MTSS: Multi-Tiered System of Support

Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS)

What is Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS)?

Response to Instruction (RtI) also referred to as Response to Intervention is a process designed to help schools focus on high-quality instruction that is matched to student needs and is monitored on a frequent basis.  School personnel use research and data to adapt instruction and to make educational program decisions for students.  This enables us to promote continuing academic and behavioral success in Elmhurst District 205 for ALL students.

What are the essential components of MTSS?

  • Students receive high-quality, research-based  instruction in their general education setting.
  • General education instructors and staff assume an active role in students' assessment in that curriculum.
  • School staff conduct universal screening of academics and behavior to determine which students need extension opportunities and which students need additional interventions and monitoring. 
  • Multiple tiers of increasingly intense, research-based instruction and interventions are matched to student need.
  • Use of a collaborative team for development, implementation, and monitoring of the instruction and interventions at each tier
  • Continuous monitoring of student progress during instruction and interventions, using formative progress monitoring data to determine if students are meeting goals
  • Follow-up measures to ensure instructions and interventions are implemented as intended and with consistency.
  • Documentation of parent involvement throughout the process.

 What is our MTSS Process?

Our system of RtI is layered into three tiers of academic and behavioral instruction explained below.

 RTI triangle.JPG

Tier 1:  Core Curriculum

  • All Students
  • Whole Group/Core Instruction/Enrichment
  • Flexible Grouping

Tier 2 Small Group Interventions

  • For Some Students (At Risk)
  • In Addition to Tier 1

Tier 3 Intensive Interventions

  • For a Very Small # of Students
  • In Addition to Tier 1 and Tier 2
  • Individual Problem Solving May Occur

What are the benefits of RtI?

One of the strongest benefits of an RtI approach is that it eliminates a “wait to fail” situation because students get assistance at their level of need promptly within the general education setting.  Additional benefits include the following:

  • Progress monitoring data drive instructional and intervention changes and keep teachers and parents informed on an ongoing basis regarding a student’s response to instruction and intervention.
  • Data regarding student progress are presented in a graphed format that is easy to understand.
  • A multi-tiered system of supports provides flexibility to access interventions or enrichment as needed.  For example, if data show progress, a student can move from Tier 1 to Tier 2 and back to Tier 1 within a relatively short period of time.

Universal Screening

Universal Screening is an assessment process typically completed in the fall, winter (for K-5 only), and spring of each school year.  Students are given quick, accurate indicators of reading and math success to determine which students are “at risk” for not meeting grade level standards.  The students whose assessment scores fall below a certain cut score, or benchmark, are identified as needing additional academic interventions.

An example in the area of reading is as follows:  A strong indicator of reading success is taking a one-minute sample of oral reading fluency and determining the number of correct words read per minute and the number of errors.  This type of assessment is known as reading curriculum based measurement, or R-CBM.  R-CBM is reading wellness check.  Information from MAP testing also is used to assess student progress and growth in basic reading and math skills. 

Grade level and department level teams examine Screening data in relation to core instruction and form and modify small instructional groups by using decision rules, which are standardized criteria that assist staff in making important educational decisions.  This allows teams to consistently determine level of needs and set goals for tier 1, as well as tier 2 and tier 3 groups.

Teams determine first whether or not instruction at Tier 1 is meeting the needs of the majority of students.  If the majority of students’ needs are not being met within Tier 1, changes and/or improvements in core curriculum and instruction should occur immediately. Then, students in need of additional group level Tier 2 or Tier 3 supports are identified.  These students are grouped based on common academic and/or behavioral needs and their needs are matched to appropriate interventions.  These interventions can begin immediately.  Because this process is part of general education, there is no legal requirement for formal parental consent.  However, it is critical that parents be informed and involved in the process.