Multi-Tiered System of Support, MTSS

  • What is a Multi-Tiered System of Support?

    You may hear your child’s school refer to developing “MTSS” or a Multi-Tiered System of Support/Integrated Academic and Behavior Supports. By definition, MTSS is a tiered framework, which promotes total school improvement through engaging, research-based academic and behavioral practices. North Carolina employs a systems approach, using data-driven problem solving tomaximize growth for all students. 

    So, what does this REALLY mean?

    Layering of Support It means that ALL students will be provided core instruction needed to make progress towards attaining standards-based proficiency.  The school-based MTSS team will monitor to make sure instructional practices are being used effectively. When groups of students or individual students are not making satisfactory progress, then the school MTSS team will review delivery of instruction, the curriculum, and the environment in order to consider changes necessary to meet the needs of the students. Some students will need changes such as a supplemental layer of support in addition to and connected to core instruction. Again, based on a review of data, a few students will need core, supplemental and intensive layers of support to make growth and progress towards standards. 

    Parent Engagement Impacts MTSS-WHAT IS PARENT and FAMILY ENGAGEMENT?

    Parent engagement is defined* as a regular, two-way, and meaningful communication about student learning, and other school activities, including:

    • Assisting in their child’s learning by engaging with school personnel;
    • Being actively involved in their child’s education at school;
    • Serving as full partners in their child’s education and being included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory boards or committees to assist in the education of their child; and The carrying out of other activities such as those described in section 1116 of ESSA and Public Law 107-110, Title IX, Section (9109 (32).
    • When children are struggling at school, it is important to find out why and to identify supports that are matched to their needs. If you suspect your child is a child with a disability and may need special education services, you have the right to request a full and individual evaluation.


    • MTSS is a total school improvement framework. A high level of family involvement is one of the common characteristics of high-performing schools (Henderson & Mapp, 2002.)
    • Schools that implement an MTSS examine data around attendance, behavior and academic success. Students with involved parents, no matter what their income or background, are more likely to:
      • Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs
      • Be promoted and earn credits
      • Attend school regularly

    *Summarized from Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 2015; For more information-


    • All staff and students are part of a multi-tiered system of support.
    • MTSS utilizes a systematic problem-solving model to analyze multiple pieces of information to determine how all students are responding to classroom instruction.
    • School teams look at instructional practices, curriculum and environment to ensure students get the help they need when they need it.
    • MTSS is a layering of academic and behavior supports. Additional support is added as needed. 
    • All students have access to all layers of instructional support. Instruction increases in intensity as layers are added.

    *NCDPI SEA Livebinder link


MTSS File Library