Staff at Mount Rowan Secondary College explain why they implemented MTSS, what the different tiers of intervention look like and what impact they have seen. Mount Rowan Secondary College is a low-SES government school in the regional town of Ballarat, west of Melbourne.
Watch MTSS at Mount Rowan Secondary College (VIC) on YouTube.

Duration: 2:42


Vardis Rafiei, Leading Teacher, Teaching and Learning: At Mount Rowan Secondary College, we have got about 650 students and we're a growing school. We’re located in the city of Ballarat in regional Victoria. Our demographic is mixed. That means that we have quite a diversity of lived experiences of our families and students.

Belinda Melvin, Literacy Learning Specialist: Last year, at the start of the year, we did work off a system that wasn’t the tiered system, so students were withdrawn from their English classes. And what we found is there was a significant amount of stigma around that, and we had a lot of students reluctant to come out and work with us in intervention or in any form of literacy instruction. So we altered it from just a semester-based 2 sessions a week last year, and we've made it 3 sessions a week, every week, for the entire Year 7 and 8 cohort.

Vardis Rafiei: It's been delivered to everyone, so I guess it's Tier 1 in that instance. But the practices that we're delivering are probably more what you would deliver in Tier 2, because they would be aimed at students who showed some risk of not progressing. The practices that we're putting in at that Tier 2 level, which, for example, in reading are things like fluency, and with numeracy, we're doing things like multiplicative thinking, they’re talking about trusting the count, which is something that would happen really early in primary school, but we've got a large proportion of students who still need to work on that. And so some of those, perhaps Tier 2 targeted practices, have come into our whole-class instruction because our data has showed the need for that.

Katie D’Antonio, Literacy Intervention Teacher: We worked closely with a local primary school. That helped a lot with our decision-making and informed a lot of decisions. And we focused the majority on phonics first because if students don't have an understanding of phonics, then it's really hard for them to read fluently. So, we put an emphasis on phonics, and we moved through the spectrum, then focusing on fluency and then later on comprehension.

Olly Ross, Numeracy Learning Specialist: Once they’ve seen that it's targeted at the skills that they need, and it's achievable and they can get success, there's been high levels of engagement and students are more willing to be active participants in the classroom.

Kim Silva, Numeracy Learning Specialist: If we think that one thing is not working, we don't hesitate to give feedback and say, 'I think this is not working. It's not getting the results that we wanted.' So we sit down at the table, discuss what works and what's not working, and then we tweak the process, so we are all in this together.

Olly Ross: It's definitely rewarding seeing them have success with numbers, which for them may be a pretty foreign concept. So just to see them have success and being engaged is – it's why we do this.

Keywords: multi-tiered system of supports