• Fargo Public Schools utilizes a system-wide approach to MTSS. The approach is supported by a robust research base using validated interventions, selected by the district, to improve the academic skills of its students demonstrating difficulty achieving grade-level standards. Because consistent intervention is used, accurate implementation is ensured.  Procedures are aligned to the three tiers of intervention and instruction, including universal instruction (core instruction), targeted or strategic (tier 2) intervention, and intensive (tier 3) intervention. Utilizing a system-wide approach allows for the adoption of general classroom instructional practices based on scientific research to support students demonstrating areas of needs with the opportunity to engage in problem-solving to address concerns at the system, group, or individual student level.

    The Problem-Solving Model focuses equal attention on the learner, the environment, and the curriculum. It is used to make decisions to inform instructional programming. The approach, however, is not a linear process. The movement throughout the steps is dependent on the student.


    1. Define the problem or goal by determining the difference between what is expected and what is occurring. When engaged in problem-solving at the individual student level, the team strives for accuracy by asking, “What exactly is the problem?”

    2. Analyze the problem using data to determine why the issue is occurring, asking, “What are the challenges to the student(s) doing and knowing or exceeding what is expected?” Hypotheses (why students are not meeting or exceeding performance goals) are founded on evidence-based content area knowledge and alterable variables. Assessment data is used to link instruction/intervention so that hypotheses will lead to evidence-based instructional decisions. Instruction is designed or selected to directly address those barriers or accelerations.

    3. Develop and implement a plan driven by the results of the team’s problem analysis by establishing a performance goal for the group of students or the individual student and developing an intervention plan to achieve the goal. Student progress and plan implementation is monitored regularly.

    4. Measure response to instruction/interventions by using data gathered from progress monitoring at specified intervals to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention plan. Progress monitoring data should directly reflect the targeted skill(s), answering the questions, “Is it working? If not, how will the instruction/intervention plan be adjusted to better support the student’s or group of students’ progress?” Team discussion centers on how to maintain or better enable learning for the student(s).