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A Multi-Tiered System of Supports: High Quality Instruction for All

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a proven practice to help schools identify and address the needs of all students to ensure all students learn at high levels. This is accomplished through ensuring high quality universal core instruction and assessment, adapting instruction to fit those students’ individual needs, and then monitoring student progress.

A multi-tiered system of supports is a process that provides high-quality, evidence-based instruction based on learner needs. Student needs are identified by monitoring students’ progress over time. Adjustments to instruction and interventions are based on students’ performance and rate of success. MTSS promotes a well-integrated system, connecting general, gifted, and special education with intervention and enrichment services. MTSS provides high-quality, standards-based instruction and intervention that is matched to students’ academic, social and behavioral needs.

Key Principles of MTSS

  • Intervene early
  • Use a multi-tiered model of service delivery
  • Match instruction to the learners’ needs
  • Use progress-monitoring data to change instruction within each tier
  • Use research-based interventions and instruction
  • Monitor student-progress frequently
  • Employ practices to ensure that interventions are implemented consistently and correctly
  • Document and encourage parental-involvement in all steps of the process

Potential Benefits of MTSS

  • Improves education for ALL students
  • Eliminates the “wait to fail” situation that prevents at-risk students from receiving services earlier rather than later
  • Allows for differentiation for students who have already mastered core standards
  • Provides instructionally relevant, easily understood information through progress-monitoring techniques
  • Allows us to know what works NOW to improve students’ skills
  • Encourages collaboration among educators, families and community-members

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