MTSS Basics

    Multi Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a collaborative, evidence-based, approach to differentiating and personalizing instruction and intervention, across academics and behavior for all students—so that every student can achieve academic and life success.

    MTSS is one of the most effective ways to provide an equitable educational experience, because it leverages collective knowledge and expertise to help teachers understand their learners needs and make informed and strategic decisions that best support them.

    MTSS begins with teachers assessing the skills of everyone in the class, to proactively identify who may need additional support in an area (e.g. reading, math, behavior). Students then receive support (research-based, targeted instruction or intervention) matched both to their skills and level of need. Those students’ progress is monitored closely to ensure that the additional support is helping. If the achievement gap has resolved, the additional support in that area is no longer required; if it does not improve, then the level of personalization increases, further problem solving to understand why each student struggles, and to design a customized plan to support their needs in a defined and systematic way.

    MTSS is not new. There are a many academic experts and learning scientists ready to share the do’s and don’ts of supporting the diversity of student learning needs. There are 1000s of research-backed interventions to choose from, tons of best practices to keep in mind, and so many data points to inform our data driven decision making. There is tremendous evidence supporting the power of an effective MTSS system to improve student outcomes for struggling learners, but there is also solidly convincing research that it improves student outcomes for ALL learners. A rising tide raises all boats.

    For more information on the distinctions between Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), consider watching this webinar hosted by the Center for Intensive Intervention: MTSS, RTI, Special Education…OH My! Gaining an understanding of MTSS and RTI from Drs. Lynn Fuchs and Joe Jenkins.

    < a href="" target="_blank"> Multi Tiered System of Supports

    MTSS, RTI, Special Education…OH My! Gaining an understanding of MTSS and RTI from Drs. Lynn Fuchs and Joe Jenkins.

    Here is the blurb associated with their webinar: Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) are frameworks for integrating instruction, evidence-based interventions, and assessments to meet the academic and behavior needs of all students. The essential components of MTSS are as follows: screening, progress monitoring, a multilevel prevention system, and data-based decision making (National Center on Response to Intervention, 2010). When MTSS is implemented with fidelity, success and improvement in performance occur among students with disabilities, as well as students who are at risk for academic failure (Gersten et al., 2012; Vaughn et al., 2015). Unfortunately, many educators and parents do not fully understand how to collect data and identify interventions to use within MTSS. This video includes a discussion with MTSS experts Lynn Fuchs and Joe Jenkins. In this video they discuss RTI and MTSS. Together they have decades of experience in the field of education and have conducted extensive research in the areas of MTSS and RTI.

    Drs. Fuchs and Jenkins address the following questions:

    • A lot of terms are used to discuss tiered systems. Are RTI and MTSS the same thing? How are they similar, and how are they different?

    • How has MTSS changed the landscape of education?

    • What are the essential components of an MTSS framework, and what challenges do schools face when implementing them?

    • What advice would you provide to school administrators, educators, and parents regarding MTSS implementation?

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    October 29, 2019

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