The Illinois MTSS Network (IL MTSS-N) provides high-quality professional learning and coaching for schools and districts in order to develop and sustain a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS). MTSS is a framework for continuous improvement that is systemic, prevention-focused and data-informed, providing a coherent continuum of supports responsive to meet the needs of all learners.

IL MTSS-N has been supporting Illinois' schools for nearly 20 years so it has the longevity and experience to address challenges schools and districts face when engaging in systemic continuous improvement. The IL MTSS-N has a track record of effectively improving equitable outcomes for students, including students with disabilities and racial/ethnic diversity.

The IL MTSS-N is an approved IL-EMPOWER 2.0 Primary Partner and has partnered with ISBE Special Education Department through the State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG), the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), and Illinois Advancing Wellness and Resilience Education (IL-AWARE) to:

  • Increase capacity for teaching and learning, family engagement and assessment (SPDG)

  • Improve early literacy and culture & climate, prioritizing students with disabilities (SSIP)

  • Improve social-emotional and behavioral health (IL-AWARE)


IL MTSS-N Network Capacity Coaches build relationships with district/school leadership and staff to effectively support equity-based MTSS. “Equity-based MTSS values and welcomes each and every student as a full member of their school and provides the support students need when needed, as long as needed” (SWIFT Education Center 2018). IL MTSS-N builds whole system capacity to provide academic, social-emotional, and behavioral support to improve whole child outcomes.  

The IL MTSS-N approach includes:

  • Data-based decision making with an increased focus on Children with Disabilities

  • Comprehensive continuous improvement

  • Systems capacity building

  • Evidence-based practices with fidelity

  • Integration of whole child supports (academic, social-emotional and behavioral) into one system

  • Specialized services with student groups, including special education

By partnering with the IL MTSS-N, you can expect:

  • Contextualized coaching

  • Professional learning including both virtual and face-to-face teaching and learning opportunities

  • Problem-solving, technical assistance, networking, and connection to resources

  Infographic      Brochure

WHO does the IL MTSS-N serve?

Local education agencies (LEA), including districts, special education cooperatives, and regional offices of education, may participate to varying degrees in the services provided.

Our Vision

The vision of the IL MTSS-N is to be an innovative, solution-oriented, technical assistance model nationally known for promoting equitable education, career, and community opportunities for each and every student.

Our Mission

The mission of the IL MTSS-N is to provide high-quality training, coaching, and technical assistance to support and empower educational entities in creating and sustaining improved positive outcomes for each and every student.

WHAT does the IL MTSS-N do?

  • The IL MTSS-N’s goal is to provide Illinois educational entities with professional learning that builds leadership and educator capacity to improve practice and make a positive impact on student growth and outcomes.
  • The IL MTSS-N provides three types of professional learning—training and learning opportunities, coaching, and technical assistance described as:
    • Teaching and learning opportunities is a purposeful, skill-based, and adult-learning informed process designed to support educators’ knowledge, skills, and practices. Training is formal or experiential instruction intended to meet a specific, pre-established outcome or learning objective.
    • Coaching is a process that supports educators to utilize with fidelity their knowledge and skills developed during training. Coaching is based on building capacity through relationships and facilitative questioning to help an individual or group take action toward goal-setting and achievement of desired goals. Coaching includes modeling, observation, reflective questioning, feedback, or other individualized supportive assistance.
    • Technical Assistance (TA) is a process designed to facilitate the transference of specialized information and skills through consultation,  problem-solving, and connection to resources. By participating in a community of practice, including network and coaches meetings, people with common interests, concerns, and organizational issues will have an opportunity to continue learning with and from each other. TA works with and supports the training and coaching processes.

WHY does the IL MTSS-N do what it does?

IL MTSS-N offers support to build the local capacity of LEAs so that they may:

  • Establish an MTSS framework for continuous improvement and for the implementation of evidence-based practices in curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Ensure that ALL Illinois students will be college and/or career ready
  • Meet the unique needs of ALL students
  • Positively impact outcomes for students with disabilities, so they, like their peers, are prepared for “further education, employment, and independent living” (34CFR §300.1(a))

HOW does the IL MTSS-N work?

Services available to all LEAs are provided by regionally based IL MTSS-N staff members. LEAs that meet criteria established by ISBE for more intensive levels of support will be assigned a small team of IL MTSS-N staff who will provide individualized coaching and technical assistance. Because the IL MTSS-N delivers individual services through a coach-the-coach model for the purpose of building capacity and sustainability, the IL MTSS-N support team will work directly with the district and building leadership teams as well as district and building level coach(es). IL MTSS-N Capacity Coaches coach and support the District and Building Coaches who facilitate teams and coordinate efforts with the authority to implement. The District and Building Coaches are responsible for ensuring that the district and buildings take the necessary steps to implement and sustain district-wide MTSS.

How We Connect

WHAT can districts expect from the IL MTSS-N?

The IL MTSS-N approach to district involvement is typically two-pronged. First, it is important that we address the reason that prompted the initial connection. While this does not mean that we will “fix” the issue, it means that we will honor the concerns and keep them in the foreground of our interactions. The second prong is more global in nature in that we link the areas of concern to the larger district system in order to ensure the sustainability of improved practices.

Our core concept, as noted previously, is the value of a multi-tiered system of supports as an organizing framework. As a result, our initial interaction is focused on gathering data, through a variety of means, to develop a complete picture of the existing district capacity to implement and sustain such a system. Based on that data, the IL MTSS-N staff will utilize coaching conversations to support the district in thinking about their district improvement plan, their system and subsystems, their long and short term goals, and their professional learning needs. Ongoing IL MTSS-N support, as specified in the plan, will be provided through a coach-the-coach model with supporting technical assistance and training.

Who can I contact to discuss more?

To learn more about how IL MTSS-N can support your school or district, contact Dr. Melissa Hannasch at melissa.hannasch@ilmtss.net.