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Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS): Everything You Need to Know

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is a framework that schools use to provide targeted support to students who need it. MTSS is based on the idea that all students can succeed, but that some students need more support than others.

What is MTSS?

MTSS stands for Multi-Tiered System of Supports. It is a framework that schools use to provide targeted support to students who need it. MTSS is based on the idea that all students can succeed, but that some students need more support than others.

MTSS uses a tiered approach to support students. Tier 1 is the universal level of support that all students receive. This includes high-quality instruction, differentiated instruction, and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS). Tier 2 is for students who need additional support to succeed. This may include small group instruction, after-school tutoring, or social-emotional learning programs. Tier 3 is for students who need the most intensive level of support. This may include one-on-one instruction, specialized services (e.g., speech therapy, occupational therapy), or counseling.

Why is MTSS important?

MTSS is important because it helps to ensure that all students have the support they need to succeed. MTSS is a proactive approach to supporting students, which means that schools are able to identify and address student needs early on. This can help to prevent students from falling behind and needing more intensive interventions later on.

MTSS is also important because it is a data-driven approach to supporting students. Schools use data to identify students who need support, to monitor their progress, and to make adjustments to their interventions as needed. This helps to ensure that students are receiving the most effective support possible.

Benefits of MTSS

There are many benefits to using MTSS in schools. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Improved student outcomes: MTSS has been shown to improve student outcomes in academics, behavior, and social-emotional development.
  • Reduced need for special education: MTSS can help to reduce the need for special education by providing early and targeted support to students who need it.
  • Increased teacher satisfaction: MTSS can help to increase teacher satisfaction by providing teachers with the tools and resources they need to support all students.
  • Improved school climate: MTSS can help to improve school climate by creating a more supportive and inclusive environment for all students.

Overall, MTSS is a valuable tool that schools can use to help all students succeed. It is a proactive, data-driven, and personalized approach to supporting students.

The three tiers of MTSS

The three tiers of MTSS are:

Tier 1: Universal interventions

Tier 1 interventions are provided to all students in the school, regardless of their academic or behavioral needs. These interventions are designed to create a positive learning environment and to provide all students with the opportunity to succeed. Examples of Tier 1 interventions include:

  • High-quality instruction
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS)
  • Social-emotional learning programs

Tier 2: Targeted interventions

Tier 2 interventions are provided to students who need additional support to succeed. These interventions are more specific and focused than Tier 1 interventions, and they are designed to address the individual needs of each student. Examples of Tier 2 interventions include:

  • Small group instruction
  • After-school tutoring
  • Social-emotional learning programs
  • Behavioral intervention plans (BIPs)

Tier 3: Intensive interventions

Tier 3 interventions are provided to students who need the most intensive level of support. These interventions are highly individualized and are designed to help students achieve their academic and behavioral goals. Examples of Tier 3 interventions include:

  • One-on-one instruction
  • Specialized services (e.g., speech therapy, occupational therapy)
  • Counseling

MTSS is a data-driven approach to supporting students. Schools use data to identify students who need support, to monitor their progress, and to make adjustments to their interventions as needed. This helps to ensure that students are receiving the most effective support possible.

Here is an example of how MTSS might be used to support a student who is struggling in reading:

  • Tier 1: The student’s teacher provides differentiated instruction in reading, such as using small group instruction and providing the student with additional support during independent practice.
  • Tier 2: The student receives small group tutoring in reading from a reading specialist.
  • Tier 3: The student receives one-on-one instruction in reading from a reading specialist.

If the student is not making progress at any tier, the school team will meet to discuss the student’s needs and make adjustments to the student’s intervention plan.

MTSS is a valuable tool that schools can use to help all students succeed. It is a proactive, data-driven, and personalized approach to supporting students.

Examples of MTSS interventions

Here are some specific examples of MTSS interventions:

Tier 1

  • Differentiated instruction: This involves providing students with different learning experiences and activities based on their individual needs and readiness levels. For example, a teacher might provide a more challenging reading passage to a student who is reading above grade level, or they might provide a student who is struggling with math with more support during independent practice.
  • Small group instruction: This involves working with a small group of students who need additional support in a particular area. For example, a teacher might provide small group instruction in reading to a group of students who are struggling to read fluently.
  • Positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS): This is a framework for creating a positive school climate and teaching students appropriate behavior. PBIS typically includes clear expectations for behavior, positive reinforcement for good behavior, and consistent consequences for misbehavior.

Tier 2

  • After-school tutoring: This involves providing students with additional instruction in a particular area outside of the regular school day. For example, a school might offer after-school tutoring in reading for students who are struggling to meet grade level standards.
  • Social-emotional learning programs: These programs teach students important skills such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
  • Behavioral intervention plans (BIPs): These plans are developed for students who are struggling with behavior problems. BIPs typically include specific goals, interventions, and data collection procedures.

Tier 3

  • One-on-one instruction: This involves working with a student individually to provide them with the support they need to succeed. For example, a reading specialist might provide one-on-one instruction to a student who is struggling to read.
  • Specialized services: These services are provided by professionals such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, and counselors. Specialized services can help students who have a variety of disabilities and challenges.
  • Counseling: This can help students with a variety of social-emotional concerns, such as anxiety, depression, and bullying.

It is important to note that these are just a few examples of MTSS interventions. There are many other interventions that can be used at each tier. The specific interventions that are used will vary depending on the needs of the students and the resources that are available.

How to implement MTSS in your school

To implement MTSS in your school, you can follow these steps:

  1. Conduct a needs assessment to identify the needs of your students. This can be done by collecting data on student achievement, behavior, and social-emotional development. You can also collect data from teachers, parents, and other stakeholders to get their input on the needs of the students.
  2. Develop a team to implement MTSS. This team should include representatives from all levels of the school, such as administrators, teachers, counselors, and parents. The team will be responsible for developing the MTSS plan, implementing the interventions, and monitoring progress.
  3. Select evidence-based interventions. When selecting interventions, it is important to choose interventions that have been shown to be effective in research. You should also consider the needs of your students and the resources that are available to you.
  4. Provide training for staff. All staff members should be trained on MTSS, including the principles of MTSS, the interventions that are being used, and how to collect and use data to monitor progress.
  5. Monitor progress and make adjustments as needed. It is important to monitor student progress regularly to determine if the interventions are working. If students are not making progress, the team will need to make adjustments to the intervention plan.

Here are some additional tips for implementing MTSS in your school:

  • Make sure that everyone in the school is invested in MTSS. This includes administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and students.
  • Start small and scale up over time. It is better to start with a few high-quality interventions than to try to do too much at once.
  • Be patient and persistent. It takes time to implement MTSS effectively and to see results.

MTSS is a valuable tool that schools can use to help all students succeed. By following the steps above, you can implement MTSS in your school and start to see the benefits for your students.

Conclusion

MTSS is a powerful tool that schools can use to help all students succeed. By providing targeted support to students who need it, MTSS can help to reduce the achievement gap and create a more inclusive school environment.

If you are interested in learning more about MTSS, I encourage you to visit the resources listed above. You can also contact your state or district department of education for more information.

Summary of the key benefits of MTSS:

  • Improved student outcomes
  • Reduced need for special education
  • Increased teacher satisfaction
  • Improved school climate

Frequently Asked Questions about MTSS

Q: What is MTSS?

A: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is a framework that schools use to provide targeted support to students who need it. MTSS is based on the idea that all students can succeed, but that some students need more support than others.

Q: How does MTSS work?

A: MTSS uses a tiered approach to support students. Tier 1 is the universal level of support that all students receive. This includes high-quality instruction, differentiated instruction, and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS). Tier 2 is for students who need additional support to succeed. This may include small group instruction, after-school tutoring, or social-emotional learning programs. Tier 3 is for students who need the most intensive level of support. This may include one-on-one instruction, specialized services (e.g., speech therapy, occupational therapy), or counseling.

Q: How are students identified for MTSS supports?

A: Students are identified for MTSS supports through a variety of methods, including:

  • Universal screening: All students are screened at regular intervals to identify those who may be at risk for academic or behavioral problems.
  • Teacher and parent referrals: Teachers and parents can refer students for MTSS supports if they are concerned about the student’s progress.
  • Data analysis: Schools use data on student achievement, behavior, and social-emotional development to identify students who may need support.

Q: What are the benefits of MTSS?

A: MTSS has many benefits for students, teachers, and schools. For students, MTSS can help to improve academic achievement, reduce behavioral problems, and increase social-emotional well-being. For teachers, MTSS can help to reduce stress and burnout, and increase job satisfaction. For schools, MTSS can help to improve overall school climate and culture.

Q: How can parents get involved in MTSS?

A: Parents can get involved in MTSS by:

  • Talking to their child’s teacher about MTSS
  • Reviewing their child’s MTSS progress data
  • Providing feedback on the MTSS interventions that their child is receiving
  • Helping their child to implement MTSS strategies at home

If you have any other questions about MTSS, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school.

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