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Oakland Unified School District

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

To better support students and staff, OUSD has undergone a reorganization of some central office responsibilities and now, much of the daily work to provide targeted support to students falls under a framework called Multi-Tiered System of Supports or MTSS.

Essentially, MTSS is designed to help the district and our schools identify students needing extra support early and to intervene quickly. MTSS focuses on the whole child to support not only academic growth, but also behavior, social and emotional needs, and to address absenteeism (not attending school). The framework brings together Response to Intervention & Instruction (RtI²), Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and aligns these supports to serve the whole child. It relies on strong Universal Instruction and the consistent use of quantitative and qualitative data.

This newly focused approach to providing critical services to schools by the central office is now lead by former Emerson Elementary Principal Heather Palin. In Palin’s role as Director, she will lead the development and implementation of an Oakland specific MTSS framework, that aligns to the California Department of Education’s framework, and is specific to the programs and needs of Oakland students.

Through a series of collaborations with educators across Oakland, we are continuing to adapt the state framework to meet the needs of our community here in OUSD. We are working to build a shared understanding of this framework, and learn from staff what’s needed to make it a lived reality. Our goal is to implement the various supports in this framework, so that every school and child has access to the resources they need to thrive.- Heather Palin, Director, MTSS