Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is a prevention model used to provide scientific, research- based interventions at increased levels of intensity to students who are struggling. With MTSS, progress is closely monitored to ensure that growth is made by each student. Instructional decisions are data driven. MTSS focuses on high quality interventions that are matched to the student’s needs and are monitored on a frequent basis. The information gained by the MTSS process is used by school personnel and parents to adapt instruction and make decisions regarding the student’s educational program.
What are the benefits of MTSS?
The greatest benefit of the MTSS approach is that it eliminates a “wait to fail” situation. Students get prompt assistance in the general educational setting. If assessment data indicates a problem area for a student or a group, interventions are put into place to address these concerns. While a student is receiving an intervention, his/her progress is formally monitored. Progress monitoring techniques used within the MTSS process provide information that allows teachers to better evaluate student needs. Teachers can then match instruction, resources and interventions directly to the student’s needs. Student needs are addressed through a flexible service delivery model. This model allows students to receive literacy, math and/or behavioral intervention from any member of the support services team.The District 31 support services team includes literacy coaches, ELL teachers, special educators, speech pathologists, social workers, and a school psychologist.
Terms to Know
Short assessments called Curriculum Based Measurements (CMS) taken three times per year to determine which students are “at risk” for not meeting grade level standards.
Curriculum Based Measurements (CBMS)
Short screening assessments used to measure how well individual children are progressing toward grade level standards.
Scientific, Research-Based Instruction
Curriculum and educational interventions that are research based and have been proven to be effective for most students.
Scientifically based practice used to assess student performance and evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
A change in instructing a student with a learning/behavior difficulty to improve performance and achieve adequate progress.
What is the MTSS Process?
MTSS is a three-tier model of school supports that uses research-based interventions. At all stages of the process, MTSS focuses on discovering how to make the student more successful.
Tier 1: 80 – 90% of all students
All students are provided instruction of the core curriculum. Approximately 80-90% of the students should be successful if the core curriculum is well designed and implemented.
Tier 2: 5 – 10% of all students
Approximately 5-10% of the students require learning opportunities in small groups beyond the core curriculum to be successful. Interventions target specific deficits and are short term. Students respond rapidly.
Tier 3: 1 – 5% of all students
Approximately 1-5% of students require intense individual or small group interventions in addition to the core curriculum to be successful.
The Who, What, Where, Why, and When of MTSS
Children in grades K- 8 receive academic and/or behavioral interventions.
Interventions consist of scientific, research-based instruction by trained staff members.
Interventions take place in a variety of academic settings depending upon individual student needs or the size of the group.
Interventions occur throughout the school day, before or after school.
Academic and behavioral interventions provide instruction to better meet the needs of the individual student. The MTSS process monitors student progress and the effectiveness of the interventions that have been implemented.
How can parents get involved?
- Communicate frequently with your child’s teacher.
- Attend school functions such as parent-teacher conferences.
- Monitor and assist your child with homework and assignments.
- Praise your child’s progress, especially in the area(s) of concern.
- Inform your child’s teachers of strategies that work at home.