NDMTSS Receives NDDPI ESSER Grant Funds

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NDMTSS Receives NDDPI ESSER Grant Funds 

 In August 2020, the ND Department of Public Instruction contracted with the Central Region Education Association (CREA) an MTSS ESSER grant for $400,000 to support NDMTSS efforts to redesign, enhance, deliver, and effectively evaluate state-wide professional development around academics, behaviors, and SEL, utilizing and enhancing the NDMTSS framework with a focus on how this professional learning can enhance virtual teaching and learning. This contract is designed to support schools during the pandemic. 

The contract period runs through June 2021 and is focused on the following goals: 

  1. Revise current training to provide virtually through synchronous methods. 

  1. Increase REA capacity across the state to deliver direct support to schools engaged in MTSS. 

  1. Develop a high-level evaluation process that provides the ability to determine the effectiveness of a system. 

  1. Develop Administrator and Special Education staff specific resources. 

  1. Identify and select model schools to be awarded technical assistance to increase capacity and implementation of NDMTSS to be used as demonstration sites for ND participants. 

Goals one and two are already in action as virtual formats have been developed for ALL 2020-2021 NDMTSS offerings and Regional Support Liaisons have been identified in all seven Regional Education Associations (REAs) across the state. These Regional Support Liaisons are expanding NDMTSS capacity statewide by engaging in NDMTSS onboarding and training sessions with our school-based teams as well as growing their collective problem-solving and support network through a focused Community of Practice 

Virtualized Trainings

See dates and additional training details at https://ndmtss.org/calendar.html

  1. Developing Academic Pathways began on December 3, and it is the LARGEST cohort NDMTSS has ever had with 18 teams and a total of 147 individuals! Our consultantWayne Callender has worked closely with our NDMTSS Coordinators, and has done a great job moving his typical full-day, in-person sessions to half days via Zoom. Teams are still getting great content and are able to dig into the work with their team via breakout rooms 

  1. Evaluating Your System began on November 5, with a cohort of 11 teams and a total of 79 individuals that completed the Academic Pathways sessions last year. This group is again working with Wayne Callender in the same virtual setup.  

  1. Tier 3 SupportsPTR Foundations began at the end of November and two opportunities for Enhancing FBAs & BIPs / Technical Adequacy Tool for Evaluation have been offered with the 2nd rounds starting in January and February. 

  1. Foundations of Reading Instruction & Intervention will wrap up its final session in February. 

  1. Leading Implementation of Systemic Social-Emotional Learning completed its last session on Dec. 8. Read an update on this course here (link to previous blog post) 

Increasing REA capacity 

Increasing the skills, knowledge, and understanding of NDMTSS across all REAs will allow for more technical assistance support when a member school approaches their REA with NDMTSS related questions and needs. To accomplish this goal all REAs were given the option of three different levels to choose from based on what they would be able to commit to and support. 

  1. Providing regional locations for NDMTSS and liaison for technical assistance. 
  2. Providing technical assistance to schools with assistance from NDMTSS State Lead Team. 
  3. Building towards coaching local school. 

 All REAs have at least one person involved at level one, while some have multiple staff at level three. Level one allows for a strong overview and understanding of NDMTSS as a system while Level two and three require additional commitments such as being an active learner in specific training to learn content, partake in a Community of Practice, complete Coaches Academy training, attend coaching and modeling sessions, and conduct progress monitoring visits in collaboration with the State Lead Team. 

At the end of this work, those who are at Level three will be NDMTSS Regional Support Liaisons with a higher knowledge level and the ability to assist their schools and region with more specific and direct answers, resources, training opportunities, and guidance on how to proceed in their NDMTSS implementation. There is also internal work being done with the Community of Practice to help develop coaching and onboarding models to help sustain this work for the future. 

The last three goals in the ESSER grant and either in beginning phases or have further out start dates.


The NDMTSS has taken initial steps and has begun work with a consultant and the State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) to create a research study to evaluate the effectiveness of school-level implementation of MTSS and the effects of the system they have created on student achievement as it relates to student growth. This study is based on the hypothesis that schools that are implementing at higher levels will see increased levels of student academic growth. 

Administrator and Special Education Staff-specific resources

The NDMTSS State Advisory Team is in the early stages of needs identification and brainstorming of potential strategies and resources.

Model Schools

Model schools are being defined as schools that have demonstrated a high level of implementation with innovation or the overall system of MTSS. The contract will expand on model schools by creating a type of model school protocol called Inquiry Schools. These schools are identified by the NDMTSS Lead Team and work closely with the Lead Team to implement an innovation that will be studied in order to replicate. This protocol will be developed during the contract and piloted immediately in the following school year.  


Grant funds awarded from ND Department of Public Instruction


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