Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) & Response to Intervention (RtI)

Multi-tiered models of support are decision-making frameworks intended to allow educators to evaluate the overall health of their educational system by examining data on all students (general and special education) as well as identifying students who need additional supports. Those supports are provided in both small group and individual settings, and measured to determine if these supports are making a difference in improving children’s acquisition of essential developmental skills.

A multi-tiered framework is typically made up of five key components:

  • Evidence-Based Curriculum and Instruction provided at the Universal level
  • Universal Screening, three times per year
  • Evidence-based, instructional interventions at the Targeted and Intensive levels shall be provided to each student who needs them
  • Progress Monitoring Data collected and used to guide instruction
  • Data-Based Decision Making


An MTSS/RtI approach is generally defined as a three-tiered model of school supports that uses research-based academic and/or behavioral interventions.

  • Tier I – Whole Group Instruction
    • All students receive Tier I instruction
    • Screened on a periodic basis
  • Tier II – Small Group Instruction
    • Targeted intervention
    • Increased level of instruction
  • Tier III – Intensive Intervention
    • Individualized plans for at-risk children
    • Frequently monitor effects of intervention

Response to Intervention (RtI) Multi-tier system of support