Return to Headlines

MTSS: Supporting Students to Safely Start School

Kent School District is dedicated to providing students a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) in our schools. MTSS looks at the whole child focusing on the academic, behavior and social-emotional needs of students. Different levels of support are given to students depending on student needs.

MTSS involves three tiers of support:

  1. Tier 1- Supports for all students. An example of this is having a routine for walking through the hallway. The procedure is taught to all students, modeled and reinforced.

  2. Tier 2- Supports for some students. These could be academic/behavioral or social-emotional supports. An example of this would be an interventionist working with a small group of students on reading during intervention time. Another example might be having a teacher check in with a student in the morning and check out with the student in the afternoon. These supports are in addition to Tier One supports.

  3. Tier 3- Supports for a few students. These are intensive, individualized supports that are generally needed by less than five percent of students. Examples of Tier 3 supports include mental health and/or substance abuse counseling, individual support plans, and referral to services outside the district.

Here are a few things you may notice when entering your child’s school that are a part of MTSS.

  • Schools have five or fewer behavior expectations (example: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe).
  • Students are taught expectations for routines (such as walking in the halls). The teacher will spend the first few days of school teaching routines and modeling expectations.
  • Expectations are visible. There are visual cues to remind students of routines and expectations (example: a sign pointing out voice levels in the hallway).

The best way to keep our schools safe is having all kids feel successful and connected. The structure set up through MTSS creates an environment where staff are working with students to meet their individual academic, behavior, and social-emotional needs.


Last year, great work was accomplished by our Student and Family Support Services team to teach, train, and implement MTTS.

  • Trained all administrators on use of the MTSS framework.
  • All schools completed a Tiered Fidelity Inventory to measure level of MTSS-B implementation.
  • Created Action Plans for 28 elementary schools, 6 middle schools, and 4 high schools based on tiered fidelity inventories.
  • Began training school teams on the use of restorative practices.
  • Delivered trainings to staff on the use of AIM (Assess-Intervene-Monitor) behavior assessment tool.
  • Trained elementary counselors on the use of Team Initiated Problem Solving technique.
  • Second Step curriculum for Social Emotional Learning taught in all 28 elementary schools
  • New middle school Second Step Social Emotional Curriculum piloted in two middle schools and will be expanded to all middle schools and all sixth grade classes during 2018-19 school year.
  • Schools established MTSS teams and held regular meetings.


This year, the team will continue its work by:

  • Adopting Second Step curriculum in all middle schools. Second Step helps strengthen:
    • Skills for Learning
    • Empathy
    • Emotion Management
    • Problem Solving
  • Providing training on trauma informed practices.
  • Embedding restorative practices in middle schools.
  • Utilizing the BSK-SBIRT grant to provide case management, mental health and substance abuse services in all of the middle schools.
  • Using a coaching model, provide targeted building supports to each school based on its needs.
  • Continuing to train staff on the Assess-Intervene-Monitor tool.
  • Beginning check-in/check-out procedures for designated schools.
  • Increasing communication with schools surrounding all tiers of support through regular meetings and professional development.
  • Using the School-Wide Information System to assist schools with use of formative behavior data.