The Mission

Our Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Framework is a comprehensive system of evidence-based practices that address academic and social and emotional concerns of ALL students within a recursive and systematic problem-solving process. Our MTSS Framework focuses on providing instruction and intervention to proactively meet the needs of ALL children.


MTSS stands for Multi-Tiered System of Supports. MTSS is an instructional framework that includes universal screening of all students, multiple tiers of instruction and support services, and an integrated data collection and assessment system to inform decisions at each tier of instruction. The framework can be used for, but is not limited to literacy, math, and positive behavior supports.


  • MTSS encompasses RtI, SEL, and PBIS.

  • MTSS addresses academic as well as the social, emotional, and behavioral development of children from early childhood to graduation.

  • MTSS provides multiple levels of support for all learners (struggling through advanced).

  • MTSS aligns resources and supports for students receiving instruction AND for teachers and other support staff who are delivering the instruction such as programs and materials.

  • MTSS framework is an educational systems change paradigm continuously focused on overall school improvement that is sustainable.

  • MTSS models strive to ensure that practices, policies, and programs are aligned on classroom, school, and district levels.

  • MTSS produces benefits from continued support for teachers in delivering instruction, utilizing and developing effective curriculum, administering assessments, and using data to guide instruction.

  • MTSS requires a greater focus on collaboration between general education and special education within each school as well as between the school and the district office and to some degree, changes the way that they have traditionally worked together to include a more collaborative and cohesive culture.

  • MTSS is more likely to produce professional development that is aligned across school and district settings.

Social Emotional Learning: Growth Mindset Goals

Our MTSS Framework is designed with the necessary flexibility to remain relevant and responsive to our student needs. As demonstrated through our systems and structures and in the work of our District Steering and Subcommittee, we continuously work to improve outcomes. As we recognize the need for programs and practices that support and promote social emotional learning (SEL), we have targeted SEL as a primary focus of the 2018-19 year.

The Second Step curriculum is used to support all k-5 students as our restorative practices are used to support all students in grades six through 12. Additionally, we have developed and implemented a customized screening tool in collaboration with Panorama Education for all k-12 students. This tool screens all students in the SEL Competencies of Growth Mindset, Grit, Social Awareness, Self-Awareness, and Responsible Decision Making.

Each school has used that data to develop action plans to achieve schoolwide goals that address one of the competencies within the screening tool. Our schools, including Barnes, Brown, Thornton, and Ferri are focused on Growth Mindset and we are looking forward to seeing all the great work each school is doing!

Growth Mindset: A Schoolwide Focus

Growth Mindset: A Schoolwide Focus

Learn Parents Guide Famous Failures Growth Mindset Fixed Growth Big Ideas

Why Growth Mindset is a Focus in Johnston Public Schools?

In school and at home, children often hear messages about what they can and cannot do. These messages all impact their beliefs about what they can achieve and this belief becomes implicit in many areas of their lives.
Dr. Carol Dweck has conducted extensive research on students' understanding of intelligence and how it influences school success. She concludes that children can have two very different beliefs or 'mindsets'. A child with a fixed mindset believes that their intelligence and other strengths are unchangeable. By contrast, children with a growth mindset believe that their intelligence and strengths can change.
Growth-minded children realize that with dedicated effort, their skills and abilities can develop over time. These children tend to approach and overcome challenges while children with fixed mindsets meet those challenges with less resiliency and a stronger belief that they cannot overcome them.
Childrens' mindsets significantly impact their success in school. Years of evidence shows that growth-minded children tend to have better academic outcomes than their fix-minded peers. In addition, they are more likely to be intrinsically motivated, enjoying learning for the pleasure of learning rather than just to reach an external goal.
We recognize the value and need to foster a growth mindset for each child in our schools so that they not only can meet and overcome challenges but can achieve that what matters most to them. We have developed schoolwide goals at many of our schools and work collaboratively to achieve those short and longterm goals.

MTSS Steering Committee

The MTSS Steering Committee meets consistently throughout the school year and is composed of members from all school and district stakeholder groups and each school is represented. These members include school psychologists and counselors, social workers, principals, general and special education teachers, school and district student support coordinators, and the director and assistant director of special services. The primary purpose and function of the Committee is to review the MTSS Framework collaboratively, revise as needed, provide input and suggestions, vote on changes to the Framework, and guide the direction of districtwide MTSS implementation.

MTSS Steering Committee Members

Keri Autiello, Rayna Ciano, Samuel Crooks, Sandra Delack, Louise Denham, Kristen Falcone, Sandra Farone,
Kerri Fortin, Janet Griffith, Deana Lavoie, Linda Marandola, Dr. Sally Mitchell, Robert Rocchio, Karen Ross,
Michelle Smith, Nancianne Smith, Jill Souza, Donna Vendetti

MTSS Subcommittee

The MTSS Subcommittee is composed of a group of school psychologists, counselors, social workers, student support coordinators, and the director and assistant director of special services who meet throughout the school year. The scope of the work done by this group includes designing, developing, reviewing, and revising MTSS systems, practices, procedures, and protocols. Each member of this group provides input and suggestions unique to their respective roles in the district. The perspectives of all members of the committee is valued and necessary.

MTSS Subcommittee Members

Dr. Sally Mitchell, Janet Griffith, Samuel Crooks, Jennifer D'Artista, Kerri Fortin, Deana Lavoie,
Brian Rathier, Robert Rocchio, Jody Wilson

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