Date of Award

Summer 7-28-2022

Document Type

Dissertation (799 registration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Ximena Suarez-Sousa


Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), Response to Intervention (RTI), PBIS, Renaissance STAR, COVID-19 pandemic, Academic Achievement


The purpose of this causal-comparative study was to employ a quantitative research study to measure the degree of impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on students’ academic performance and determine the extent to which the MTSS program served to counter the impact of the pandemic on students’ reading and math performance. This study analyzed pre-existing STAR Reading and STAR Math data collected from 7th-grade students at one Midwest public middle utilizing the September (Fall) and December (Winter) scores. The data sets were compared to determine the students’ reading and math performance trends in the three years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic (Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3) to measure the degree of impact during the year of the pandemic (Year 4) and the year that followed (Year 5). Further, differences between subgroups (i.e., gender, ethnicity, SPED status, EL status, and 504 status) were examined. This study was unique in that the data were broken down into tiers of instruction that coincide with the MTSS framework to measure the growth of students receiving Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 instruction.

This study found that although most students remained above the benchmark, in Year 4 and Year 5, there was an observed downward shift in mean scores. In addition, more students were identified as needing Tier 2 or Tier 3 supports and interventions over the span of the identified years. This research can help fill a void in the existing research by focusing on MTSS at the secondary level and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic achievement. This research study can guide future initiatives and inform best practices for MTSS implementation.



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