Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Framework and Field Guide

The goal of VTmtss is to guide Vermont educators as they work to prevent difficulties where possible and to support students when needed so that all students can succeed.

In 2015, Vermont‘s Title 16 (16 V.S.A. § 2902) replaced the term "Education Support System" with "Tiered System of Support". The term also appears in the Vermont State Board of Education Rules Series 2000 – Education Quality Standards under 2121.5. More than just a name change, a Multi-tiered System of Support provides a framework that “at a minimum, includes an educational support team, instructional and behavioral interventions, and accommodations that are available as needed for any student who requires support beyond what can be provided in the general education classroom, and may include intensive, individualized interventions for any student requiring a higher level of support”.

VTmtss is about changing opportunity for all students. VTmtss unifies a progressive system of supports, personalization, flexible pathways and proficiencies. Context matters: VTmtss promotes a systemic approach that acknowledges the importance of Vermont’s cultural context and connects schools with services and institutions in the community.

The VTmtss Framework supports a focus, among both general and special educators, on preventing academic, social emotional, and behavioral difficulties and improving learning for all students through increasingly differentiated and intensified assessment, instruction, and intervention. It is both a framework for decision making and a call to action.

2019 VTmtss Field Guide

The VTmtss Field Guide are guidelines for the field - expanded from the last edition in 2014 – that support schools and SU/SDs in designing comprehensive systems so that the knowledge, information, and expertise already embedded in a school system can ensure equitable outcomes for all students.

VTmtss Field Guide 2019

The first Field Guide was published in 2014, after two years of work by a committed group of Vermont professionals. Their work laid the foundation for this Field Guide. However, after five years, there was a need to capture the new policies and practices that have emerged from bold and fresh thinking at all levels of the educational cascade.

This 2019 edition reflects a renewed and strengthened commitment to promoting rigorous outcomes for everyone, especially for students who have been historically marginalized and/or under-performing.

The VTmtss Field Guide is intended to provoke conversation and reflection, provide information about effective practices, and support collaborative and systemic efforts to improve outcomes for all students. Changes from the previous Field Guide include:

  • An explicit discussion of how school and district internal cultures contributes to school improvement in each component
  • A new section, VTmtss in Action, that addresses how to use the Systemic and Comprehensive Approach for decision-making, continuous improvement and problem-solving
  • A set of Vignettes showing how Vermont schools are using the VTmtss Framework to address questions and make decisions
  • Practical Matters discussions for each component to explore some of the practical issues that need to be addressed
  • Reflection Tools for schools or school districts to look at their systems and practices through the lenses of the components and their interconnectivity
  • Enhanced discussion of social and emotional concerns and Specific Learning Disability (SLD) determination

  • An explicit connection to Vermont and federal legislative policy, specifically: EQS, Act 173, ESSA, and IDEA
  • Intentional connection to state guidelines on assessment, specific learning disabilities, early education, and community and family engagement
  • Digging Deeper section that provides further resources and information about each component

VTmtss Framework Supporting Documents

We offer these supporting documents to lay a common foundation and use of language for collective work to improve and expand tiered systems of support for each and every child in Vermont.

Vermont Multi-Tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Professional Learning Providers

Below are suggested criteria and questions for SU/SD/schools to use when selecting professional learning providers to support expanding and improving the systemic infrastructure provided by the VTmtss Framework.

  1. Describe your business or organization, including the number of years you have provided professional learning to educators at either a school or district level.  
  2. What types of services do you provide?  
  • Professional learning for educators (short or long term)   
  • Consultation for educators and education systems (short or long term)  
  • Facilitation of Networked Improvement Communities  
  • Facilitation of Communities of Practice   
  • Other
  1. What experience do you have providing professional learning to educators related to the components of the VTmtss Framework (2019)?
  • Emphasis on the interconnectedness, inter-dependence, and interrelated
  • Apply systemic and comprehensive approaches to making decisions     
  • Apply continuous improvement principles and practices in addressing needs     
  • Apply inclusive and culturally responsive practices that reduce or eliminate equity gaps in schools (academic and non-academic), and     
  • Apply research-based practices to improve academic and non-academic outcomes for all students, e.g., Response to Intervention, Restorative Approaches.   
  1. What experience do you have connecting the 2019 VTmtss Framework to school-level and systems-level (SU/SD) continuous improvement processes and action plans for the development of the following?  
  • Local comprehensive assessment systems      
  • Educational Support Teams      
  • Coordinated curricula      
  • Professional learning plans and models      
  • Student, family, and community engagement practice 
  1. Please provide a data summary and examples demonstrating the impact your work has had on improved student and school systems outcomes.

The VTmtss Framework Professional Learning Providers 2022 list reflects individuals and organizations that have demonstrated knowledge of the VTmtss Framework and experience supporting educators based on the five criteria above. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement from the State of Vermont; school systems are encouraged to conduct additional research and reference checks to identify the resource(s) that will work best for their needs.