Orange County Office of Education
May: CCEE, Supporting the Whole Child through the CA MTSS Framework
In May, Orange County Office of Education presented a data analysis of California’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (CA MTSS) framework. The team framed their presentation in their “why” to reduce rates of suspensions, expulsions, bullying, discipline referrals, special education referrals, chronic absenteeism, and dropout rates; and to promote positive school climate, academic achievement, and graduation rates. The team provided a helpful crosswalk of California MTSS and Local Control Accountability Planning (LCAP), along three key dimensions: Conditions of Learning, Engagement, and Pupil Outcomes.
Starting in 2016, CA MTSS is now in Phase 3 of the statewide rollout. In Phase 1, they focused on LEAs and County Offices to lay the foundations, serving all 58 COEs and over 600 LEAs. In Phase 2, they rolled out a pilot focused on leveraging CA MTSS to improve school conditions and climate. Phase 3 is expanding to focus on building capacity through a course and coaching model to implement effective school-based MTSS, with special emphasis on enhancing SEL and mental health.
The team then presented their analysis of student outcome data (academic, behavior, and SEL skills), implementation data (degree to which practices are in place with fidelity to the MTSS model), and capacity data (capacity of systems, processes, personnel, resources needed to implement and sustain) for Phase 1. These data include 11 regional leads, 58 county leads, 95 KDS sites, and over 600 local educational agencies. Outcomes are overwhelmingly positive. Some highlights include:
Implementation data, which used the Fidelity Integrity Assessment (FIA) tool, the Schoolwide Implementation Tool (SIT), and the LEA Self-Assessment (LEASA), showed that schools and LEAs are increasing implementing or sustaining MTSS practices and that more LEAs were at the Implementing or Continuous Improvement & Sustainability levels in their practices.
Student outcome data showed a dramatic decrease in the number of special education referrals and discipline referrals (i.e., for fighting or bullying), and dramatic increases in school engagement.
Capacity data showed that participating LEAs increased or improved services provided for students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, foster youth, and/or multilingual learners, and implementing multi-tiered systems of support including PBIS, Restorative Practices, bullying prevention, social and emotional learning, trauma-informed practice, and cultural competency.
Phase 2 is in early phases of implementation, but there are already positive results. Even in this preliminary stage, schools have reported progress in fostering positive school climate and conditions, improving student-teacher relationships, increasing student engagement, promoting alternative discipline practices, and making implementation sustainable beyond the grant period.
Christine Olmstead, Ed.D.
OCOE Associate Superintendent, Educational Services
Voices from the Field
What do you predict will be the most impactful aspect of SEL on student mental health and well-being?
The biggest impact on SEL on student mental health is that staff will take the time to get to know their students by name, face, and story. When we know each other’s stories we are more likely to have more compassion, empathy, and understanding of how to respond to their individual needs.
What is one important thing to consider when it comes to measuring the impact of SEL and other whole child initiatives in California?
To measure impact, we need a consistent tool for measurement statewide. While there are many great tools, when we leave it to local control to pick an assessment it’s difficult to track progress of the entire state when the measure isn’t consistent.