Implementor Spotlight – Cleveland City Schools

Cleveland City Schools (CCS) began their partnership with Tennessee TSC in the summer of 2023. The newly formed Cleveland Connects district leadership team is planning and guiding the implementation of its tiered support system by aligning and strengthening current academic and non-academic Response to Intervention (RTI) systems across the district. A key factor that has shaped this thriving work was the early addition of a full-time Well-Being Specialist.

Alicia Kahrs’s role as district Well-Being Specialist is dedicated to creating and supporting the district’s tiered support system in every school with strong layers of academic and non-academic support for all students. Alicia shared, “I love the fact that I get to do this full-time! It has allowed me to dedicate all my time and attention to the alignment of our [RTI] systems for academics, behavior, and mental health support!” Since she stepped into the role, Alicia has actively worked to ensure the alignment of current RTI systems occurs with the consideration of all stakeholders and with adequate time for preparation and implementation. Intentionality is the word!

In fact, the Cleveland Connects district team has intentionally used this school year to plan changes and shifts for 2024-2025. As Alicia guides this critical work, she has focused the team’s attention on strengthening the universal layer of student support known as Tier I. Alicia reflects, “One of the most successful components of our work thus far has been our focus on Tier I. Keeping a narrow focus has allowed us to go deeper into the work and remain strategic and intentional in our efforts.” Tennessee TSC has been thrilled to support Alicia and the entire Cleveland Connects team. Their intentional planning and innovative approach to alignment is creating sustainable systems change that will lead to the best possible outcomes for students.