University of Vermont

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

BEST: Building Effective Support For Teaching Students With Behavioral Challenges

A Running PersonBEST/MTSS Summer Institute 2016

Strand J

MTSS: Strategies for Creating an Interconnected System to Ensure Students Reach their Greatest Potential

Michaela Martin and Jamie Kinnarney


Orange North Supervisory Union (ONSU) consists of two PreK-8 school districts in the towns of Orange and Washington and one PreK-12 school district in the town of Williamstown.  Over the past seven years, the ONSU Leadership Team worked together to create an Interconnected Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) in all three school districts.  It first began with the implementation of PBIS in each school and has evolved to become an integrated system that supports the academic and social emotional needs of all learners. 

In this strand, ONSU leaders will share how they have developed over time to be a model for other schools/SUs to learn from, and to support their journey of creating an MTSS that ensures all students are provided the supports needed for them to reach their greatest potential.  The content will focus on how to effectively implement a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) while recognizing the individual needs of each school district/supervisory union.  By the end of the strand, each school or SU/SD Team will have completed a three-year Comprehensive Implementation Plan.  Participants will learn about: 

  • Creating a culture and climate that supports the interconnections of both an academic and social/emotional system.
    • Using the PBIS framework to inform your entire MTSS; and
    • Creating a process to ensure that both academic and social/emotional are discussed simultaneously when planning to meet a student needs. 
  • Building a comprehensive and systematic plan that includes:
    • A Systemic and comprehensive approach:
      • A Distributed Leadership Model for sustaining a Multi-tiered System for evidence based instruction and intervention;
      • Progress monitoring to ensure fidelity of implementation and better outcomes for students;
      • A School District/Supervisory Union approach to school improvement; and
      • A Structure that supports a comprehensive assessment system
    • Effective collaboration:
      • How interdependence among all Tiers supports a collaborative school culture; and
      • The role of community in creating an effective system
    • High quality instruction and intervention: 
      • The importance of high quality universal instruction with a focus on deep content area knowledge and a clearly aligned curriculum
      • Articulating that all teachers and staff need to acknowledge their role as an interventionist and that all interventions need to be aligned to clear targets and provided by highly trained staff; and
      • The use of relevant assessment data to differentiate and provide instruction that is responsive to students’ diverse strengths and needs. 
    • Balanced and comprehensive assessment
      • How to use a range of assessment data that includes both academic and social/emotional data aligned to clearly identified targets; and
      • Structures that allow at the minimum of bi-weekly use of data to progress monitor student growth.
    • Well-designed professional learning
      • How to use common professional learning to support all staff in an MTSS;
      • The importance of embedded professional learning to promote instructional growth; and
      • How to promote a culture of continuous improvement and sustainability

Who Should Attend?

Leadership Teams or full teams (Building or SU/SD level) who are ready to implement Vermont’s Multi-tiered System of Supports.  Ideal configuration of teams: Building level: A representative team including Principal (required), classroom teacher(s), special educator(s), counselor or behavior specialist.  SU/SD level: Superintendent (ideally—or designee if not possible), building-level administrators and teacher leaders from general and special education. 


Multi-tier System of Supports


Michaela MartinMichaela Martin, MEd, has been an educator in Vermont since 1996 serving as a classroom teacher, principal and now Co-Director of School Transformation and Effectiveness in Orange North for the past 7 years. Since coming to Orange North, she has also been the PBIS Coordinator and has successfully supported the implementation of PBIS in all four schools. Her role in Orange North has been focused on working with school leadership teams to develop an integrated MTSS model in which academic and social/emotional are one interdependent system.

Jamie KinnarneyJamie Kinnarney received his BS in Allied Health Sciences from Lyndon State College and MA in Educational Leadership at Castleton State College.  He was hired as the principal of the Williamstown Elementary School in the spring of 2013. During his tenure at W.E.S., they have created a comprehensive approach to academic and social/ emotional enrichment and support via a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).  Along with this achievement, they also created a content area specialist model down to grade 1.  This has resulted in all members of the Williamstown Elementary School as self identified interventionists.  The result of the successful implementation of MTSS has led to not only increased achievement throughout the content areas but an overall decrease of over 30% in the student population identified as having a specific learning disability.  


Last modified May 26 2016 02:27 PM

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