What is Multi-Tiered Support System (MTSS)?
MTSS is a way of doing things within the school that impacts every single student enrolled and is designed to make sure no one falls through the cracks. MTSS is a philosophy to make sure all students are getting the instruction needed and are making adequate growth. There are three tiers of instruction and every child is in (at least) one of them.
Tier 1: The General Curriculum (100 percent of students)
Every single student receives the core, or Tier 1, instruction. UCP Charter Schools use various curriculum (Go Math, Achieve 3000, etc.) as a means for presenting that core instruction.
Tier 2: Students Who Struggle Get More Support
Tier 2 is the next level and uses a program in each subject in addition to the core Tier 1 instruction.
Tier 3: Intensive Instruction
When a student is getting the core instruction (Tier 1), as well as frequent instruction beyond that (Tier 2), and is still not making gains, MTSS calls for an individualized, intense level of instruction (Tier 3); Diagnostic assessments are given to pinpoint why the student is not learning and a plan is created for how to intervene. This support, when provided appropriately, must be in a setting that is no larger than a one-to-three teacher to student ratio. One-to-one instruction is ideal when possible.
It is vital that in Tier 3, the teaching be specific to the student need. For instance, if a child is weak in reading and the diagnostic shows that he has excellent phonics skills but has a poor vocabulary, vocabulary should be the focus of this level of instruction.
If Tier 3 Is Not Successful: Psychoeducational Evaluations/ESE Testing
If a child is still not making adequate progress despite intensive, individualized support, it is likely that an evaluation is warranted to determine if there is a learning disability, intellectual disability, language impairment or other condition. If an evaluation is requested, schools should adjust the instruction further and continue with an intensive level of support while waiting for the evaluation to be completed.