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Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Framework Tools

The VTmtss Framework tools produce system-level data that supports leadership and administrative teams with improvement planning or initiative implementation. This suite of tools replaces the 2014 MTSS-RtII Self-Assessment. 

The tools are designed to be used together or separately. Each tool provides different “grain sizes” of information within a school system, and data from one tool can be used to inform another. A VTmtss facilitator can support leadership teams in choosing a tool that will meet their specific needs. 

The VTmtss Team offers personalized technical support of any tool at no cost to an LEA. If interested in learning more about these tools or VTmtss facilitation, contact Tracy Watterson at

Application of VTmtss Framework Tools for Systemic Improvement 

All VTmtss Framework tools can support school or district leadership teams with:  

  • Identifying systemic opportunities for improvement within an LEA in relation to a goal, problem, or initiative 
  • Identifying systemic opportunities of strength to leverage within an an LEA in relation to a goal, problem, or initiative 
  • Scaffolding systems-level thinking around root causes related to any problem 
  • Align change ideas with elements of the current system and operations 
  • Consider which elements of the school system need to be changed or improved to achieve any goal 
  • Prioritizing and organizing complex theories of improvement 
  • Align theories of improvement within an LEA 

Who should use the VTmtss Framework tools? 

We recommend these tools be used by leadership teams and school staff to frame conversations related to continuous improvement efforts. These tools should be facilitated by someone who is familiar with the VTmtss Framework, or by a VTmtss Team member.  

Benefits of VTmtss Technical Assistance of Tools  

Completing any of the VTmtss Framework tools with a VTmtss Team facilitator saves time and offers LEA teams the opportunity for everyone to have equal participation.  

While facilitating the use of a tool, VTmtss Team members use their in-depth knowledge of the Framework and the continuous improvement processes to develop context-specific plans in collaboration with members of the LEA. The facilitator would support LEA team members in understanding how systemic and comprehensive approaches can inform their unique planning needs.  

The VTmtss Team prioritizes the use of equitable approaches when facilitating any conversation about the data produced by these tools.  

A member of the VTMTSS Team would collaborate with whomever is requesting technical assistance to:  

  • Discuss the timeline and length of support  
  • Identify the VTmtss Framework tool that best serves their needs  
  • Discuss how the tool and technical assistance will apply to current LEA plans 
  • Determine a location for the facilitated conversation (virtual or in-person) 
  • Discuss the incorporation of diverse voices within the whole system  
  • Outline plan for sustaining any action steps informed by tools 

The VTmtss Team facilitator will take the lead with:  

  • Distributing tools to participants  
  • Collecting, organizing, and reporting on data produced by any VTmtss Framework tool  
  • Promoting respect, anonymity, and equal participation among participants 
  • Compiling data and developing useful visuals of tool data 
  • Develop a presentation to support facilitated conversations Facilitation support by the Agency of Education’s VTmtss Team is available upon request 

Technical Assistance Request Form 

Fill out the VTmtss Team Technical Assistance Request Form or contact to request technical assistance with the VTmtss Framework or any corresponding VTmtss Framework tool.  

VTmtss Framework Tools 

VTmtss System Screener  

Publication: June 2020 
Publication Revision: February 2023 

Purpose of System Screener 

The VTmtss System Screener provides school systems with a high-level analysis of their systemic strengths and areas of growth. It is framed within the five VTmtss Framework component characteristics and is a foundational part of engaging with the VTmtss suite of tools.  

The VTmtss Screener and a corresponding facilitator’s guide is available in Word Doc format above, but is sent as a virtual link by VTmtss member when districts or schools engage in technical assistance of this tool. 

Benefits and Applications of VTmtss System Screener  

The VTmtss System Screener is beneficial for improvement planning because it: 

  • Provides a high-level and comprehensive overview of systems-level data  
  • Identifies areas of focus that need further investigation,  
  • Values diverse perspectives to reduce subjective bias when analyzing data  
  • Identifies systemic strengths and areas in need of improvement   
  • Informs the early planning stages of a theory of improvement  
  • Informs the development of a SMART goal and related change ideas  
  • Can be applied to a variety of objectives throughout a school year 

Benefits of VTmtss Technical Assistance of the System Screener  

During the facilitation of the VTmtss System Screener, a VTmtss Team member will: 

  • Provide a link to an online form for participants to complete individually by all members of an LEA team 
  • Compile and organize the Screener data anonymously from all participants into a single document.  
  • Develop a technical assistance presentation related to Screener findings 
  • Facilitate conversation to collaboratively discuss patterns and relevance of the Screener data to the LEA  
  • Identify additional system data that could be useful for developing a comprehensive and accurate story of an LEA system 
  • Support team with connecting screener data, and facilitated discussion to ongoing or future improvement or implementation plans  

VTmtss Driver Diagram 

Publication Revision: May 2022 

Purpose of Driver Diagram 

The VTmtss Driver Diagram is like traditional driver diagrams, in that it outlines a theory of improvement related to a problem of practice. Though, unlike other driver diagrams, the primary drivers of the VTmtss version represent the five components of the VTmtss Framework. It provides questions to consider prompting collective thinking around the best practice indicators of each component. This helps to identify system-level root causes, change ideas, and measures that can be used to develop a system level theory of improvement. Therefore, the information from this tool can help to inform and achieve both systems-based SMART goals, or enhance the efforts of any topic-based improvement efforts. 

Benefits and Applications of the VTmtss Driver Diagram  

The VTmtss Driver Diagram is beneficial for improvement planning because it: 

  • Scaffolds complex and comprehensive thinking about a school system  
  • Identifies specific aspects of a system that can be leveraged or improved 
  • Helps to prioritize, organize, and sustain detailed improvement plans 
  • Informs alignment of various initiatives or plans within an LEA  
  • Identifies systems-based indicators of opportunity to inform improvement plans 
  • Is intended to be completed by a variety of individuals to reduce planning bias 

Benefits of VTmtss Technical Assistance of VTmtss Driver Diagram  

During the facilitation of the VTmtss Driver Diagram, a VTmtss Team member will: 

  • VTmtss facilitator will guide the conversation so all members of an LEA team can have equal participation  
  • Support with navigation of the tool and application of information produced by facilitated discussions using the prompts within 
  • VTmtss facilitator will use the expertise of Framework components to guide conversations around primary drivers 
  • VTmtss facilitator can support with connections made to the Comprehensive Needs Assessment process, the Continuous Improvement Plans, or other theories of improvement happening within an LEA  
  • Suggest relevant tools, resources, and next steps related to a completed Driver Diagram 
  • Support the use of an equitable approach to discussing and planning around the VTmtss Driver Diagram  

Making Connections with VTmtss Needs Assessment Series 

The Making Connections with VTmtss series consists of documents in a common format for evaluating current practices related to a specific topic and recommended best practices. Each Making Connections with VTmtss Framework tool connects the best practices of its respective topic to related component characteristics within the VTmtss Framework to help leaders identify areas of the system that are useful to consider when planning to implement or improve the topics in this tool series.  

Note: A link to an online version of each tool will be provided to teams interested in completing this tool with the support of VTmtss technical assistance facilitation. 

Family Engagement: Making Connections with VTmtss  

Purpose: This tool is intended to be used by school systems when reviewing and improving their Family Engagement.   

School and Afterschool Programming Integration: Making Connections with VTmtss  

Purpose: This tool is intended to be used by school systems when reviewing and improving their School and Afterschool Programming Integration.  

New: Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mental Health: Making Connections with VTmtss (Pilot through 2023) 

Purpose: This tool is intended to be used by school systems that are reviewing and improving their system of social-emotional learning and mental health support. 

New: Specialized Service Providers: Making Connections with VTmtss (Pilot through December 2024) 

Purpose: This tool is to be used by school systems when reviewing and improving their collaboration with Specialized Service Providers (SSPs) to utilize and embed their expertise. This tool is designed to increase staff awareness of these services and strives to expand access to these services for all students. 

Act 173 Essential Elements Series 

Purpose: The Making Connections with VTmtss - Act 173 Essential Elements sub-series includes one document for each Essential Element of Act 173 – Educational Support Teams, Local Comprehensive Assessment Systems, Coordinated Curriculum, and Needs-based Professional Development. These can be useful tools for improving the Act 173 essential elements within a school or SU/district. 

Coordinated Curriculum: Making Connections with VTmtss 

Educational Support Teams: Making Connections with VTmtss 

Local Comprehensive Assessment Systems: Making Connections with VTmtss 

Needs-based Professional Development: Making Connections with VTmtss  

Benefits and Applications of the Making Connections with VTmtss Framework Tools  

The VTmtss Making Connections Tools are beneficial for improvement planning because they: 

  • Highlight specific aspects of the system that can enhance topic-based implementation or improvement efforts  
  • Provides questions to consider related to evidence based best practices of specific initiatives  
  • Supports the alignment of systemic best practices for equity and continuous improvement with specific change ideas for improvement  
  • Informs various universal approaches to instruction and support by detailing specific questions and practices to consider implementing, investigating, or improving  
  • Allows for efficient system-improvement planning through ability to directly connect to topic-based indicators  
  • Can inform the root-causal analyses of specific topic-based initiatives, problems, or goals  

Benefits of VTmtss Technical Assistance of the Making Connections with VTmtss Framework Tools

During the facilitation of the Making Connections tools, a VTmtss Team member will: 

  • Provide a link to an online form and compile the ratings for an LEA team to allow for equal and anonymous participation  
  • Develop technical assistance plan using the compiled information  
  • Suggest other tools or resources and support with alignment  
  • Provide additional information relating to the VTmtss Framework or topic-based best practices  
  • Support LEA team with developing next steps based on tool findings and facilitated discussion