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A Family Guide to Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS)

A Family Guide to Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) 



A Family Guide to Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS)


Our is committed to helping all children succeed. Every student, every day. To help our students learn we use a multi-tiered system of supports (referred to as MTSS.)  This handout reviews the basic components of the MTSS process at Northeast Primary School.

MTSS is a multi-step process of providing different layers and intensities of instruction and supports to meet the individual or unique academic and behavioral needs of all students. In an ongoing basis and in all grades, individual children’s learning progress is measured and monitored and we use these results to make decisions about further instruction and intervention.

The MTSS process typically has four tiers. Each tier provides differing levels of support.


  • Tier I is a universal level for all students to receive a high-quality curriculum and instruction in the general education classroom. The teacher assists all students.
  • In Tier II, if progress is below standard grade level expectations in some areas the school provides supplemental targeted instructional support, usually in small groups, to students as an addition to what they are receiving from the general curriculum.
  • In Tier III, if over time the Tier II interventions do not lead to an adequate response then additional more focused, intensive, and customized instructional support is provided.
  • If tier III interventions are not effective or at any point, it is suspected that the student has a disability or handicapping condition that is having an impact on their learning a team meeting can convene to determine if there should be a further assessment to determine the eligibility for Special Education (which is Tier IV) .

A key component of the MTSS process is that all children receive high-quality curriculum and instruction and that given individual differences student have varying levels of supports or layers of intensity of instruction.

Another component of the MTSS process is that the school conducts universal screenings for all students and progress monitoring review the responses to our instruction and interventions that our students make.  Screenings and progress monitoring help schools identify students who may need more support or other types of instruction.

Research-based interventions (strategies/methods that have been proven to be effective in helping children be more successful with academics or behavior) are used in the classroom, outside the classroom, with large groups, small groups, or individually to support students in the area of need.  When students meet the goals developed by the school, the intervention is no longer needed and the child continues to receive only the levels of supports they need.

The supports beyond the school’s Universal or Tier I are accessed through our school’s Educational Support Team (EST).  The EST meets weekly to identify supports and services for individual children, help teachers to develop strategies for supporting individual children, develop plans to increase learning, and evaluate what’s working and what changes need to be made. Our Educational Support team consist of the classroom teacher as well as the following Northeast Staff:


Susanne Engels, Principal                   Sharon Napolitano, Support Services, Birth-Grade 2

Turiya Levy, Interventionist                  Kelly Hutt Vater, Interventionist

Phyllis Smith, Interventionist                Geri Bruso, K Teacher

Sherry Kamyk, Grade 1 Teacher          Laura Aprilliano, Gr. 2 Teacher

Paula Lynch, Special Educator             Anna Walker, Counselor

Catherine Yakunovich, Counselor

The EST maintains confidential contact with the student’s teachers and caregivers to follow the progress of each student served by the team. If there is a concern, referrals to the EST can be made by parents/guardians and staff.  Parents/guardians help when they:

  • Contact the teacher with concern(s)
  • Ask questions, share information
  • Filling out forms if asked
  • Offering suggestions on interests and what works or does not help
  • Support the plan and stay in touch about progress or lack of progress you’re seeing
  • Model the hard work and effort needed to learn

After the child is referred to EST:

  • The team meets to identify the concern(s) and share information with all members.
  • The team designs a plan that offers a variety of supports for the child and teacher.
  • School Counselor does a parent interview for information prior to the meeting
  • The plan that is started at the EST meeting may include:
       Varied teaching strategies
       Schedule changes
       Referrals to outside agencies
       Friendship/Social Skills Group
       Additional Academic Supports
  • After the EST meetings, the school shares the plan with involved staff and parents/guardians. This is to inform but also to get additional information to add to the plan.
  • The team updates and reviews progress at follow-up EST meetings.


There are many ways parents/guardians support their child’s learning:

  • Make reading an everyday habit at home
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher or any involved staff
  • Ask for regular updates on progress
  • Celebrate and share your child’s successes in learning
  • Learn more about the curricula and interventions being used in your child’s school
  • Attend parent/teacher conferences and other school meetings about your child