MTSS systematically employs universal screening, progress monitoring, and data-based decision making to deliver academic, behavioral, and social-emotional instruction that addresses the needs of the whole child. In addition to the Tier 1 core curriculum, Tier 2 and Tier 3 level supports offer increasingly intensive instruction and intervention. Support ranges from supplemental targeted, small group interventions to intensive individualized support.

  • Tier 1: Tier 1 is designed to meet the needs of most students through the delivery of research-based academic, behavioral, and social-emotional instruction.LinkClick.aspx
  • Tier 2: Some students will require more support to be successful with the core curriculum. For these students, supplemental Tier 2 instruction and interventions deliver evidence-based support targeted to specific skill deficits.
  • Tier 3: A few students will require more intensive, individualized support in addition to the core curriculum. Tier 3 supports provide intensive individualized evidence-based interventions.


Tiered Delivery of Support

Tiered support is delivered through the systemic use of screening, progress monitoring, and data-based decision making.

  • Universal Screening: Systematic screening is conducted to identify students who are at-risk for poor academic, behavioral, or social-emotional outcomes and who may need additional support.
  • Progress-Monitoring: Student progress is used to assess student performance and rate of improvement. Progress monitoring is used to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction and interventions and evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
  • Data-Based Decision Making: Implementation teams at the district, school, and student level use screening and progress monitoring data to make decisions about instruction and intervention delivery. Fidelity data are regularly reviewed to evaluate the accuracy of instruction and intervention.


Schoolwide Implementation

Tier 1: Universal Instruction and Supports 


Robust high quality research- based instruction and classroom management is the foundation of the MTSS framework.  All students receive instruction in the core curriculum that is aligned with state standards.  Universal screening occurs three times a year.  Results are used to adjust instruction, improve student engagement, employ behavior support procedures and to guide differentiation of instruction.  With differentiation, most students (approximately 80%) can meet their learning targets at the Tier 1 level.


Tier 1 Building Implementation Team -- Responsibilities & Data Sources


Key Questions

  • Is the core curriculum supporting 80% of students (i.e., are 80% of students on grade level)?

  • Is the core curriculum supporting students equitably, across demographics, schools, grades, and classrooms?

Building Implementation Team (BIT)

The Building Implementation Team is responsible for developing and implementing systems of support for academics, behavior, and social emotional learning at the building level and for evaluating fidelity of implementation.

BIT Team Responsibilities

  • Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of academic instruction, schoolwide behavior support, social emotional learning, and classroom management.
  • Determine priorities for focus e.g. reading, math, behavior, Social Emotional Learning)
  • Communicate with grade level/ PLC teams on area of focus
  • Systems-level plan development, goal setting, and action steps for implementation
  • Create communication loops with PLC/grade-level teams and with Tier 2/3 teams if different than the BIT

Possible Building Implementation Team (BIT) Membership

  • Principal
  • Curriculum Support Specialist
  • Instructional Coach & Behavior Coach
  • School Psychologist
  • Teachers from each grade level (General & Special)
  • Interventionist
  • Counselor
  • Parent (Does not attend when confidential student/school data is discussed.)

Data Sources

  • Benchmark/academic screening, district assessments, state assessments, equity data, discipline referrals, fidelity measures (e.g. Tiered Fidelity Inventory, Self Assessment Survey, Reading- Tiered Fidelity Inventory)

Frequency of Data Collection/Data Review

  • Academic and behavior screening: Three times per year
  • Office Discipline Referrals: monthly


PLC’s, Grade Level, Subject Level Teams

Grade Level Team -- Responsibilities and Data Sources


The Grade Level/Subject Level/ PLC team is responsible for taking the system, support, or intervention developed for the MTSS and helping educators implement it for students in their specific grade or subject.  The team manages the programs and monitors data for students in a specific grade or subject level.  Each grade (or subject area) has its own team, ensuring the school-wide practices can be appropriately applied in each grade or group of students.


Key Questions

  • Which standards do our students do well in? Which do they struggle with?
  • Did we teach the standards?
  • Did we teach them in enough detail?
  • Did we teach them using best practices and strategies that reach diverse learners?


  • Review benchmark data on all students
  • Set goal for all students
  • Plan whole-class instruction
  • Plan differentiated instruction
  • Plan for logistics of instruction
  • Apply decision rules and pathways to sort students for intervention

Possible Grade-level, PLC, Subject Area Team Membership

  • Administrator (attends at least monthly)
  • Instructional coaches (e.g. reading, behavior)
  • Grade level or subject-specific general education teachers
  • Grade level or subject-specific special education teachers
  • Grade level of subject-specific interventionist(s)
  • Paraprofessionals if applicable

Data Sources

  • Benchmark/universal screening assessments, district assessments, discipline referrals, diagnostic assessments, grade-level formative assessments, progress monitoring data

Frequency of Data Collection/Data Review

  • Reading, Math, and Behavior data discussed monthly

* The Building Implementation Team develops and managed the systems to facilitate data analysis and data-based decision making, logistics of instruction and intervention implementation, and fidelity assessment.  Grade Level/ PLC teams engage in data-based  problem solving to plan and evaluate instruction and the "drill down" into student skills to provide information for differentiation and further support.  The emphasis within the MTSS framework is less about which team is assigned the task of data analysis and decision making but instead ensuring that these tasks are completed within the standardized protocol identified by the District Implementation Team.

Please see the MTSS Tier 1 Practice Profile and MTSS Essential Components documents for greater detail on each component of MTSS Tier 1


Source: Adapted from Michigan's MTSS Technical Assistance Center (MiMTSS)


Tier 2: Targeted Supplemental Interventions and Supports


Supplemental (Tier 2) academic and behavioral instruction/intervention is provided to students who need additional support to meet grade-level learning targets.  Tier 2 support is aligned with the core academic and behavior curriculum and is typically delivered through small groups to address specific skill deficits.  Students receive Tier 2 support in addition to full participation in Tier 1 core instruction.  Approximately 10-15 percent of students will need this level of support to be successful. 

Tier 2 Team -- Responsibilities and Data Sources

Tier 2 Team is responsible for developing and monitoring interventions for students who need additional support.

Key Questions

  • Is supplemental support evidence based and appropriate for the identified skill deficit?
  • After 6 data points have been gathered, are students who receive supplemental support making adequate progress toward grade-level expectations?
  • Are 80% of students who receive supplemental support making adequate progress toward grade-level expectations?
  • Are supplemental supports implemented with fidelity?
  • Do students who receive supplemental support remain fully engaged in core instruction?


  • Analyze data to identify at-risk students and students who fail to make adequate progress
  • Match students with similar intervention needs (academic, behavior, social-emotional)
  • Match students to intervention groups based on needs
  • Identify evidence-based interventions for each group
  • Identify plans for progress monitoring
  • Plan logistics for implementing intervention groups
  • Evaluate intervention fidelity
  • Progress monitor student response
  • Evaluate program/intervention effectiveness
  • Communicate student progress with BIT and relevant staff

Possible Team Membership

  • Administrator with decision-making authority
  • Member of the BIT ( if Tier 2 Team membership is different from BIT)
  • Intervention- specific coordinators or interventionist(s) (i.e. Check In Check Out, Small Group Interventions)
  • Staff with expertise in behavioral assessment and intervention
  • Staff with expertise in academic assessment and intervention, particularly reading

Data Sources

  • Benchmark/universal screening assessments, District Assessments, Diagnostic Assessments, Progress Monitoring data, Office Discipline Referrals, Fidelity Measures

Frequency of Data Collection/Data Review

  • Monthly meetings to review Tier 2 Systems Data
  • Bi-weekly student progress measures

*There are many ways to set up teams.  Some schools have combined Tier 2/3 System Team.  In small schools, the BIT may take on Tier 2/3 Systems responsibilities.

Please see the MTSS Tier 2 Practice Profile document for greater detail on each component of MTSS Tier 2


Source: Adapted from Michigan's MTSS Technical Assistance Center (MiMTSS)


Tier 3: Intensive Individualized Interventions and Supports

Tier 3 supports are provided to a small number of students who have not responded adequately to previous interventions, students with very low academic achievement and/or chronic and pervasive behavior challenges who are performing poorly in general education classrooms, or students with disabilities receiving an individualized education program (IEPs).  Intensive intervention may be aligned with core curriculum standards and schoolwide behavior expectations or may address primary deficits that serve as prerequisites to learning core standards or performing expected behaviors.  Intensive intervention involves the frequent collection and analysis of student-level data as well as modifications of intervention components when data indicate an inadequate response.  Approximately 1-5 percent of students require support at this level.

Tier 3 Team -- Responsibilities and Data Sources

The focus of the Tier 3 Team shifts to a student-level team (i.e. student assistance, student problem-solving, intensive support, individualized education program (IEP) team).  Membership will vary for each student receiving intensive support and may depend on available resources within the educational system or legal requirements.

Key Questions

  • Is the intervention evidence-based?
  • Is the student demonstrating an adequate rate of improvement based on weekly progress monitoring?
  • Does the intervention need to be intensified in terms of frequency, length of instruction, or duration, or other modification of instruction delivery?

Possible Team Membership:

  • Administrator with decision-making authority
  • Data Collector and Interpreters
  • Coordinator to track students receiving Tier 3 support
  • Referring Teacher
  • School Counselor
  • School Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • Special Educator
  • General Educator
  • Content experts/specialists
  • Related service providers
  • Interventionist
  • Family Member
  • Student


  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Analyze student assessment data
  • Develop a hypothesis for how to improve academic and/or behavior outcomes
  • Link assessment results to an individualized support plan
  • Continuous review of data (daily and weekly) to ensure that outcomes are achieved
  • Intervention adaptation based on progress monitoring
  • Fidelity checks 

Data Sources

  • Diagnostic Assessment, Drill-down Assessment Data, Functional Assessment, Progress Monitoring Data, Intervention Fidelity Data

Frequency of Data Collection/Data Review

  • Daily to Weekly Review of progress monitoring data
  • Tier 3 Management Monthly

Please see the MTSS Tier 3 Practice Profile document for greater detail on each component of MTSS Tier 3.


Source: Adapted from Michigan's MTSS Technical Assistance Center (MiMTSS)