What is MTSS?
Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework that uses problem-solving and data to identify student needs and guide decision making. MTSS strives to accelerate the performance of all students. MTSS integrates academic and behavioral instruction, as well as interventions to help provide support for struggling students. MTSS is not special education, but a way to intervene early so that all students can be successful, providing interventions and support that can be adjusted depending on a student’s progress.
The MTSS process in Marion County uses four levels of instruction that build on one another. Each level provides a more intensive “tier” of support than the previous level. MTSS is implemented at all grade levels with the goal of preparing all of our students to be college and career ready.
The student’s progress toward meeting grade-level academic and/or behavioral goals will be monitored throughout the school year and an individual student’s tier level can be adjusted as needed.
A Tiered Model
Tier 1 – Core Instruction
The instruction that students receive in the general education classroom with their classroom teacher is called Tier 1 Core Instruction. It is expected that whole-group instruction, supplemented with differentiation within the classroom, should meet the needs of all students. Student mastery of the core curriculum will be monitored using universal screenings including state or district-wide assessments.
Tier 2 – Core Instruction & Targeted Interventions
Students not making adequate progress in Tier 1 are provided with more intensive services and interventions. These students continue to receive the core curriculum in addition to targeted interventions, generally delivered in small groups during the student’s regular school day. Tier 2 instruction includes careful monitoring and charting of the progress each student is making.
Tier 3 – Core Instruction & Intensive Interventions
Students receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the student’s skill deficits. Progress is monitored and charted frequently to make sure the student is doing well and to help the teacher decide whether he or she needs to make changes in instruction. Students who do not respond to these targeted interventions could be considered for eligibility under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Benefits of MTSS
- Reduces the time a student waits before receiving additional instructional assistance, including special education, if needed.
- Reduces the overall number of students referred for special education services and increases the number of students who succeed within general education.
- Provides critical information about the instructional needs of the student, which can be used to create effective educational interventions.
- Limits the amount of unnecessary testing that has little or no instructional relevance.
- Ensures that students receive appropriate instruction, particularly in reading, prior to placement in special education.
- School-wide screening is used to determine which students need closer monitoring or additional interventions.
- Uses collaborative problem solving to develop, implement, and monitor interventions.
- Continuously monitors student progress to determine if instruction/interventions are effective in meeting the needs of the student.
- Allows parent involvement throughout the process.
- Provides formal follow-up to ensure that the instruction/interventions were implemented as planned.
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