School Age Diagnosis: Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)


MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports):

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a term used to describe an evidence-based model of schooling that uses data- based problem solving to integrate academic and behavioral instruction and intervention. The integrated instruction and intervention is provided to students at varying levels of intensity based on student need. The goal is to prevent problems and intervene early so that students can be successful. Supplemental (Tier 2) refers to the interventions that are provided to small groups of students who need more support than they are receiving in Core (Tier 1). Intensive (Tier 3) refers to interventions that are provided to individual students. The Tiers are better known as core, supplemental, and intensive support. Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a more accurate term than Response to Intervention that refers to one seamless framework that provides varying levels of academic and behavior supports to students based upon their need. The term RtI has often been used to refer to the MTSS framework. RtI more appropriately refers to the fourth step of the
planning/problem solving process. We like to think of RtI as a crucial facet of a broader Multi- Tiered System of Supports.

How does MTSS help the person with a disability or family support system?

MTSS seeks to integrate academic and behavioral instruction and intervention. The integrated instruction and intervention is delivered to students in varying intensities. These varying levels of intensities are known as Core (Tier 1), Supplemental (Tier 2), and Intensive (Tier 3). Core (Tier 1) refers to the high quality instruction that is provided to all students in the general education classroom.

What is the referral process? Or, how may a parent/caregiver gain access to this service? What do I do if I believe my child is struggling? You might want to consider doing one or more of the following:

  • Talk with your child’s teacher.
  • Review and assist with homework assignments.
  • Ask for regular progress monitoring reports.
  • Celebrate your child’s successes.
  • Learn more about the curriculum, assessments, and interventions being used in your child’s school.
  • Participate in conferences and other meetings about your child.

What Can I Expect with MTSS? You can expect the following:

  • Frequent updates of student progress.
  • Early identification of academic or behavioral concerns at the first signs of difficulty.
  • Help for your child that increases or decreases depending on his or her needs.
  • Information and involvement in planning and providing interventions to help your child.
  • Information about how your child is responding to the interventions being provided. As a parent, you have the opportunity to support your child with the interventions that are in place.
    You will be informed about how your child is responding to the intervention and the progress your child is making. As a parent you also have the right to request an evaluation at any time during the Problem Solving/School Based Team process. The Problem Solving/School Based Team will meet together with the Child Study Team to consider the request within 30 calendar days.
Click Image above for the Florida MTSS Video

Recommended websites, YouTube videos, books on this topic? Florida Dept. of Education Parent Resource page on MTSS Click Here Palm Beach County MTSS website Click Here

Are there any questions or observations you would recommend parents to investigate before requesting a MTSS meeting?

Families play a critical role in supporting what their children are learning in school. The more parents are involved in student learning, the higher the student achievement. Ask the following questions to learn more about MTSS in your child’s school:

  • Is my child successful? How do I know? If not, why and what can we do differently?
  • If needed, how is additional help going to be provided? By whom? How often? For how long?
  • What can I do to participate in problem solving about my child?
  • What can I do to help with interventions for my child at home?
  • How will I know if interventions are working?


Florida Department of Education. Florida Multi-Tiered System of Supports

School District of Palm Beach County Safe Schools. School Based Teams

Information provided by School District of Palm Beach County and Florida Department of Education