All About MTSS and ESSA

Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

MTSS is not just for struggling learners...it ensures learning for all

Once upon a time, when I was in school, the philosophy by many teachers in education, especially in high school, was kind of like -"you either get it now or you get left behind because my job is teaching and your job is learning". We all know that times have changed, thank goodness, and research shows us what is best practice for universal instruction for ALL students - yes, ALL students. The needs and demands placed on education has changed drastically even from just ten years ago and a chunk of our kids (any kid at any time mind you) may need additional supports (interventions) to succeed at accessing grade level material - failing in education is just not an option in today's world.


As we know, students don't necessarily need IEP accommodations or a 504 support when they struggle = they may simply need just a little more targeted instruction in a smaller group setting (more targeted practice) to get it; learning can and should be challenging if our instruction is aligned with the rigors of the Core.


The rule of thumb for universal instruction/MTSS is that 80% of our kids should know and understand grade level standards-based material based according to our assessment data; 20% at any time may need some kind of additional support. The 20% of kids needing additional supports may vary depending on the material being covered over a school year. In other words, even our most academically successful kids may need additional supports when they encounter new and challenging material at grade level. We have supports built into our schedule in literacy (CIM) and for all ("MTSS Friday" = extra time and small group instruction for those needing additional supports based on collaborative team time decisions).


MTSS Goal - "To create a systematic process that ensures every child receives the additional time and support needed to learn at high levels" - MTSS, 2015, Solution Tree


**MTSS includes both Core Academic Standards AND Social-Emotional Learning

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"Schools are here to prepare today's children to be adults in tomorrow's world" - (MTSS for Secondary Schools - Solution Tree)

How do we ensure high levels of learning for ALL students? Through MTSS...


As educators, it is our job to ensure our students learn the essential skills, knowledge, and dispositions needed to succeed in their adult life.


If schools exist to prepare students to be adults, then we, as educators, must have an accurate vision of the future for which we are preparing our students.


(MTSS for Secondary Schools, Solution Tree, 2015)

"Fundamental Assumptions"

Fundamental Assumptions -


• All students don’t learn the same way.


• All students don’t learn at the same speed.


• Some students lack prior skills and knowledge.


• Some students lack academic behaviors.


• Some students have a home life that is counterproductive to academic success.