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Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

Sunset Ridge District 29 Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) 



A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a whole-school, prevention-based framework that is focused on improving learning outcomes for every student through a layered continuum of evidence-based practices and systems that provides access to increasingly intense levels of instruction and interventions. Educators engage in data-based decision-making related to high-quality instruction and intervention, social and emotional learning, and positive behavioral supports to ensure positive outcomes for students. 

At full implementation, a robust multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) should be a system of stakeholders collaborating regularly to:

• Identify and respond to diverse student behavioral and learning needs
• Empower students to learn in the least restrictive environment possible
• Empower staff to deliver high-quality instruction in the least restrictive environment for students



  • MTSS Cycle

    Robust Core & Differentiated Instruction

    • Instruction for all students begins with the core curriculum and the Common Core State Standards. High-quality core instruction meets the needs of most students. Because students learn differently and in different ways, the core curriculum is differentiated to respond to student learning, social-emotional and behavioral needs. 

    Consistent Universal Screenings and Standards-Based Assessments

    • Universal screenings and benchmarking assessments are given 2-3 times a school year, depending on grade level. Student performance is compared to national and local norms to identify students that might be at risk and performing below the expected norms for their grade level. Classroom assessment data and observational data are also reviewed. The student data is then analyzed by teams in order to determine if the core is meeting the student’s needs.

    Creation of Student Support/Intervention Plans

    • Student intervention plans are created for students with academic, social-emotional, or behavioral needs as identified by assessment and observational data. A goal is set and an intervention is put into place to address the individual student's need. Interventions are meant to be short in duration with the goal being student progress so that they no longer require the intervention.

    Frequent Progress Monitoring

    • Student progress in the intervention is monitored frequently (every 1-3 weeks) to determine if the intervention is successful and if the student is making growth. 

    Interpret Data and Adjust Instruction

    • After 6-12 weeks of the intervention, student data is analyzed to determine if the student has met the goal and has demonstrated enough progress to be moved out of the intervention (back into general education), or continue with the intervention if they are approaching the goal. The intervention may also need to be adjusted or intensified at this time if the student is not making the expected level of progress. 

    Case Study Evaluation

    • If a student has received 3-4 rounds of intervention and has not made expected progress in the intervention, the school team may recommend that additional data be collected in order to determine if the student is eligible for special education services due to a disability. This is referred to as a comprehensive case study evaluation and parents are part of the team that makes this determination.