APS/ATF Joint Letter: MLSS Plan Clarification


MLSS Plan Clarification


February 22, 2022

MLSS is the acronym for Multi-Layered System of Supports and replaces RTI (Response to Intervention) in New Mexico. This joint APS/ATF memo is intended to address questions and concerns that we have heard across the district. We hope the information herein is helpful.


MLSS Plan Clarification:

MLSS, or Multi-Layered System of Supports, focuses on proactive and rapid response to all students’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs through multiple layers of support and evidence-based intervention. MLSS is a continuous process that empowers teachers to use their professional judgment and make data-informed decisions regarding students in their classrooms. We have recently had some conversations with APS teachers around MLSS and wanted to provide clarification around plan expectations


Who must have an MLSS plan?

Teachers will decide which students need plans. The Academic Support List for grades K-8 serves as a starting pointfor discussion among teachers and provides a recommended initial layer of academic support. This means that creating Layer 2 and 3 plans (red/yellow performance levels on interim assessments) for students is not required based on that one measure alone. Multiple measures such as classroom formative assessment, English proficiency, and early warning data should be used to determine the appropriate layer of support for students. This is an adjustment to some of the training that may have occurred stating that Layer 2 and Layer 3 plans based on the Academic Support List were a requirement.


How long must a plan be in place?

High-quality core and differentiated instruction through Layer 1 is ongoing for all students, while movement between Layer 2 and Layer 3 supports are fluid and do not have a defined duration; instead it is based on student need. This means that students receiving Layer 2 targeted instruction and/or Layer 3 intensive instruction may be exited from that plan when their goal has been met. However, if a student needs more time and support in that Layer, then a plan can be extended or a new plan created to address a different learning goal. APS does recommend building plans for at least six-weeks to ensure adequate time for interventions to be delivered and monitored for progress.


Synergy MLSS plans help streamline documentation of interventions and are also used to facilitate SAT referrals for special education and related services.

Saving Synergy MLSS Plan Progress Monitoring Data

There have been some reports that progress monitoring data is not saving properly or is disappearing. When saving MLSS Plan Progress Monitoring data, please make sure that you are both “Adding” and “Saving” your data on this tab (see image).

Download the full letter with graphics here.

If you’re certain you have followed these steps and are still missing data, please check in with your SAT Chair, who can work with you to submit an SIS support ticket, if necessary. They will need to include a specific example or two (student names, approximate times/dates of saving).  This information will help our SIS team troubleshoot the issue.

See the full letter with graphics here.

Where can I learn more about MLSS?

  1. “What is MLSS?” One-Pager
  2. APS MLSS Google Site
  3. NMPED MLSS Site
  4. Synergy MT(L)SS User Guide
  5. How to Create MLSS Plans: Guide for Teachers


What if I have more questions?

We recommend talking to your school administrator, school SAT chair or email mlss@aps.edu

There will also be scheduled office hours for teachers in the coming weeks.



Your union advocates for you every day to improve your working conditions which are our students’ learning conditions. I need your support to continue this work. If you are not yet a member, stand in solidarity with your colleagues. Join your union today at https://atfunion.org/join/​. Together, we will build a world class public education system for all New Mexican students.

In solidarity,

Ellen Bernstein, Albuquerque Teachers Federation President

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