Leflore County School District
Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
The Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework for effective problem solving to improve student outcomes. MTSS is a data informed and evidence-based process that uses a collaborative team based approach to decision making. The MTSS process begins with high-quality instruction and universal screening of all children in the general education classroom. High performing students who learn quickly are provided with more challenging work. Struggling learners are provided with interventions at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate their rate of learning.
Intervention services may be provided by a variety of personnel, including general education teachers, special educators, and specialists. Progress is closely monitored to assess both the learning rate and level of performance of individual students. Educational decisions about the intensity and duration of interventions are based on individual student response to instruction. MTSS is designed for use when making decisions in both general education and special education, creating a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention guided by child outcome data.
For MTSS implementation to work well, the following essential components must be implemented with fidelity and in a rigorous manner:
Though there is no single, thoroughly researched and widely practiced “model” of the MTSS process, it is generally defined as a three-tier (or three-step) model of school supports that uses research-based academic and/or behavioral interventions. The Three-Tier Model is described below.
Tier I: High-Quality Classroom Instruction, Screening, and Group Interventions
Within Tier I, all students receive high-quality, scientifically based instruction provided by qualified personnel to ensure that their difficulties are not due to inadequate instruction. All students are screened on a periodic basis to establish an academic and behavioral baseline and to identify struggling learners who need additional support. Students identified as being “at risk” through universal screenings and/or results on state- or district wide tests receive supplemental instruction during the school day in the regular classroom. The length of time for this step can vary, but it generally should not exceed 8 weeks. During that time, student progress is closely monitored using a validated screening system . At the end of this period, students showing significant progress are generally returned to the regular classroom program. Students not showing adequate progress are moved to Tier II.
Tier II: Targeted Interventions
Students not making adequate progress in the regular classroom in Tier I are provided with increasingly intensive instruction matched to their needs on the basis of levels of performance and rates of progress. Intensity varies across group size, frequency and duration of intervention, and level of training of the professionals providing instruction or intervention. These services and interventions are provided in small-group settings in addition to instruction in the general curriculum. In the early grades (kindergarten through 3rd grade), interventions are usually in the areas of reading and math. A longer period of time may be required for this tier, but it should generally not exceed a grading period. Students who continue to show too little progress at this level of intervention are then considered for more intensive interventions as part of Tier III.
Tier III: Intensive Interventions and Comprehensive Evaluation
At this level, students receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the students’ skill deficits. Students who do not achieve the desired level of progress in response to these targeted interventions are then referred for a comprehensive evaluation and considered for eligibility for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004). The data collected during Tiers I, II, and III are included and used to make the eligibility decision.
It should be noted that at any point in an MTSS process, IDEA 2004 allows parents to request a formal evaluation to determine eligibility for special education. An MTSS process cannot be used to deny or delay a formal evaluation for special education. However, there must be data available to support the need for an evaluation before an evaluation will occur even when there is a request.
In addition to variations in the tiers used to deliver MTSS services, schools use different approaches in implementation, such as problem-solving, functional assessment, standard protocol, and hybrid approaches. Although there are many formats for how a school might implement MTSS to best serve the needs of its students, in every case MTSS can be a school-wide framework for efficiently allocating resources to improve student outcomes.
MDE Intervention Policy
MDE Quick Reference Guide
MDE MTSS Flowchart
QUICK LINKS FOR INTERVENTION MATERIAL
SKILLS PROBES FOR TEACHERS
West Virginia Reading First Explicit Phonics Lessons: http://hickmank12.org/west-
Texas Reading First Fluency Folders:
Intervention Central (Graphing Tier II and Tier III Progress)