The Office of Special Education Programs (U.S. Department of Education) funded three model demonstration projects to improve outcomes for English Learners (ELs) with or at risk of disabilities in grades three through five using a framework for multitiered instruction. The projects describe their work in a series of five briefs that are designed for school leaders, educators, and other stakeholders who implement or support effective instructional practices for ELs with and without disabilities. Throughout the series, the briefs discuss multitiered system of supports (MTSS) components in depth and describe exemplars from participating schools to demonstrate research-to-practice avenues. When implemented effectively, multitiered instructional frameworks support educators in providing high-quality culturally and linguistically responsive instruction for ELs, including those in need of supplemental support in language and literacy. Further, when a multitiered system of supports include assessment procedures that are linguistically aligned and informed by educators' knowledge of the language-acquisition process, students with disabilities are accurately identified. In this introductory brief, three model demonstration projects describe their work implementing multitiered instructional models for English learners with and without disabilities in grades 3 to 5 and introduce key issues to consider.
English Learners with Special Needs