Inspired by a great post by Stacy Hurst, “What is the Difference Between RtI and MTSS” (very informative!), and all the thought-provoking reflective readers who commented, I began to reflect. I reflected on my opinion on the matter, and my experiences which led to my resulting opinion. I came to two conclusions: 1) I have an opinion on the difference between RtI and MTSS, and 2) Who cares!

I would rather take the energy and attention of that potentially spirited debate and focus on what really matters: kids. If the process in place identifies the needs of kids, staff works together to address and meet those needs in systematic ways, and do so with a least restrictive approach, does it matter what we call the process?

As an educator, I prefer we collaboratively design a routine process with which our kids’ needs are identified, addressed, and met in a least restrictive environment than quibble over which acronym to assign to it. As a parent, I prefer my kids’ schools know them as learners and people, meet them where they are, and progressively move them forward in a data-driven way in a least restrictive manner than attend out of state conferences by presenters recycling buzz words from the business world of 20 years ago and injecting them into today’s education landscape to make for impressive Curriculum Night jargon blabbing.

Our kids need us – especially with the challenges we see in today’s society. Promptly give them what they need, and I’m fairly certain they won’t question what you call it.

About Sam LeDeaux

Administrator. Teacher. Learner. Coach. Chicago metro area. Passionate about kids, learning, and education. Follow me on twitter @sledeaux84 and at

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