Multi Tiered System of Support

What is MTSS- Multi Tiered System? 

Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is an educational framework designed to provide targeted support to all students. It aims to address the academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of students through a layered approach of increasingly intensive interventions. Here’s an overview of the key components and principles of MTSS:

Tiered Intervention System

Tier 1 Universal Interventions- High-quality classroom instruction and universal screening for all students. This tier focuses on delivering core curriculum and instruction that is evidence-based and effective for the majority of students.   

Tier 2 Targeted Interventions- Additional support for students who are not meeting benchmarks through small group interventions. These interventions are more focused and specific than those in Tier 1.

Tier 3 Intensive Interventions- Individualized and intensive interventions for students who demonstrate significant needs. This tier often involves one-on-one support and tailored instructional strategies.

MTSS Cycle

Helpful Links 

MTSS Facts for Families

Branching Minds


Response to Intervention

Multi-Tiered System of Supports

Academic interventions.


Identify and support students with learning and behavior needs.


Usually involves a three-tiered model of intervention, focusing primarily on reading and math.

Provide a comprehensive framework that addresses the whole child, including academic, behavioral, social-emotional, and sometimes even health needs.


A broader, integrated system that includes RTI for academic support and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for behavioral support, among other components.



Tier 1: Universal instruction for all students.


Tier 2: Targeted group interventions for students who need more support.


Tier 3: Intensive, individualized interventions for students with significant needs.



Tier 1: Universal supports for all students (academic, behavioral, social-emotional).


Tier 2: Targeted supports for groups of students with additional needs.


Tier 3: Intensive, individualized supports for students with significant needs across multiple areas (not just academics).

Data and Assessment


Relies heavily on data-driven decision-making to identify students at risk, monitor progress, and determine the effectiveness of interventions.


Frequent assessments and progress monitoring in academic areas.

Data and Assessment


Utilizes a variety of data sources, including academic performance, behavior data, attendance, and social-emotional assessments.


Data is used to guide interventions and supports in multiple domains.

Collaboration and Implementation


Typically involves collaboration among general education teachers, special education teachers, and specialists.


Focuses on implementing academic interventions within the general education classroom.

Collaboration and Implementation


Emphasizes collaboration among a broader range of stakeholders, including general education teachers, special education teachers, specialists, counselors, administrators, and families.


Supports a school-wide approach to addressing the needs of all students.

Overall Approach


A more focused approach on identifying and intervening with students who have academic difficulties.


Often considered a component of MTSS.

Overall Approach


A holistic approach to supporting students, integrating academic, behavioral, social-emotional, and other needs into a single framework.


RTSS is seen as a subset within the larger MTSS framework.