Multi-Tiered System of Supports

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), also known as Response to Intervention (RtI) is a proven practice to help schools identify and address the needs of all learners.

What is MTSS?

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), also known as Response to Intervention (RtI) is a proven practice to help schools identify, and address the needs of struggling readers as well as students who are on track to read proficiently. This is accomplished by setting up an early warning system, adapting instruction to fit those students’ individual needs, and then monitoring their progress.

MTSS focuses on three tiers of instruction and intervention:

  • Universal: For every student
  • Targeted: For students who are either struggling or need to be accelerated
  • Intensive: For students who are significantly behind and where targeted intervention did not result in desired progress

Using the MTSS framework educators examine data on all students and identify students who need additional supports. Additional support can be provided in small group settings and one-on-one. Progress is monitored and results are measured to determine if the additional supports are making a difference.

The Five Components of Iowa's MTSS Framework

The Iowa MTSS framework is made up of five components.

  1. Universal Evidence-Based Curriculum and Instruction
  2. Universal Screening 3x per year
  3. Targeted and Intensive Evidence-based Interventions
  4. Progress Monitoring
  5. Data-Based Decision Making

View details about the Key Components of MTSS

Visit the Iowa Department of Education website for more information on Iowa's MTSS Framework.

MTSS and Continuous School Improvement

The Iowa MTSS framework is part of a continuous school improvement process. A ten-question framework helps schools engage in this process and think about their local needs within a data-based decision-making framework. Click here to view these questions.