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CTC Standards – Multiple Domains – FixSchoolDiscipline Toolkit & MTSS



“If a child is not behaving there’s a need not being met, and that’s the premise I always go on.” ― Ritzy Ettinger, Guidance Counselor, P.K. Yonge


Want to improve academic outcomes and close achievement gaps in your schools? We often fail to recognize just how critical school climate, student engagement and tiered student supports are to student success, but they are essential ingredients.

Research has shown that schools that “beat the odds,” with higher student achievement scores than anticipated, are distinguished by having significantly more positive school climates regardless of student characteristics and resource levels.[1]

California’s new standards and expectations for teachers and administrators now deeply embed expectations that improve school climate through the knowledge and understanding of culturally responsive, research-based, student centered, non punitive classroom management practices including restorative justice and school-wide positive intervention and prevention strategies that address the social-emotional and mental health needs of the child with the goal of keeping all students in school and on course toward graduation.

For example, the new California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPE) in CAPE 2B 4, expects all new educational leaders to be able to “Recognize discriminatory practices, signs of trauma, manifestations of mental illness, and promote culturally responsive, positive and restorative strategies to address diverse student and school needs.”

So one might ask, “Where do I start?”

  • The FixSchoolDiscipline Educator Toolkit is the perfect starting place to learn about the why, where and how.
  • Understanding Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) provide an overarching framework in which to think about, plan and implement a comprehensive system of supports addressing the academic, behavioral and social-emotional needs of every child.
  • The actual CTC Standards and Expectations for teachers and administrators provide the specific content, performance expectations and examples of what all educators should be able to know and do.

Details of each of these are provided below.

WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING: Videos, Websites, Reports, Resources

Need help improving school climate, developing a comprehensive system of supports or understanding how these issues all connect? Check out some of the most recommended websites!

Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators by Public Counsel is a comprehensive resource for school superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, students, community leaders, organizations, advocates, and anyone interested in learning how to eliminate harsh discipline practices that push students out of school, and instead enact solutions that work for all students. Highly recommended.

California Scale-Up MTSS Statewide (SUMS) is a statewide initiative that provides a process for Local Education Agencies (LEA) to assess their strengths, coordinate supports to their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP), and align their MTSS efforts with the eight state priorities.​ California’s MTSS approach is an integrated, comprehensive framework that aligns academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning in a fully integrated system of support for the benefit of all students.

In April 2016, Orange County Department of Education, in partnership with Butte County Office of Education and SWIFT Education Center, was awarded a large grant to implement MTSS statewide. This effort, California Scale-Up MTSS Statewide (SUMS) provides a process for Local Education Agencies (LEA) to assess their strengths, coordinate supports to their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP), and align their MTSS efforts with the eight state priorities.​

Supporting Behavioral Needs: A Multi-Tiered Approach.” Edutopia, 21 Oct. 2014, includes an article, video along with links to MTSS Flowchart: How the Behavioral Tiered System Works and Interventions are Provided, as well as P.K. Yonge School’s handbook on making the Multi-Tiered System of Supports process work.

WHAT THE EXPERTS READ and WRITE: Highly Recommended Books & Articles

 If you don’t have time to research the latest and greatest reads, check out this list.  Vetted by experts in the field, you can be sure that each one is relevant and worth your time.

CEEDAR MTSS-UDL-DI Professional Development Module

The Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR) center has a free professional development module for instructors of professional education candidates. The module gives instructors the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills to equip candidates with the practice of providing multi-tier instruction and interventions to meet the needs of their students. The module is organized into three chapters: Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS), Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Differentiated Instruction (DI). Each chapter includes principles and frameworks, tips and strategies, case studies, and activities. Access the module on the CEEDAR website here. CEEDAR is the Collaboration for Effective Educator and Development, Accountability and Reform. Learn more about CEEDAR on their homepage.

CEEDAR Center professionals, along with their partner Great Teachers and Leaders, also offer innovation configurations (ICs) to promote the implementation of evidence-based instructional practices in teacher preparation activities. ICs are designed to evaluate current teacher preparation and professional development (PD) by determining the extent to which EBPs are taught, observed, and applied within teacher preparation and PD programs. ICs can be found here for Evidence-Based Practices For Classroom and Behavior Management: Tier 2 And Tier 3 Strategies and Response to Intervention.

Response to Intervention 2.0: Next Generation.” Education Week, 29 June 2017

This special report on RTI—Education Week’s second such report—explores the challenges facing educators as they adopt RTI for new uses, scale it up to more schools and districts, and use it to improve learning for all students.

Miller, Adena. “RtI, PBIS, and MTSS: An Evolution, a Revolution, or Roses by Other Names?McREL International, 10 June 2016.

So, is this shift from RtI and PBIS to MTSS simply static leading to more confusion, or is it more significant than that? To gain some insight, let’s take a look at the traditional use of the terms and the implications for educators today.

New Zealand, Ministry of Education; Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) website “Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) Restorative Practice” supports New Zealand schools, early childhood education (ECE) settings, and whānau to promote positive behaviour and create inclusive learning environments that foster well-being and achievement for every child and student. Includes support materials, manuals, presentations & more.

WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK THE EXPERTS: Site Support, Consultants, & Workshops

Integrating Restorative Practices within MTSS Framework Orange County Department of Education MTSS Conference April 2015 Presentation What is your interest in restorative practices … Restorative Practices in Schools are inspired by the philosophy and practices of restorative justice … Integrating Restorative Practices into A Multi-tiered Framework.

California Department of Education CDE website and resources for “Multi-Tiered System of Supports.” Includes MTSS Curriculum Resources including information on RTI², PBIS, and MTSS, the Statewide Initiative, Training and Resources, and Policy Briefs.

SWIFT Center (Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation) SWIFT is a national technical assistance center that builds school capacity to provide academic and behavioral support to improve outcomes for all students through equity-based inclusion. Check out the SWIFT Field Guide’s MTSS links to Inclusive Behavior Instruction

Colorado Department of Education

CDE website and resources for “Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).” Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) | CDE, www.cde.state.co.us/mtss.

University of South Florida’s – Statewide Behavior Database

Florida’s central, comprehensive website provides Florida-specific information and resources that promote system-wide practices to 1) Enhance the capacity of all Florida school districts to successfully implement and sustain a multi-tiered system of student supports with fidelity in every school; 2) Accelerate and maximize student academic and social-emotional outcomes through the application of data-based problem solving utilized by effective leadership at all levels of the educational system; and 3) Inform the development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of an integrated, aligned, and sustainable system of service delivery that prepares all students for post-secondary education and/or successful employment within our global society.


Administrators (Educational Leaders)

California Administrator Content Expectations (CACE)


A-18.  Understand the roles of a broad range of support staff and mental health professionals.

A-19.  Understand how to facilitate a strong network of support of all school staff including physical and mental health professionals.


B-2.    Recognize and identify mental health conditions that support or hinder student achievement.


C-3.    Culturally responsive, research-based, student centered classroom management and school-wide positive discipline intervention and prevention strategies that address the social and mental health needs of the child with the goal of keeping all students in school and on course toward graduation

California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPE)

CAPE 2: INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP — Education leaders shape a collaborative culture of teaching and learning informed by professional standards and focused on student and professional growth.

2B: Promoting Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: New administrators understand the role of instructional leader and use the state-adopted standards and frameworks to guide, support, and monitor teaching and learning. During preliminary preparation, aspiring administrators learn how to:

  1. Recognize discriminatory practices, signs of trauma, manifestations of mental illness, and promote culturally responsive, positive and restorative strategies to address diverse student and school needs.

CAPE 4: FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENTEducation leaders collaborate with families and other stakeholders to address diverse student and community interests and mobilize community resources.

4B: Community Involvement: New administrators recognize the range of family and community perspectives and, where appropriate, use facilitation skills to assist individuals and groups in reaching consensus on key issues that affect student learning, safety, and well being. During preliminary preparation, aspiring administrators learn how to:

  1. Access community programs and services that assist all students, including those who require extra academic, mental health, linguistic, cultural, social-emotional, physical, or other needs to succeed in school.

California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (CPSEL)

CPSEL 1A: Student–Centered Vision: Leaders shape a collective vision that uses multiple measures of data and focuses on equitable access, opportunities, and outcomes for all students.

1A-3 Address achievement and opportunity disparities between student groups, with attention to those with special needs; cultural, racial, and linguistic differences; and  disadvantaged  socio-economic backgrounds.

CPSEL 4C: Community Resources and Services: Leaders leverage and integrate community resources and services to meet the varied needs of all students.

4C-1 Seek out and collaborate with community programs and services that assist students who need academic, mental, linguistic, cultural, social-emotional, physical, or other support to succeed in school.


Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs)

TPE 1: Engaging and Supporting All Students in Learning

Elements: Beginning teachers:

  1. Use a variety of developmentally and ability-appropriate instructional strategies, resources, and assistive technology, including principles of Universal Design of Learning (UDL) and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to support access to the curriculum for a wide range of learners within the general education classroom and environment.

Narrative: Student Engagement Beginning teachers use a variety of instructional principles and approaches such as UDL and linguistic scaffolding to assure the active and equitable participation of all students and to promote  engagement  of  all  students  within  general  education  environments  using  the principles of Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) as appropriate.

TPE 2: Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments for Student Learning

Elements: Beginning teachers:

  1. Know how to access resources to support students, including those who have experienced trauma, homelessness, foster care, incarceration, and/or are medically fragile.

Narrative Beginning teachers recognize that in addition to individual cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic and academic backgrounds, students come to school with a wide range of life experiences  that impact their readiness  to learn, including adverse or traumatic childhood experiences, mental health issues, and social-emotional and physical health needs.

TPE 4: Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for All Students

Elements: Beginning teachers:

  1. Plan, design, implement and monitor instruction, making effective use of instructional time to maximize learning opportunities and provide access to the curriculum for all students by removing barriers and providing access through instructional strategies that include: • applying principles of UDL and MTSS;


Beginning teachers understand the principles of UDL and MTSS and apply these principles in the content field(s) of their credential(s) to plan instruction that meets individual student needs for all students.

A CALL TO ACTION: Be more than a great teacher . . . . Be a champion for education!

Do you want to change the lives of even more students? Not just those in your course, classroom or school, you are more powerful than that! We’re talking about improving educator credentialing processes so that those who follow in your footsteps will be equally equipped to join you in serving the next generation of students.

It’s simple,

  1. Encourage schools of education to adopt and incorporate signature practice themes found on this website throughout their credentialing programs;
  2. Recommend other educators, coaches and mentors to visit and use this website, it’s here to support faculty at schools of education, teachers, administrators and educational leaders like yourself.
  3. If you have other exceptional resources that you would like to recommend, please let us know by contacting bstrong@childrennow.org.



[1] https://www.wested.org/resources/california-beating-the-odds-schools-57613/