support.
 
At times, a referral for a special educational evaluation is recommended if the data collected from the Tier 3 support demonstrates limited progress or if the intensive support remains a need. A meeting will be scheduled with you to meet with the school-based team to discuss the progress made and determine if an evaluation is appropriate. If determined by you and the school team that an evaluation is appropriate, written parent consent will be attained. After the evaluation is completed, a case conference committee, comprised of you and school personnel, will meet to review the evaluation results, and determine if the student is eligible for further services.
 

MTSS Screeners and Use of Assessments 

 

Teachers provide feedback to students and families on in-class performance through assessments and on quarterly or semester report cards. They also select specific assessment data and topics to discuss in data cycles with their colleagues each week during their Professional Learning Community (PLC) time. This is an important time for teachers to discuss instructional techniques and build plans to support students with enrichment or remediation.
 
Various screeners, informal and formal, or standardized assessments are also administered to that gather more information to support discussions for potential interventions. Several pieces of data are needed to develop interventions. Some assessments are performed in class and other assessments, or screeners are performed by specialists at your child’s school.
 
Screeners
Screeners are in place for specific grade levels. The description of each is below.
 
AIMS Web
A K-12 progress monitoring system for students of concern transitioning from Tier 2 into Tier 3. This measure provides brief, frequent, and continuous student assessment measures of reading and math.
 
Early Literacy Screener (ELS)
The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) requires a specific characteristics of Dyslexia screening for all students in grades K-2. The Early Literacy Screener (ELS) is a multifaceted assessment administered in October-January. A member of the MTSS Leadership Team will assess the 3 most important area of reading development: vocabulary, grammar, and phonics with this screener. We will provide intervention, support, and assessment in any of the 3 identified areas of need. Students will receive additional remediation in their area of need which is captured in Tier 2 support. We may need to use a more advanced literacy screener if we notice a lack of progress. The advanced screener will give us further information.  Additional intervention that is multi-sensory and systemic will be supported in Tier 3.  
 
While a characteristics of Dyslexia screening may be a part of this assessment, it is important to understand that we do not diagnose Dyslexia. We conduct this screening to provide us with further information to guide our intervention on general reading difficulties. Dyslexia is defined by the National/Indiana Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the Indiana (IASP) position statement can give families more detailed information. Students in grades 3-12 with reading difficulties in the areas of vocabulary, grammar or phonics will be supported through the MTSS process. You will receive a MTSS letter discussing results and instructional plans if your student needs further support.
 
Kindergarten

 

Universal Screener 

All Students Tier 1 

December - January 

Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading Level (GRL) Below Level A 

NWEA Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) 

NWEA Dyslexia Screener (DS)
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Sound/Symbol Relationship
  • Alphabetic Knowledge 
  • Decoding
  • Encoding ​
  • Rapid Automatized Naming 

Families will receive information about reading levels on their report card and through a NWEA letter. 

 

Initial Screener 

Some Students Tier 2

December - January+ 

Initial Early Literacy Screener (IELS) is given to students that:
     -Are below (GRL) expectation or
     -Below their NWEA (ORF) or
     -Below their NWEA (DS)
 
The (IELS) consists of 6 indicators:

  • Below GRL Level A
  • Failed/Incomplete Vision/Hearing
  • Developmental Reading Survey Score 8 or >
  • SC rate 1:4 or > on GRL Text
  • MSV Cueing Analysis on GRL Text
  • Administrator Assurance that strong core instruction in reading, writing and systemic phonics is in place.
Families will receive a MTSS Tier 2 letter.
 

Advanced Screener 

Very Few Students Tier 3

January+
 
Diagnostic Cueing System Screener (DCSS) is given to students that:
Show areas of concern on their overall (IELS). The (DCSS) contains 3 sections. 1-3 are given to students depending on skill need.
 
Part 1 (M) Meaning/Vocabulary
       -Vocab in Context Level A+
       -Concepts: Number
       -Concepts: Colors
       -Concepts: Common Vocabulary
Part 2 (S) Syntax, Grammar, Structure, Oral Lang
       -Head, Shoulder, Knees, Toes
       -Counting with 1:1 Correspondence
       -Finger Frame
       -Finger Tap
       -Missing Word
Part 3 (V) Visuals/Phonics
      -Letter Recognition Upper/Lower
      -High Frequency Words
      -Syllable Clap
      -Initial Sounds
      -Blending
      -Segmenting
      -Rhyming
 
Families will receive a MTSS Tier 3 letter.

1st Grade

 

Universal Screener 

All Students Tier 1 

October - November
Fountas and Pinnell Guided  
Reading Level (GRL) Below Level D
 
December - January
NWEA Oral Reading Fluency (ORF)

NWEA Dyslexia Screener (DS)
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Sound/Symbol Relationship
  • Alphabetic Knowledge
  • Decoding
  • Encoding
  • Rapid Automatized Naming 

Families will receive information about reading levels on their report card and through a NWEA letter.

 

Initial Screener 

Some Students Tier 2

October - November+
 
Initial Early Literacy Screener (IELS) given
 to students that:
     -Are below (GRL) expectation or
     -Below their NWEA (ORF) or
     -Below their NWEA (DS)
 
The (IELS) consists of 7 indicators:

  • Below GRL Level D
  • Failed/Incomplete Vision/Hearing
  • Developmental Reading Survey Score 5 or >
  • SC rate 1:4 or > on GRL Text
  • MSV Cueing Analysis on GRL Text
  • Words Their Way At/Above Middle Letter Name Alphabetic Spelling Stage
  • Administrator Assurance that strong core instruction in reading, writing and systemic phonics is in place.

 
Families will receive a MTSS Tier 2 letter.


 

Advanced Screener 

Very Few Students Tier 3

November+ 

Diagnostic Cueing System Screener (DCSS) is given to students that:
Show areas of concern on their overall (IELS). The (DCSS) contains 3 sections. 1-3 are given to students depending on skill need.
 
Part 1 (M) Meaning/Vocabulary
       -Vocab in Context Level D+
       -Concepts: Calendar Words
       -Concepts: Verbs
       -Concepts: Adjectives
       -Concepts: Antonyms
       -Concepts: Synonyms
       -Concepts: Compound Words
Part 2 (S) Syntax, Grammar, Structure, Oral Lang
       -Finger Frame
       -Missing Word
       -Scrambled Sentence
Part 3 (V) Visuals/Phonics
       -Letter Recognition Upper/Lower
       -Initial Sounds
       -High Frequency Words
       -Blending
       -Segmenting
       -Rhyming
       -Syllable Clap
      -Consonant Blends
      -Word Features
 
Families will receive a MTSS Tier 3 letter.

2nd Grade

 

Universal Screener 

All Students Tier 1 

October - November
Fountas and Pinnell Guided
Reading Level (GRL) Below Level I
 
December - January
NWEA Oral Reading Fluency (ORF)
NWEA Dyslexia Screener (DS)

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Sound/Symbol Relationship
  • Alphabetic Knowledge
  • Decoding
  • Encoding
  • Rapid Automatized Naming

Families will receive information about reading levels on their report card and through a NWEA letter.

 

Initial Screener 

Some Students Tier 2

October - November+
 
Initial Early Literacy Screener (IELS) given to students that:
     -Are below (GRL) expectation or
     -Below their NWEA (ORF) or
     -Below their NWEA (DS)
 
The (IELS) consists of 8 indicators:

  • Below 30th percentile NWEA RDG
  • Below GRL Level I
  • Failed/Incomplete Vision/Hearing
  • Developmental Reading Survey Score 5 or >
  • SC rate 1:3 or > on GRL Text
  • MSV Cueing Analysis on GRL Text
  • Words Their Way At or > Early Within Word Patterns Above Spelling Stage
  • Administrator Assurance that strong core instruction in reading, writing and systemic phonics is in place

 
Families will receive a MTSS Tier 2 letter.

Advanced Screener 

Very Few Students Tier 3

November+
 
Diagnostic Cueing System Screener (DCSS) is given to students that:
Show areas of concern on their overall (IELS). The (DCSS) contains 3 sections. 1-3 are given to students depending on skill need.
 
Part 1 (M) Meaning/Vocabulary
       -Vocab in Context Level I+
       -Concepts: Synonyms 2
       -Concepts: Antonyms 2
       -Concepts: Verbs
       -Concepts: Compound Words
       -Concepts: Adjectives
Part 2 (S) Syntax, Grammar, Structure, Oral Lang
       -Scrambled Sentence
Part 3 (V) Visuals/Phonics
       -High Frequency Word Lists
       -Consonant Blends
       -Vowel Clusters 1 and 2
       -Suffixes
       -Word Features
 
Families will receive a MTSS Tier 3 letter.

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)
A PK-12 guide for members of the MTSS team to use as they build Behavioral Intervention Plans for students in need of Tier 2 and Tier 3 support. This assessment looks at the strengths and needs of the individual student.
 
Hearing Screener
A screening by the Speech and Language Pathologist is performed for students in Grades K,1,4,7 and 10, and students new to the district. Students that fail their hearing screening are rescreened in 2-3 weeks.  If they fail a second time, they are referred to their physician for further testing. If you suspect a hearing issue, please contact your child’s school. This screening provides us with very important information as academic, social, or behavioral needs can be attributed to hearing difficulties. Your school maintains records of the hearing status of students in Skyward and reports hearing screening results to the state at the end of each year.
 
Panorama Education Surveys
A screening with a digital platform for students in grades K-12 designed to capture student voice and allow students to express their perspectives about teaching and learning, culture and climate, and their classroom experiences. The Student Supports and Environments portion of the survey allows students to offer feedback specifically about school safety, their sense of belonging, teacher-student relationships, cultural awareness, and diversity and inclusion.  This is one of many data points our school counselors use to identify students for additional Tier 2 support.
 
Reading Levels
A reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension screening by the classroom teacher in grades K-6 to determine reading level feedback on quarterly report cards, to support small group guided reading instruction, and to support potential needs for further remediation. Teachers use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System. Your students reading progress will be reported in levels A-Z. Reading levels that are below grade level expectation will be considered for remediation.
 
Grade End of Quarter Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level
K 1 A
K 2 B
K 3 C
K 4 D/E
1 1 D/E
1 2 F/G
1 3 H/I
1 4 J/K
2 1 J/K
2 2 L
2 3 M
2 4 N
3 1 N
3 2 O
3 3 P
3 4 Q
4 1 Q
4 2 R
4 3 S
4 4 T
5 1 T
5 2 U
5 3 V
5 4 W
6 1 W
6 2 X
6 3 Y
6 4 Z
7-8   Z

Securly
In a 1:1 digital learning environment we use our devices to research, read electronic periodicals, construct presentations, practice with mathematical concepts, etc. We do not encourage passive or consumptive use of the device. Screening for appropriate device use is an important part of the school and home environment. When a K-12 student device is on the HSE network they are provided with certain protections. Families who rent a device from HSE can enroll in Securly Home.  A Smart Phone App service that allows parents to view online activity which includes searches, sites visited, and videos watched. Families can schedule when Internet access turns off and allow or block specific sites. Interested families can contact their school’s Technology Specialist to be enrolled.
 
Speech and Language Screening
Speech screenings are completed for K-2 students. Parents will be notified via phone and letter if the child would benefit from speech therapy services in the school setting.  If parents are not contacted, they can assume their child passed his/her speech screenings for their developmental age level (see chart below for district wide norms). 
 
Grade  Age  Appropriate Articulation Expected 
Preschool  3-3.5 years old  M/N, P/B, H, W, D, Vowels 
Preschool  4 years old  M/N, P/B, T/D, H, W, Vowels 
Preschool  4.5-5 years old  M/N, P/B, T/D, K/G, F, Y, Lateralization 
Kindergarten  5-6 years old  K/G, F/V, L, SH/CH, Lateralization 
1st Grade  6-7 years old  L, SH/CH, TH, Lateralization 
2nd Grade  7-8 years old  Fronted S/Z, R, Blends, Lateralization 
3rd-4th Grade  8+ years old  Should appropriately articulate all sounds 
Sleep Screening and Recommendations
Health education efforts are large part of MTSS. One of the most correctable contributors to PK-12 student success is talking with families about sleep expectations that contribute to attention, focus, academic progress, and emotional regulation, and behaviors. If a student transitions to Tier 2 your school will talk to you more about how sleep is monitored and possible support plans. American Academy of Pediatrics 2014
 
Ages 3 - 5 years:                     10-13 hours (including naps)
Ages 6 - 12 years:                    9-12 hours
Ages 13 – 18 years:                 8-10 hours
America Academy of Sleep Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics 2016
 
Vision Screening
HSE Schools provides vision screening each year to monitor students for any vision problems that could affect academic growth and success. Vision screening is provided to students in grades 1, 3, 5, and 8. First grade students also get an extensive screening performed by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist. Please look for the vision screening dates to be communicated in your school newsletter. 

Once the screening is complete, a letter will be sent home only to those students who failed the exam along with recommendations parents can use to follow up on their vision care. If a student, parent, or teacher notice a problem with the student's vision, the nurse can screen the student at any time during the school year. General vision screening includes the use of a Snellen chart, Sloan letters, HOTV or LEA symbol optotypes to determine a student's ability to see at various distances. First grade vision screen also involves a general screen and a MCT (Modified Clinical Technique), which includes: a refractive error test to determine the focusing power of the eye, an ocular health test to determine any external or internal abnormalities of the eye and a binocular coordination test to determine if the eyes are working together properly. Your school maintains records of the hearing status of students in Skyward and reports hearing screening results to the state at the end of each year. If you’re unable to follow up with your physician, please let us know. We may be able to help.
 
Standardized Assessments
Standardized Assessments are given to students in grades PK-12 to be used as a summative measure of achievement and growth. While these are not screeners, performance on these assessments can help guide School Improvement Plans, grade, or content level planning, MTSS plans, enrichment, and remediation programs.
 
ACT
The ACT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. It is a multiple-choice, test administered by ACT, Inc. The purpose of the ACT test is to measure a high school student's readiness for college and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. 
 
AP/IB
AP (advanced placement) is a program of classes developed by the college board to give high school students an introduction to college-level classes and gain college credit before graduating high school. AP exams are tests on everything you've learned in your AP class that year.
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers a continuum of international education courses at the high school level. Students display critical thinking skills in their coursework and can earn an IB diploma.
 
CogAT
The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a multiple-choice assessment that measures the cognitive potential for students in grades K, 2 and 5 in reasoning skills with different types of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal questions. This assessment is also used for high ability services.
 
IAM
Indiana’s Alternate Measure (IAM) is a state assessment for exceptional learners that are unable to take the typical ILEARN assessment
 
ILEARN
Indiana Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network (ILEARN) is the summative accountability assessment for Indiana students in grades 3 through 8 and high school biology. ILEARN measures student achievement and growth according to Indiana Academic Standards for English/Language Arts (grades 3-8), Mathematics (grades 3-8), Science (grades 4 and 6), and Social Studies (grade 5).
 
IREAD-3
The Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination (IREAD-3) is designed to measure basic reading skills and reading comprehension in grade 3 based on the Indiana Academic Standards. The assessment measures K-3 foundations in phonics, reading comprehension of fiction-based passages, and reading of non-fiction passages.
 
ISPROUT
Indiana Student Performance Readiness and Observation of Understanding Tool (ISPROUT) is utilized to measure skills in children from infancy to kindergarten. ISPROUT is aligned to the Indiana Early Learning Foundations and includes: Social and Emotional Skills, ELA, mathematics, physical development, science and social studies. These concepts are reported in three categories: social/emotional, knowledge and skills, and independence/motor coordination. These are also the areas used for federal reporting for the Office of Special Education Programs.
 
NWEA
North West Educational Assessment is an adaptive assessment for students in K-8 that offers instructional solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency and provide insights to help tailor instruction. It is administered 3 times a year. Reports that show student growth targets and percentile performance are sent to families.
 
PSAT
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test administered by College Board that measures high school students in reading, writing, and math. It serves as a primer to the SAT and provides feedback to schools and families about student preparedness.
 
SAT
Scholastic Aptitude Test administered by College Board that measures high school students in reading, writing, and math. It provides colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. 
 
WIDA
The WIDA assessment is a (Measurement of Developing English Language) suite of English language proficiency assessments for Grades K-12. WIDA screeners are administered to new students based on their Home Language Survey. It is also administered to all English Language Learners in January – February. Reports are sent to schools and families to build English Learner Individualized Plans for the school year.
 
 

Hamilton Southeastern Schools

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  • 13485 Cumberland Road, Fishers, IN 46038
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Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as a forward-thinking school district, provides excellence in education and opportunities to ensure the success of each and every student, to become a responsible citizen and to positively influence an ever-changing world community.

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