The Bald Eagle Area School District was one of two public school districts in the commonwealth recognized for its efforts in its Multi-Tiered System of Supports framework. The other school district recognized was Warwick School District in Lititz. MTSS is the practice of providing high-quality instruction and intervention matched to student needs.
On Oct. 10, representatives from the University of Oregon and PaTTAN, a branch of the state Department of Education, visited the district to hold small group meetings with administration and staff.
District MTSS Coordinator Chad Packer said that Scott Baker from Oregon is part of a partnership with the National Center for Improving Literacy. With help from the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network, he helped spearhead the visit to BEA to see how the district operationalizes the response to intervention within the MTSS model by using “response to intervention” to identify specific learning disabilities in students.
After more than five years finalizing the program, MTSS at BEA was approved last year by PaTTAN, which provides professional development and technical assistance targeted to improve student results.
The district MTSS program received “exemplary status,” according to PaTTAN consultant Jennifer Collins.
During a meeting with administrators — including Packer, Special Education Director Melissa Butterworth, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Tracy Boone and school psychologist Anne Webb — Baker said his mission is to provide resources to states, districts and schools so they can continue to provide adequate systems to support all kids with guiding principles aligned with MTSS. Baker added that the National Center for Improving Literacy has a strong foundation of using data and evidence-based research to support schools through universal information that can be found online, training and interactive partnerships with practitioners.