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Georgia's Tiered Connection

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Office of Whole Child Supports

Georgia's MTSS News

The units supported within the Office of Whole Child Supports include, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Integrated Wellness​, School Safety, and now Georgia's Tiered System of Supports for Students.

“Aligning the work of Georgia’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) with Whole Child Supports is an ideal opportunity to broaden the scope of work and collaboratively demonstrate how varied tiered supports for students can be provided through academics, behavior, and connectedness and wellbeing," said Program Manager Karen Suddeth.

The Office of Whole Child Supports assists districts, schools, and communities in identifying and addressing student non-academic barriers to success while expanding learning opportunities. "Our mission is to ensure all students feel safe, healthy, supported, challenged , and engaged," said Ashley Harris, Director, Whole Child Supports & Strategic Partnerships.

For more information, visit

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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the second leading cause of injury death and the eleventh overall leading cause of death in Georgia between 1999-2001. Identifying risk factors that could make someone more likely to consider or attempt to take their life is important to prevent suicide. The Office of Whole Child Supports is part of a larger network of educational leaders raising awareness and creating suicide prevention supports and resources. The Office's mission is to support teachers and leaders to become partners in youth suicide prevention.

"Teachers play a critical role in a school's suicide prevention plan by referring students at risk to appropriate professionals," said Cheryl Benefield, Ed.S., Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator.

According to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, "providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others."

Learn more about the warning signs and risk factors for suicidality in our new Suicide Prevention Course, launching in September at the Office of Whole Child Supports webpage.

For more information, email​. Find us on Twitter @GaDOEWholeChild​ for updates.

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MTSS and PBIS Conference Recap

We were delighted to see so many of you at the first Georgia Department of Education MTSS and PBIS Virtual Conference. Your active participation and engagement made the conference a huge success.

• All of the session recordings are now available and instructions for accessing them can be found on our webpage.
• Participant feedback is very important. We would greatly appreciate all attendees taking a few minutes to complete the survey conference evaluation.

The conference recordings and handouts are available at the MTSS and PBIS conference webpage.

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Instructions for Accessing the Conference Session Recordings:

1.Visit the Conference Webpage.
2.Click on the name of the session for which you wish to view the recording.
3.Then, click on the yellow button that says “Video Stream.” The example above is for the Day 1: General Session.

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Georgia's MTSS 2021 Professional Learning

In September, Georgia's Tiered System of Supports for Students' professional learning session centers around selecting progress monitoring tools.

A recording of the September 8 training is available at Progress Monitoring and Progress Monitoring Tools.

There will be several opportunities for collaboration and learning more about Georgia's MTSS framework in 2021. Professional learning is available online for school teams and leaders. All trainings will be virtual and no cost to educators.

To register for upcoming professional learning opportunities, visit

MTSS Deeper Dives

MTSS Deeper Dives will be presented by national MTSS expert Dr. Tessie Rose Bailey and the GaDOE MTSS team. These trainings will take an in-depth look at MTSS implementation in areas frequently requested by Georgia educators. Register

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MTSS Moments

These brief discussions led by GaDOE MTSS team members and partners will provide just-in time implementation updates and answer frequently asked questions from the field. The presentations will be held on the second Monday of each month, except October. Register

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Georgia's Tiered System of Supports for Students

Connect with us onTwitter and receive frequent updates and implementation news. Follow us @GeorgiaMTSS

Karen Suddeth,
SPDG Project Director
Phone: (404) 548-4348
Email: or

Georgia Department of Education
1770 Twin Towers East
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr., SE

Georgia’s Tiered System of Supports for Students

The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, #H323A170010. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Jennifer Coffey.

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