Practical Handbook of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Building Academic and Behavioral Success in Schools

Rachel Brown-Chidsey and Rebekah Bickford

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
December 14, 2015
ISBN 9781462522491
Price: $88.00
346 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
December 15, 2015
ISBN 9781462522484
Price: $38.00
346 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
December 15, 2015
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $38.00
346 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $76.00 $41.80
346 Pages

Accessible and comprehensive, this book shows how to build a schoolwide multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) from the ground up. The MTSS framework encompasses tiered systems such as response to intervention (RTI) and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), and is designed to help all K-12 students succeed. Every component of an MTSS is discussed: effective instruction, the role of school teams, implementation in action, assessment, problem solving, and data-based decision making. Practitioner-friendly features include reflections from experienced implementers and an extended case study. Reproducible checklists and forms can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8½“ x 11” size.

“Brown-Chidsey and Bickford intertwine recent developments in prevention science, PBIS, and RTI. Their practical approach targets teachers and administrators working to implement MTSS. Both academic and behavior support approaches are covered, and emphasis is given to establishing teams that collect and use data for problem solving. I recommend this accessible resource for educators working to make schools more effective learning environments.”

—Robert H. Horner, PhD, Special Education Program (Emeritus), University of Oregon

“What I really like about Brown-Chidsey and Bickford’s outstanding book is that it provides the 'why' as well as the 'how-to' of implementing MTSS. After offering a compelling argument for why these systems are essential to successful schools, it comprehensively explains the nuts and bolts of implementation. Particularly useful and unique is the extensive coverage of standards-aligned and differentiated instruction at Tier 1, and the nuances of intervening in Tiers 2 and 3 and special education. I would definitely use this book in a graduate-level course in consultation or interventions.”

—Joseph F. Kovaleski, DEd, Professor Emeritus of Educational and School Psychology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

“Professional learning communities would easily be able to read and use this book to improve existing team meetings and 'data days.' Practical examples and multiple case studies make this the perfect guide for school teams implementing an MTSS model. Brown-Chidsey and Bickford have identified critical components that schools need to take their student support to the next level. The book does an excellent job of describing the intersections between MTSS and other programming.”

—Sarah Brown, PhD, Chief, Bureau of Learner Strategies and Supports, Iowa Department of Education

“This book presents a systems-level approach that will help schools meet the needs of each learner. It is a great resource for district and school leadership teams who need to move beyond the technical skills of RTI to create an MTSS that is woven into the fabric of a school.”

—Jennifer Knutson, PhD, Executive Director, Professional Learning, Anchorage School District, Alaska

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Overview of This Book

I. Prevention Science in Schools

2. Prevention as a Public Education Value

3. The Importance of Details

4. Risk Factors and Student Success

5. What to Teach in the Era of the Common Core State Standards

II. The Importance of Collaboration and Teams

6. The Essential Role of Teams in Supporting All Students

7. The Logistics of Setting Up and Running Effective School Teams

8. Effective Team Processing: Using Data and a Problem-Solving Approach

III. Making Change Happen

9. The Science of Change

10. Exploration, Adoption, and Installation

11. Implementation

12. Innovation and Sustainability

13. Schedules

IV. Effective Instruction within an MTSS

14. What Is Effective Instruction?

15. The Instructional Hierarchy

16. Effective Instruction for Students Who Are ELLs

17. Treatment Integrity

18. Critical Mass: Why 80% Student Success Matters

V. MTSS Organizational Structure

19. Universal Screening

20. Problem Solving

21. Progress Monitoring

22. Understanding Student Data

VI. Connecting an MTSS with Other Supports

23. What Is Tier 3?

24. Education for All

25. Recognition and Support for Disabilities: Section 504 Plans and Special Education

26. Case Example: Building Tiered Supports

Glossary of Important MTSS Terms



About the Authors

Rachel Brown-Chidsey, PhD, NCSP, is Senior Academic Officer for FastBridge Learning and a faculty member in the Department of Educational and School Psychology at the University of Southern Maine. Prior to obtaining her doctorate in school psychology, she taught middle and high school history and special education for 10 years. Her research areas include curriculum-based measurement, response to intervention (RTI), multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), and scientifically based instruction methods. Dr. Brown is coeditor of Assessment for Intervention, Second Edition: A Problem-Solving Approach and coauthor of Response to Intervention, Second Edition: Principles and Strategies for Effective Practice; RTI in the Classroom: Guidelines and Recipes for Success; and Practical Handbook of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. In addition, Dr. Brown has authored articles about reading assessment and instruction as well as implementation of tiered instruction. She has consulted with numerous school districts to support RTI and MTSS implementation.

Rebekah Bickford, PsyD, NCSP, BCBA-D, provides professional development, consultation, and evaluation to school districts throughout Southern Maine. Her work facilitates effective behavioral supports across the tiers, with an emphasis on meeting the needs of students who have experienced adverse childhood experiences and poverty. Before going into private practice, Dr. Bickford was a faculty member in the Educational and School Psychology Program at the University of Southern Maine, the clinical coordinator of a special purpose public school, and a program director for a special purpose private school.


School psychologists, teachers, special educators, and instructional coaches working in grades K–12; school administrators; graduate students in school psychology and special education.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses on academic and behavioral intervention or systems and organizational change.