Montana strives to achieve its vision of all students maximizing their post-secondary attainment and finding meaningful places in their communities through its primary CEEDAR statewide goal of increasing the commitment and capacity of every Montana educator to address the academic, behavioral, and socio-emotional development of every learner, including students with disabilities and culturally and linguistically diverse learners through Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Central to achieving this vision and goal is through the implementation of identified five core high-leverage practices (HLPs)
- Leading a group discussion
- Implementing organizational routines
- Building respectful relationships
- Designing effective lessons
- Checking for student understanding
These five core HLPs, or as the team calls them, the First Big Sky Five, were identified from surveys and discussions with faculty, educators, and school administrators across the state.
By identifying these core HLPs, the team and linking them with applying a core set of content and instructional practices derived from a broad array of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and high-leverage practices (HLPs) that can be implemented in both educator preparation and in-service professional development programs to guide and support the engagement of higher education, state, and local education partners in the implementation of multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS) throughout the state. Merging these CEEDAR priorities with the statewide implementation of MTSS and the long-standing Positive Behavioral and Interventions Support (PBIS) initiative ensures the effective scaling up and long-term sustainability of these efforts. Furthermore, this work is buttressed by individual outreach and partnership efforts by each of the four participating institutions of higher education (IHEs) with their local schools and school districts and with all IHEs with EPPs through the statewide Higher Education Consortium.
In addition, to support educators with implementing the HLPs, the team developed a matrix, of which you can access on this page that aligns the TeachingWorks and Council for Exceptional Children’s HLPs with the Danielson Framework and evidence-based practices (EBPs).
To showcase their work, the MT Big Sky Five team developed a logo, an infographic, and their own webpage. For scale up and sustainability, the team works closely with the MT Council of Deans of Education and the Higher Education Consortium. The team is also in the final stages of completing a TeachingHub module on the HLPs accessible for MT educators as a professional development resource.