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January 2024 Newsletter

NDMTSS Overview

What is MTSS all about? Everything!!

Every day, thousands of educators and tens of thousands of students show up at schools across North Dakota. The goal for each student is to learn - learn new skills, learn new information and ways of thinking, learn to interact and work both independently and together, learn to communicate in a variety of ways, and learn to relate to, advocate for, and support one another. The goal for the teacher is to intentionally and consistently plan and design learning experiences that engage and challenge students to acquire, build, and apply new skills.

Administrators and building leadership teams are responsible for the selection, training, and coaching of teachers in the utilization of high-quality instructional practices and evidence-based programs and interventions. To accomplish all of this and to do it well, we must have people leading who understand that EVERYTHING we do in schools is part of our system of supports and by bringing people together to audit and review our systems periodically, we are creating more effective and efficient systems.

It comes down to the following:

  • Focus on Student Learning - Rigor, Relevance, Science of Learning
  • Better Resource Allocation - People, Time, Money
  • Improving Infrastructure - Communication, Shared Beliefs, Alignment
  • Excellent Teaching - Hierarchy of Learning, Professional Learning, Coaching, Feedback
  • Continuous Improvement - Assessments, Data Analysis, Ongoing Monitoring

Ultimately, everything we do in schools should be leading us toward more efficient and effective ways to support the academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs and growth of our students.

Here are a few additional resources to help you learn more:

Looking to get a school team started or refresh your processes?

Go to the NDMTSS website to learn more about NDMTSS Training Opportunities,

with dates for 2024-25 coming soon!

NDMTSS News & Updates

New NDMTSS Website & Alignment Project

We are excited to bring teams another resource of support as we work to build a new NDMTSS website. Our hopes are that the new NDMTSS website becomes a one-stop-shop, providing teams with a more streamlined process for professional development, tools, resources, data, and support that they can use as they continue to improve their system. A few features we are looking forward to sharing with schools include an updated NDMTSS Playbook that is interweaved throughout the website, a resource library that will house MTSS-related documents that will also link to further data and learning, and a video library with additional PD support, quick wins, and tips. Stay tuned, we can't wait to share it with all of you!

Advanced Applications of Data Based Decision-Making - Continuous Improvement at Work

Our NDMTSS Team supports schools in establishing sustainability with a constant focus on continuous improvement. We have several schools who are engaged in this process for 23-24 who went through initial training several years ago and are back to revisit and monitor their systems! As we learn with and from them, we too, review and monitor the schools' needs and continue to shape and enhance our support. This year we are also piloting the Data Day Protocol (below) with one of these schools and another requesting onsite coaching to see how best to support our schools! Read more about the process below.

Data Day Protocol - digging in at the teacher level

In an attempt to build capacity across the state, CREA has invited partner REAs to experience this data day analysis process as a growth opportunity. Growing Your Elementary Reading Data System is an ongoing team process tailored to establishing a school's protocol for assessing, analyzing, and applying data points throughout the year to inform instruction and intervention.

The following steps are facilitated in partnership with local and neighboring REA members to assist in growing a data system specific to your school:

  • Initial survey completion and data team interview
  • One-hour introductory session for elementary staff and administrators
  • Creation of a data calendar for F/W/S Data Days following benchmark screening administration
  • Full Day F/W/S Data Days facilitation:
  • Analyze data
  • Determine further diagnostic needs
  • Discussion of possible interventions and routines to meet student needs
  • Forming a data team, building a data calendar, documentation of action steps, and monitoring of the plan will be included in the development of the data system.

For more info on Growing Your Elementary Reading Data System, contact:

CREA - Colette Cunningham

SEEC - Cheryl Hoggarth or Brandie Ulland

NDMTSS Rundown

Brief yet exciting recaps of our PD Trainings that happened around our region!

We are receiving incredible energy and focus from school teachers currently engaged in our MTSS PD programs!

From one of our participants from Evaluating Your System:

"My hope is that the echoes of MTSS will be in our building for as long as it is standing, and long after I've left."

(MTSS Coach – Glenburn)

NDMTSS Academic Trainings Recap

Phase 1: Building Your System was held September 19th & 20th with 10 schools/districts from all corners and sides of the state joining us. 75 participants left with a feeling of excitement and wanting more!


  • Establish readiness for successful MTSS implementation
  • Define NDMTSS
  • Understand the Essential Components and beliefs of MTSS
  • Self-Assess current and desired state of their system
  • Understand change process and leadership team roles & responsibilities
  • Develop an Action Plan for NDMTSS implementation

"It is a lot of information to process but it’s so good and I get excited thinking about how it’s going to look in our building! Thank you thank you thank you!!!"

(Educator – Cavalier)

Phase 1A: Developing Academic Pathways kicked off on December 6th & 7th. Of the 10 teams from Building Your System, 9 continued and an additional 2 teams that attended BYS in 22-23 also joined. Wayne Callendar is once again leading this training along with the NDMTSS liaisons from the different REAs. All together, 88 participants spent 2 packed days learning and collaborating together. 


  • Understanding a systems approach to MTSS
  • Placement Pathways
  • Logistics of implementation
  • Staffing, allocation of resources
  • MTSS Leadership Team roles and responsibilities
  • Understanding research-validated interventions

Phase 2A: Evaluating Your System began November 1st and 2nd and has 7 school/district teams, totaling 56 individuals, participating this year.


  • Big ideas of Data-Based Decision Making
  • Establishing Data Meetings
  • Fidelity checks - walk throughs
  • The ability of the system to deliver interventions and supports
  • Monitoring on-going data to ensure the system is producing desired results
  • Using benchmark assessment to evaluate Adequate Progress of the system

"I appreciate that the focus was deeper on two areas walkthroughs and data meetings. Makes it feel more manageable as a team."

(Instructional Coach – Jamestown)

Phase 3A: Advanced Applications of Data-Based Decision Making 5 teams, made up of 32 individuals, are joining us this year for this series, 3 of which are schools who attended years prior and feel they need protected time to reboot their system.


  • Review systems of support
  • Review Placement Pathways
  • Four Purposes of Assessments
  • Benchmark - Which students need additional support?
  • Diagnostic - What skills or weaknesses do individual students have?
  • Progress Monitoring - Are students responding to interventions?
  • Outcomes - Is the student at grade-level proficiency?

NDMTSS Behaviors Trainings Recap

Phase 1B: Developing Schoolwide Behavior Expectations was in in Jamestown on October 16-17, with 6 teams participating.  They are all coming from different backgrounds of foundational knowledge and implementation. Some of our teams are there for the first time and some are coming back because of turnover they've had in different positions. We're so glad each of them is joining us and using their data to improve learner outcomes and better support our educators and learners!

"Enjoyed looking at our data and having some 'wow' and eye opener feedback. The resources provided will be very beneficial and useful."

(Educator – Ojibwa Indian School)

This year we have Dawn Miller leading our training. She's an excellent addition to our team with a ton of experience and background in leading this work. In between our in-person days, we are holding monthly coaching calls to keep the good work moving forward.

Phase 2B: Schoolwide Behavior Expectations Coaching & Refining kicked off in September with 4 teams continuing on from last year's Developing Schoolwide Behavior Expectations. The goal of this series is to deepen implementation efforts, while continuing to use data in making decisions for student needs, and then move into the PBIS Tier 2 training in the spring. After our in-person day in September, we are continuing our time together with monthly coaching calls. They are a combination of individual time for each team, mixed with bringing the teams altogether for some barrier busting.

"Loved the collaboration and getting ideas from other schools."

(Counselor – Mott/Regent)

Upcoming Trainings

FREE Opportunity: Behavior Advantage

Supporting our educators to effectively manage student behaviors has never been more important. Build capacity and promote consistency across all staff with Behavior Advantage’s On-Demand Professional Development Series for Any Educator, sponsored state-wide by SEEC!

These high-quality bite-size video modules are perfect for training new staff, refreshing educator perspectives, ongoing PD, PLCs, in-service training, faculty meetings, and behavior teams looking for solutions. Practical and evidence-based content covers a variety of topics guiding any educator to enhance their ability to understand, effectively address, and positively change student behavior.

For more information on how to get access, contact:

Brandie Ulland or Cheryl Hoggarth

FREE Opportunity: Assessing to Inform

Phases 1-3 of NDREA's Assessing to Inform series are all available online for FREE to ND educators! Learn guidelines and tips for interpreting

Phase 1: Benchmark Assessments,

Phase 2: Diagnostic Assessments,

& Phase 3: Progress Monitoring

data at the student, classroom, school, district, and national levels.

The series encompasses: Assessment Overview, aimsweb Plus, FastBridge, Renaissance STAR, NWEA, and ACT & WorkKeys.

Start Learning Now
Some additional resources...

CharacterStrong Weekly

Every Monday morning from CharacterStrong, receive a 2 to 3 minute video with a low-burden, high impact strategy to transform your daily work.

Sign up here!

Click on the image for a favorite strategy from your NDTMSS Team:

When presenting students with new information say, "What does it say?"

What do you notice or what do you see – get students to be observant!

Listen to this 2 minute video to hear what that question was and how you can infuse it into your day.

  • Instructional Practices Briefs - This series of practice briefs highlight six evidence-based, high-leverage practices that research has shown support implementation of high-quality instructional programming for students with and at risk for disabilities regardless of their identified disability category or grade span. These practices were identified through an extensive, systematic meta-analysis* of the high-leverage practices for students with disabilities.
  • The briefs use a three-phase cycle for planning, delivering, reviewing and intensifying individual, small-group, and whole-group instruction. They are designed to be used as a quick reference guide or tip sheet to support current and future educators and leaders working with students with disabilities and may also be used to structure conversations in professional workgroups, learning communities, college courses, and professional development.

*Nelson, G., Cothren Cook, S., Zarate, K., Powell, S.R., Maggin, D.M., Drake, K.R., Kiss, A.J., Ford, J.W., Sun, L., & Espinas, D.R. (2021). A systematic review of meta-analyses in special education: Exploring the evidence base for high-leverage practices. Remedial and Special Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/07419325211063491

Jennifer Glasheen

South East Education Cooperative


Brandie Ulland

South East Education Cooperative


Cheryl Hoggarth

South East Education Cooperative


Kayla Durkin

Central Regional Education Association