Leigh Sears,
Director of Student Engagement and Intervention

Contact Information

  • Leigh Sears, Ed.S.
  • Director of Student Engagement and Intervention
  • leigh.sears@gcssk12.net
  • 770-536-5275

Department Information

RtI School Coordinators:

Centennial Arts Academy 
Bertha Shields/Kelly Kennedy
Enota MI Academy 
DeAnn Sams/Margaret Dowdy/Carol Ann Ligon
Fair Street, an International Academy
Tammy Miller/Michelle Garcia
Gainesville Exploration Academy 
Lesa Hartley/Dee Siphambili
Mundy Mill Learning Academy
Stacey Cothren/Daryl White
New Holland Knowledge Academy
Dayna Kiley/Key Goforth
Gainesville Middle School 
Titia Sargent/Misty Freeman
Gainesville High School 
Dawn Jordan/Natalie Smith

2017 - 2018 Quarterly Meeting Dates:

September 7 at 9:00
December 7 at 9:00
February 1 at 9:00
April 19 at 9:00

RtI and MTSS

Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), originally known as RtI, grew from efforts to improve identification practices in special education.  MTSS is a process of systematically monitoring student performance as evidence of the need for additional services after making changes in classroom instruction.  MTSS addresses the way schools provide support to students with learning and/or behavior problems by delivering a range of interventions based on demonstrated levels of need.

WELCOME TO 2017 - 2018!

Each school has been busy preparing school level RtI/MTSS Handbooks aligned with district expectations.  District walkthroughs are planned for each tier based on school-specific RtI/MTSS implementation practices.  Our goal is to continuously improve services so that we are providing a world-class education to ALL students.

Principal Leslie Frierson looks at student data and discusses next steps with a teacher.

Assistant Principal Bertha Shields reviews resources and expectations with teachers.

A nice visual describes where each student falls for each grade level, and 80/15/5 percentage goals are reviewed.

Tier 2 is described in the context of the new system wide "Balanced Literacy" framework.

Teachers revisit tiers moving students as needed based on documented progress. 

Instructional Coach Kelly Kennedy works with a teacher reviewing how to access RtI resources through Google.

RTI Mission and Vision

As ONE GAINESVILLE, we will inspire, nurture, challenge, and prepare our students as we educate them to be successful in a 21st century global society. Just as our GCSS mission emphasizes the importance of working together as ONE GAINESVILLE, our RtI mission also recognizes the importance of working together to make our Response to Intervention strategies and processes as comprehensive and consistent as possible so that our students are receiving the best services we can provide.

As the RtI Strategic Initiative Team, we have committed ourselves to streamlining RtI expectations so that they are:


In conjunction with this mission, we have created some streamlined expectations to provide for greater consistency. 

Common Expectations for 2017 - 2018:
  • Consistent Universal Screeners at all levels
  • Pink Folders for Tier III/ 3 year Record Retention Required
  • Blue Folders for Tier 2/2+/2 year Record Retention Required
  • Data Collection Forms for Tiers 2/2+ and 3 at End of 2017– 2018
  • Streamlined Communication using Stored Lists in PowerSchool for End of Year Transition
  • Common SST/Tier III 1st Meeting Parent Letter
  • SST Meeting Minutes Kept in Powerschool under Custom Screen
  • End of Year RtI Cover Sheets
  • Common Background Forms
  • Common Hearing/Vision Screening Forms
  • Common Work Sample Forms
  • Common Progress Monitoring Forms (2 choices based on need)
  • Consistent Use of Processes Outlined on Tier 2/2+, Tier 3/SST Checklists to Ensure Fidelity 
Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students in order to fulfill our GCSS vision. Our students will think critically, act compassionately, work meaningfully, choose wisely, and live joyfully.

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