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RtI Math

Tier 1 Supports

student engaged in mathThe Comprehensive Mathematics and Science Plan (CMSP) is a blueprint designed to guide the development of consistent quality math and science instruction, assessment, and professional development across the district at all grade levels, pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The CMSP was developed using Common Core State Standards and the RtI framework, providing clarity for teachers to attend to math and science instruction. MPS educators, including staff members who work primarily with students in special education, are expected to use the CMSP for purposes of planning, discussing, and informing when working individually and with colleagues, families, and the community.  

Screening occurs three times a year for all students:

Students in K-grade 10 are screened with STAR Math. STAR Math assesses a variety of math skills.

Differentiation is defined as students grouped according to achievement levels for instructional purposes. Differentiation is not a Tier 2 intervention; it is considered a Tier 1 support for all students. 

Tier 2 Interventions

Students in a math small groupSome students will not respond to Tier 1 supports alone and will be in need of Tier 2 interventions around their math growth. Milwaukee Public Schools uses Renaissance STAR to universally screen all K-grade 10 students three times a year. Students who score Significantly Below, Well Below, or Below Target on STAR for math by grade level are eligible to receive an intervention. Teachers need to analyze their student STAR scores and determine whether the students identified should participate in an intervention.  

Students who are determined to be in need of a math intervention should enter an intervention as soon as possible. Current interventions for math skill weaknesses in Tier 2 include ST Math and Odyssey and can be supplemented with explicit, systematic instruction in the area of concern for math. Interventions are skill-specific and matched to meet the needs of each student based on results of continuous progress monitoring.

These interventions, whether teacher-led or facilitated electronically, will include explicit strategic instruction to develop the areas of concern; for example, number strategies (e.g., counting on, derived facts) and models (e.g., 10 frames, tape diagrams, and number lines) to develop fluency. Explicit strategic instruction includes using a student "think aloud" strategy to help students identify the underlying structures of word problems. Systematic use of models to provide students with opportunities to verbalize their thinking by talking, writing, or drawing the steps they used to solve a problem are a part of the "think aloud" strategy. Interventions can also include use of the Concrete Representational Abstract (CRA) model to support developmental processing of critical math concepts.

Tier 3 Interventions

All students must receive Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions prior to being considered for participation in a Tier 3 intervention. Once a student is enrolled in a Tier 2 intervention, data should be reviewed regularly by the teacher. If it is determined a student is not responding to a Tier 2 intervention, the teacher must work with the Building Intervention Team to determine next steps and whether a Tier 3 intervention is appropriate.

If all phases of Tier 2 of the RtI process have been conducted with fidelity, the BIT, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, should consider one of the following next steps:

  1. Intensifying intervention
  2. Lengthening intervention time
  3. Changing physical environment
  4. Different intervention
  5. Different intervention provider
  6. Tier 3 enrollment

All students participating in a Tier 3 intervention must receive a scientific research-based intervention (SRBI) at fidelity and be progress monitored weekly.

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  Instructional Focus and Materials

Explicit small group in addition to their Tier 1 core instruction

1-4 students per group

Approximately 20-30 minutes every day

5 times per week (daily)

Must use scientific research-based interventions (SRBI) in the area of need

  Online Program Support

Odyssey or ST Math can be used to supplement explicit small-group instruction in the area of need after use of SRBI occurs at fidelity.

  Progress Monitoring

Students are progress monitored every week.

STAR used for math and reading comprehension.

DIBELS used for basic reading skills and reading fluency (must be entered on Infinite Campus).

Alternative curriculum-based measures (CBM) used for written expression, listening comprehension, and oral expression (must be entered on Infinite Campus).


Director of the Department of Research, Assessment, and Data:

Dr. Melanie Stewart
Phone: 414-475-8751


Math Contacts

Steve Akin, Mathematics and Science Manager

Phone: 414-475-8786
Fax: 414-475-8513


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