Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

Improving student academic and behavior outcomes is about ensuring all students have access to the most effective and accurately implemented instructional and behavioral practices and interventions possible.  Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework to provide ALL students with the best opportunities to succeed academically and behaviorally in school.  In a Multi-Tiered System of Supports, three tiers of instruction are typically implemented to address the needs of the student population in the areas of academics AND behavior. This three-tiered approach allows for the delivery of high-quality, consistent curriculum to all students, by providing high quality instruction and interventions matched to student need.  Progress is monitored frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals.  Data are used to allocate resources to improve students’ learning and support staff implementation of effective practices.  

Michigan Department of Education has defined MTSS and included eleven essential elements to help clarify the definition. In order to be an effective and efficient system, all eleven elements must be present. 

To simplify the eleven elements they have been combined together to form five cluster areas. Each cluster area and the elements it comprises are below:

Instruction and Interventions

  • Implement effective instruction for all learners
  • Intervene early
  • Provide a multi-tiered model of instruction and intervention

Data and Assessment

  • Monitor Student Progress to inform instruction
  • Use data to make instructional decisions
  • Use assessments for three purposes: universal screening, diagnostics, and progress monitoring

Stakeholder/Family Engagement

  • Engage Parents and Community

Implementation of Evidence Based Practices

  • Assure a research-based core curriculum (aligned with Michigan’s state standards)
  • Implement research/evidence-based, scientifically validated, instruction/interventions
  • Implement with fidelity

Problem Solving

  • Utilize a collaborative problem solving model