Welcome to Partners for Learning, Inc.

Professional Development for Educators

Training Topics

MTSS/RTI In-Service/Overview Presentation

A tiered instructional approach is the heart of MTSS/RTI and is being increasingly used as the framework toward achieving school improvement at both the elementary and secondary levels. This workshop will focus on the major ideas associated with MTSS/RTI, including the school-wide or tiered approach, and highlight how schools are incorporating components (i.e., academic screening, functional academic assessments, research-based interventions, progress monitoring) into their daily practices to maximize the results of teacher efforts and improve the use of existing resources, resulting in greater outcomes for students in regular and special education alike. Case examples and practical recommendations for getting started will be provided.

MTSS/RTI Core Training for Elementary

This course is an in-depth study of the essential components associated with implementation of a school-wide MTSS/RTI approach. Primary focus will be given to the development and use of elements used as part of a three-tier instructional model including the establishment of: (1) effective systems, (2) universal screening, (3) research-based interventions, and (4) problem solving for systems, groups, and individual students. Emphasis will be given to translating current educational research into practice to help schools maximize resources and outcomes for all students, including those with disabilities. Using MTSS/RTI for accurate and effective identification of students requiring long-term support through special education is an additional purpose of this training manual.

MTSS/RTI in Secondary Schools: A Blueprint for Implementation

This presentation will focus on implementing and sustaining MTSS/RTI in middle and high schools. Specific information for establishing tiered support structures within the secondary framework will be provided, with particular emphasis on tier I.  Examples of data systems for universal screening and progress monitoring will be identified.  Specific Reading and Math interventions (that really work) and examples of successful secondary MTSS/RTI models will be discussed.  Participants will receive several tools useful for implementing MTSS/RTI at the secondary level, including Placement Pathways for Reading, Math and “Good Standing”; CBMs for secondary schools; and an MTSS/RTI Implementation Checklist.

Advanced Applications of MTSS/RTI – Revisiting, Renewing, and Re-Energizing

This class will provide advanced ideas to make MTSS/RTI highly efficient and more effective. Schools will learn how to establish a proactive system using clear protocols for addressing student needs using evidence based interventions and formative decision making. 

  • Establishing a School-Wide Approach to MTSS/RTI
  • Research Validated Interventions for Tiers 2 and 3
  • Data-Based Decision Making
  • Renewing Commitment and Building Capacity
  • Using RTI for Special Education Decision Making


School Improvement using a three-tiered Instructional Approach

A tiered model is being increasingly used as the framework for systems change and achieving overall school improvement at both the elementary and secondary levels. This training will focus on the major ideas associated with a school-wide or tiered approach and highlight how schools are incorporating components (i.e., academic screening, functional academic assessments, research-based interventions, progress monitoring) into their daily practices to maximize the results of teacher efforts and improve the use of existing resources, resulting in greater outcomes for students in regular and special education alike. Information, materials, and practical recommendations for getting started will be provided.

MTSS/RTI Leadership and Coaching:

This seminar is designed to provide critical information to principals and instructional coaches implementing and supporting MTSS/RTI at the building level.

Instructional Leadership: The essential practices for leading an effective MTSS/RTI approach will be addressed, including establishing expectations, providing positive support to staff members, a willingness to disrupt the status quo, monitoring and evaluating implementation, and providing appropriate pressure to ensure full implementation with fidelity.

Coaching: “working effectively with one’s professional colleagues to improve the academic and behavioral outcomes of students”.   This session will review the goals and essential skills related to instructional coaching, and discuss how the instructional coaching model can support MTSS/RTI at the building level.  Specific observation forms and other helpful tools for leadership and coaching will be provided.

Using RtI for Special Education Eligibility:

This workshop will focus on the essential ideas associated with using RtI as a means of determining need and eligibility for special education.  Emphasis will be placed on RtI components such as solid tier supports, research based interventions, progress monitoring and effective systems.  Participants will leave knowing how to use informal diagnostic assessments along with progress monitoring data (trend line growth and like student comparisons) for special education eligibility.  Useful forms for documenting CBM discrepancy ratios, interventions, and student response to intervention, will be provided along with example eligibility reports.

MTSS/RTI and Related Service Providers (OTs, PTs, SLPs, etc.)

DESCRIPTION:  The presentation addresses the role of related service providers in a MTSS/RTI school. Participants will learn ways to support a school-wide (tiered) and problem solving approach to MTSS/RTI, including effective use of informal diagnostic assessments, identifying and using research-based interventions, effective ways to progress monitor, and participating on problem solving teams. Practical information will be provided on how to write efficient goals and objectives using Curriculum-Based Measurements (CBMs), how to contribute to a school’s MTSS/RTI process without being getting in over your head, and how to use information obtained during intervention periods as part of the eligibility determination.  Participants will be provided time to share ideas with one another as well as several useful tools such as informal assessments, progress monitoring forms and example MTSS/RTI oriented related service eligibility reports.

Topics Outline:

  • Roles – including services for students not on IEPs
  • Supporting MTSS/RTI within your schools
  • Making your practice more effective – identifying research-based interventions, managing caseloads
  • Functional Assessments, writing easier IEPs

MTSS/RTI for Reading

Identifying and using research-based interventions with struggling learners, especially students in special education, is a critical step toward achieving adequate yearly progress. This presentation will review the criteria used for determining if a program/practice is research-based, followed by a discussion of current K-12 research-based interventions in reading and math. Participants will be given a list of the identified programs in each area.


Applying MTSS/RTI to Mathematics

This presentation provides a comprehensive systems approach to applying MTSS/RTI to mathematics.  Included topics are:

  • Making Sense of the National Math Panel Recommendations
  • Universal Screening for Math
  • Establish Tiered Supports
  • Differentiating Core Math Instruction
  • Establish interventions for intensive level students – That Work!
  • Progress Monitoring Math


MTSS/RTI for Behavior

This presentation will discuss applying MTSS/RTI for students with behavioral and emotional difficulties. Key concepts will be examined, including: (1) structuring building-wide supports or tiers; (2) using timely, research-based interventions and practices; (3) the role of functional behavioral assessments; (4) applying data-based decision making; and (5) using RTI for identifying students with behavioral/emotional disabilities. Practical suggestions for getting started will be outlined.

Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Supports and Interventions

This training is designed for educators and school or district based teams interested in developing efficient, positive protocols for addressing the needs of students with social, emotional, and behavioral concerns.


  • Social, emotional, and behavioral pathways linking evidence based interventions to specific student needs
  • A plan for screening, internalizing, and externalizing behaviors
  • Tier 1 – school-wide and classroom management
  • Tier 2 – definition and interventions
  • Tier 3 – definition and interventions
  • Using Response to Intervention for identifying Tier 4 (when necessary)

Expanding MTSS/RTI Capacity

Expanding MTSS/RTI Capacity is intended to be a way to give new or additional teachers the basic training that teams originally completed as part of the core training.  It is the brief version and designed to add to the school’s capacity of people that have been trained.

Data-Based Decision-Making and Establishing Data Teams

Data-based Decision Making is advanced applications of using data for instructional decision making – screening in reading and math, diagnostic testing, progress monitoring (what I refer to as precision monitoring, which includes how to set precise goals and pacing charts and aligning this with out of program progress monitoring) predicting outcomes, and establishing and sustaining meaningful data meetings.


Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated Instruction requires serving student according to their instructional needs.  A broad differentiated structure provides supports according to risk categories of Advance, Benchmark, Strategic and Intensive.   This advanced seminar will focus on developing clear protocols for differentiating instruction within the risk categories, i.e. differentiating instruction for strategic level students, included will specific information on how to (a) use assessments to identify the instructional focus (b) establish a structure/schedule for small group instruction (c) select research validated interventions that target specific skills (i.e., vocabulary, multisyllabic decoding, etc.), and (d) create differentiated progress monitoring plans.  Participants will be provided planning tools for establishing differentiated protocols at each grade level.

Instructional Practices to Maximize Student Growth

Improve learning outcomes in your school/classroom using evidence based practices.  Leave with practical strategies that can be implemented immediately.

  • The Features of Effective Instruction
  • Explicit Instruction and Active Engagement
  • Gradual Release Concept
  • Bell to Bell Best Practices
  • Using Brain Research to Inform Daily Instructional Practices
  • Differentiation in the Classroom – How to Make it Work
  • Evaluating Student Growth
  • What to Do When Students Aren’t Learning Enough
  • Teaching Academic Vocabulary Using a Systematic Plan
  • Improving Reading Outcomes on state assessments

Maximizing Tier 1 Instruction

Apply the principles of MTSS/RTI to improve core/Tier I instruction. This one day seminar presents details schools need for improving everyday instruction to dramatically increase academic outcomes, including performance on state assessments. Participants will learn how to establish a school-wide plan for systematic vocabulary instruction, how to maximize student engagement using the features of effective instruction, and practical ideas for identifying and meeting student individual needs through differentiation. Leave with practical tools that will assist teachers as they implement these strategies in the classroom.

  • Establish a school-wide plan for systematic vocabulary instruction, including
  • Keys to exceptional Tier 1/Core instruction-Leading to improved performance on state assessments
  • Establishing MTSS/RTI school-wide – Working smarter rather than harder


Evaluating Systems:

This seminar will define effective systems and provide participants a means for evaluating tiered supports (Benchmark, Strategic, Intensive) within their district/school.  Participants will learn how to determine if systems are highly effective or underachieving.  Furthermore, participants will learn the key elements to improving system performance and thus dramatically improve student achievement outcomes.

Problem-Solving for Healthy Systems

Problem Solving for a Healthy System (same as above) focus is on what to do when systems are producing expected results. I have a number of tools I train schools to use such as the Healthy Systems Checklist, ICEL/RIOT, Alterable Variables chart, and how to evaluate the four questions – (1)  are we teaching the right things, (2) are we teaching enough (pacing), (3) are students learning, (4) are students generalizing or transferring what is being taught.

Problem Solving to Improve Individual Student Performance

This is something I recommend for schools that have their systems up and going and working well. Student Problem Solving is designed to allow schools to implement intervention plans for individual students that are not doing well despite an otherwise healthy system that is working for most students.

Advanced Progress Monitoring:

Learn how an Outcomes Driven Approach can revolutionize instruction and assessment in your school. This presentation will discuss the four purposes of assessment and provide powerful, straight forward ways to use and manage data to improve intervention effectiveness and attain greater achievement outcomes.  Participants will learn how students can be grouped according to instructional priorities then progress monitored to ensure adequate academic growth is realized for the group as well as individual students.  Demonstration of graphing techniques will be provided along with case studies and student outcome data.  Tools for managing data and collecting diagnostic information will be provided.


Building Student Word Knowledge

Teach academic vocabulary in a systematic fashion using a 5-day instructional routine.  Equip your students with the academic vocabulary required to be successful in the classroom and on State Assessments.

Establish a Strategic Plan for Efficient Vocabulary Instruction, including:

  • Screening student language/vocabulary risk
  • Teaching key grade level academic vocabulary in reading, language arts, science and math
  • Identifying Tier 2 vocabulary words
  • Use of vocabulary PowerPoint eSlides to incorporate concrete examples
  • Explicit instructional routines and five day instructional plan
  • Creating vocabulary activities and centers for meaningful practice and long term retention
  • Using vocabulary mastery tests – ensure students know words and inform teacher instruction
  • Progress monitoring vocabulary – Can students apply words weeks/months later?
  • Strategies to share with parents so they can reinforce vocabulary learned in school.
  • Understanding the connection between vocabulary and academic success.
  • All of the trainings we provide can be customized to meet your individual needs.

Wayne Callender Partners for Learning

Wayne Callender, President