Multi-Tier Systems of Support

What is MTSS?

Guide to MTSS (Downloadable PDF)

A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) integrates all students. It is a process that provides high-quality, research-based
instruction based on learner needs. Needs are identified by monitoring students’ progress. 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. MTSS was previously referred to
as Response to Intervention.

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
• 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

Key MTSS Terms
Multi-Tiered System of Support provides different levels of instruction based on student needs.
• Tier 1 (low risk) consists of the core curriculum and should meet the needs of approximately 80% of students
• Tier 2 (some risk) is aimed to provide a focused intervention for students who are not fully responding to core instruction.
Up to15% of students may require small group instruction designed to supplement the core curriculum
• Tier 3 (high risk) is the most intensive level of intervention. Approximately 5% of students may need this level of individual
or small group intervention
Universal Screening: A procedure in which all students are given an academic screening assessment three times per year for
the purpose of identifying those students in need of specialized interventions.
Progress-Monitoring: A practice used to frequently assess students’ academic progress to determine effectiveness of
Response to Intervention (RtI): A specific, legal means to qualify a student for special education services that can be an
outgrowth of a Multi-Tiered System of Support.

What is the Role of the Parent/Guardian in MTSS?

Parents play a critical role in supporting what their children are learning in school. Research is clear that the more parents are
involved in student learning, the higher the student achievement. Parents can be involved in the process by communicating any
concerns to the child’s teacher, providing insight into their child’s learning and development and assisting with identified
interventions at home.


Oakridge Public Schools MTSS District Plan : MTSS-District Plan

A Parent’s Guide to Response to Intervention. Available online at:
Response to Intervention(RTI): A Primer for Parents. Available online at:
Montana Office of Public Instruction RtI/MTSS website. Available online at: