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Multi-Tiered System of Supports

What is a Multi-Tiered System of Support?

California’s MTSS focuses on aligning initiatives and resources within an educational organization to address the needs of all students. It is an integrated, comprehensive framework for local educational agencies (LEA) that aligns academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning in a fully integrated system of support for the benefit of all students. MTSS offers the potential to create systematic change through the intentional integration of services and supports to quickly identify and meet the needs of all students.

Through the use of Implementation Science, Universal Design for Learning, and the Whole Child approach, among other evidence-based interventions, MTSS affords a full range of academic, behavioral, and social support for all students to achieve.

Source: CDE Multi-Tier Systems of Support

The following core components are key aspects of MTSS frameworks: 

  1. High-quality, differentiated classroom instruction. All students receive high-quality, standards-based (with a focus on CCSS), culturally and linguistically relevant instruction in their general education classroom settings by highly qualified teachers, who have high academic and behavioral expectations, attained through differentiated learning instructional strategies, such as Universal Design for Learning.
  2. Systemic and sustainable change. MTSS principles promote continuous improvement processes at all levels of the system (district, school site, and grade/course levels). Collaborative restructuring efforts made to align RtI2, and CCSS, identify key initiatives, collect, analyze, review data, and implement supports and strategies based on data are then refined as necessary to sustain effective processes. 
  3. Integrated data system. District and site staff collaborate to create an Integrated data collection system that includes assessments such as state tests, universal screening, diagnostics, progress monitoring, and teacher observations at the site to inform decisions about tiered support placement, as well as data collection methods such as parent surveys for continuous systemic improvement. 
  4. Positive behavioral support. District and school staff collaboratively select and implement schoolwide, classroom, and research-based positive behavioral supports for achieving important social and learning outcomes. A strong focus on integrating instructional and intervention strategies support systemic changes based on strong, predictable, and consistent classroom management structures across the entire system.