A multitiered system of support (MTSS) is a comprehensive framework for organizing practices into different levels, or tiers, to provide the differentiated supports for all children to succeed in inclusive and natural environments. In an MTSS, the first tier (universal) includes those practices and core instruction that promote the positive social-emotional development of all children. The second tier (targeted/secondary) includes targeted practices that identify and address needs of children at risk for challenging behaviors. The third tier (intensive/tertiary) includes practices for providing individualized, more intensive interventions to children with persistent challenging behaviors.[i][ii] Additional key features of an MTSS include universal screening, progress monitoring, and data-informed decision-making. Examples of an MTSS include the Pyramid Model, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Response to Intervention (RTI).
To help decide if you should use an MTSS and which one you would like to adopt for your program/school, access the following resources:
- What is the Pyramid Model? http://challengingbehavior.fmhi.usf.edu/do/pyramid_model.htm
- Understanding Program-Wide Adoption of the Pyramid Model: http://challengingbehavior.fmhi.usf.edu/do/program_wide/program_wide_index.htm
- Why Adopt a Response to Intervention (RTI) Model? http://www.rtinetwork.org/learn/what/whyrti
[i] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services & U.S. Department of Education (2014). Policy statement on expulsion and suspension in early childhood settings.
[ii] Hemmeter, Fox, Hardy, 2016.