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Multi-Tiered System of Supports

Initiatives in Reading Public Schools

Click on the photos below to learn more about each initiative.
  • Open Circle Training for Classroom Teachers & Specialists

    From Wellesley College
  • Lesley Institute for Trauma Sensitivity

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

    Open to All Staff and Community
  • Promoting Social Emotional Competence in Young Children

    Using the NCPI Preschool Pyramid Model
  • Equity, Facilitation, and Leadership in Schools

    with Gene Thompson Grove & School Reform Initiative
  • Universal Design for Learning

    with CAST
  • Inclusive Practice Techniques in the Classroom

    from the MA Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education
  • Executive Functioning in Grades 6-12

    with Landmark Outreach
  • Collaborative & Proactive Solutions

    from Dr. Greene and Lives in the Balance
  • Restorative Justice in the Classroom

    from the International Institute for Restorative Practices
  • BRYT Program for Students Re-Entering School

    from The Brookline Center
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports

    with the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs
  • Data Wise Process

    from Harvard School of Education
  • Mindfulness in the Classroom from Pre-K to Gr 8

    with Yoga4Classrooms

Understanding MTSS

What is MTSS?

MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) is the framework that Reading Public Schools uses to ensure high quality instruction and accessible interventions for all students to thrive in their academic and social emotional development.



The MTSS framework allows the district to support multiple, concurrent initiatives for academics, behavior, or social-emotional learning. This framework allows for efficient and effective initiatives by creating a decision-making process, a system for measuring progress, and a method for building- or district-based implementation.

The Reading Public Schools started MTSS work in the 14-15 school year in response to concerning trends in substance use among students as detailed in two surveys from Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse (RCASA). Therefore MTSS began with several initiatives in Social-Emotional Learning to address these skills, such as:

  • Open Circle training
  • Trauma-sensitive classroom work through Lesley
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid for all staff

This was made possible when Reading received the federal School Climate Transformation Grant and continue to be expanded upon each year.

In the following years, we have used data to determine our biggest areas of concern and introduced new initiatives to meet the evolving needs, like:

  • Landmark Outreach training for staff on teaching Executive Functioning;
  • Universal Design of Learning to increase differentiation in the classroom;
  • Collaborative and Proactive Solutions for Tier III 1:1 behavior planning;
  • And more!

Click through the tabs below to see how MTSS was made possible over the last 5 years.

Have an initiative you would like to see in the Reading Public Schools?

Contact Courtney Fogarty at

Links and Resources

MTSS Over Time

Click through the tabs below to see how MTSS was made possible over the last 5 years.

The Why: Identifying the Issue


In a 2012 Community forum, residents reported “concern about teens dealing with ‘stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, drug-related violence, untreated mental illness’.”

2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey

“indicated high rates of prevalence involving self-injury, bullying, binge drinking, prescription drug misuse”  at Middle school level and

“High school […] rates for underage drinking, illegal drug use and eating disorders were 2-6% higher than state and national averages”

“The district [had] experiences a sharp increase in students hospitalized for mood disorders, personality disorders, self-injury, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, and substance abuse.”


Source — Project AWARE Fact Sheet



The What: Securing a Systemic Approach to Behavioral Health in Our Schools

US_Dept_of_Ed.png 5_SCTG_Goals.png

Grant Quick Facts:

- The School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG) is a 5 year grant that began in school year 2014-2015. The grant will end in September 2019.

- It is a nation-wide grant with recipients in all 50 states and U.S. Territories.

- Only 2 other Massachusetts districts received it: Newton and Hampden-Wilbraham

- In Reading, we also partner with the town and its SAMSA-based grant Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience Education (AWARE)



The How: Integrating Academics & Behavioral Health


MTSS is a comprehensive, integrated, three-tiered model of prevention.





So that... Students can find success academically, socially, and emotionally.

Post-Secondary Outcomes 


Continuing education includes: 4 year colleges, 2 year colleges, apprenticeship programs, career education programs, college prep schools, and other schools.




Also look for the follow-up Youth Risk Behavior Surveys that were presented to School Committee to see some of the successes -- as well as some areas to grow--that students have identified in the past couple of years.

Some highlights from the 2017 survey:

- Substance abuse has been reported to have lessened in some areas, including binge drinking.

- Connection to adults has increased, especially among younger students.

- Students report that negative stressors like busy schedule and work loads remain an increasing problem for them.

- Sleep differs a lot by age -- nearly two-thirds of middle school students get 8+ hours of sleep, while only a quarter of high school students do.

The next YRBS Survey is set for 2019.


Reading Public Schools District Core Values





The primary concern of Reading Memorial High School is the preparation of students to be literate, skilled, creative, healthy, competent and informed citizens-appreciative of the arts; capable of critical thinking and problem-solving; and able to function intellectually, emotionally and physically within a complex, interdependent and pluralistic world.

The Core Values that guide all members of the RMHS Community and all of our actions and decisions are:





Parker Middle School Core Values



Personal Best


Coolidge Middle School Core Values





Barrows Core Values

Be Safe

Be Respectful




Birch Meadow Core Values







Joshua Eaton Core Values

Practice Compassion

Act Responsibly

Work Towards Success

Show Respect


Killam Core Values





Caring Citizens


Wood End Core Values






RISE Preschool Core Values





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Reading Memorial High School
Walter S. Parker Middle School
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