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District Capacity Assessment (DCA)

Districts assess capacity to identify what parts of their system are already in place, what needs to be improved, and what still needs to be done.


District implementation teams need to know how well their system of support can help schools implement MTSS and determine if the system is sustainable. The DCA lists the core features of a sustainable system of support. The district implementation team and other invited respondents review and score the features.

MiMTSS Technical Assistance Center and the State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices (SISEP) Center developed the current version of the DCA. SISEP is a national technical assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

Administering the Assessment

A trained Capacity Assessment Administrator helps a district implementation team to complete the DCA.

The respondents participate in the assessment as a group, reviewing each item listed. The respondents use a simultaneous public voting protocol (so everyone shares their score at the same time) to determine a score for each item.

Assessment Schedule

  • Before you begin implementation: Administer the assessment before creating a sustainable system of support. Use the data to help develop an action plan.
  • Subsequent assessments: Administer the assessment twice a year to check on your capacity. Revise the action plan as needed. The recommended assessment windows are August/September and January/February. Until further validation research is conducted, a total and sub-scale score of 80 percent is suggested for indicating a minimum level of capacity.

Estimated Time

  • One to two hours.
  • Allow two to three hours for the initial assessment.
  • Prepare key documents (e.g., data sources, improvement plans) ahead of the meeting to reduce the time.

Data Entry

  • The designated MiMTSS Data System user enters item scores in MiMTSS Data System.
  • Each item is grouped into one of nine subscales. MiMTSS Data System reports and dashboards generate the subscale and total scores.

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