MTSS & The Whole Child Approach
What is the HCS’ MTSS Whole Child Approach?
The HCS Multi-Tiered System of Support includes the “whole child” approach to learning. It requires modifying the educational experiences and the traditional learning environment, so that the social-emotional learning needs are addressed and enhanced. A student’s learning (whether traditional or blended) is influenced by their social-emotional state which may impede learning if not addressed. For example, a student coping with a family loss (homeless, death, divorce, lacking income) or one who is constantly teased by their classmates may not be able to concentrate or perform well in class. For optimal learning to occur, the emotional and social well-being of the student should also be considered and addressed –thus, the whole child approach.
- The objective of the whole child approach is not just to improve students' academic performances, but also to contribute to their overall development.
- Students are provided with the assistance and structure for attaining long-term success in all areas of their life.
- When students are healthy, safe, supported, engaged, and challenged, students are then able to learn to the best of their ability. Students’ capacity to comprehend complex text and process multi-step algorithms is enhanced.
Application of the Whole Child Approach in the MTSS Classroom:
The main application in the whole child approach is that teachers monitor and ensure each student is healthy, safe, supported, engaged, and challenged at each tier. The following are strategies to apply in the classroom:
Whole Child (Parents' Corner)
- Every student enters school healthy and learns to practice a healthy lifestyle. It is crucial to educate students on the importance of making healthy decisions such as eating the right foods, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, and engaging in regular exercise. A healthy body helps to create a healthy mind.
- Every student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe. Bullying, harassment, abuse and neglect can threaten the safety and concentration of a student. Teachers create safe classrooms by implementing rules & consequences for engagement, communication of ideas/opinions, reasonable respect, various conflict resolution strategies, and safe grievance procedures.
- Every student actively learns, connects with their school, and engages in their broader community. Teachers develop an atmosphere of trust, positivity, and acceptance within the classroom for all students.
- Every student has access to personalized learning and support from qualified, caring adults. Teachers encourage the use of interactive projects, creative lessons, and the use of media. Enhance student engagement and participation with a focus on student interest and motivation for improving learning in the classroom.
- Every student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further and for employment and participation in a global environment. Assessment strategies modified to challenge students to do their best. Teachers encourage students to demonstrate their knowledge in an inspired and productive way.