Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a continuous-improvement framework in which data is used for problem-solving and decision making in support of students.

MTSS is based on these guiding principles:

  • Implementation of high quality, research-based instruction.
  • Universal screening to identify a need for additional support.
  • Collaborative, team-based approach to development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions.
  • Increasingly intense, multi-tiered application of high-quality, evidence-based instruction matched to individual needs.
  • Continuous monitoring of progress to determine impact of interventions.
  • Expectations for parent involvement throughout the process.

MTSS includes both academics (Response to Intervention/Instruction or RtI) and behavior (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports or PBIS). The framework is designed as a three-tiered model which is typically represented as a triangle or pyramid.

MTSS Pyramid

At Tier I, ALL students receive core curriculum and instruction. At Tier 2, SOME students receive targeted support or enrichment. At Tier 3, a FEW students receive intensive support or acceleration.

In the MTSS process, the classroom teacher is the first person to implement strategies. If more support is needed, school teams meet to present and discuss the student’s school performance. The building team typically consists of the classroom teacher(s), building administrators, instructional specialists, and other support personnel. Using all of the data available, the team identifies additional interventions that match the student’s needs. The team meets regularly to review student progress and determine the effectiveness of interventions.

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