Multitiered Systems of Support

Multitiered Systems of Support

This Click & Go can help out-of-school time leaders understand the theory behind the Multitiered System of Support (MTSS) framework and apply MTSS practices to their out-of-school time (OST) programs. Learners will identify new OST interventions and enhance current interventions that closely align with what school districts use. With this Click & Go and its tools, learners will feel empowered to apply practical skills and knowledge to further their program’s efforts to partner with school districts’ to support success for all students.

After completing this Click & Go, learners will be able to:

  • Define the MTSS framework and its impact on out-of-school time programs.
  • Identify tiered levels of student needs and what it means to apply interventions that align with the MTSS framework in out-of-school time settings.
  • Build a support system for program staff to build confidence and self-efficacy to implement interventions using the MTSS framework.
  • Develop an action plan for progress monitoring, such as developing student benchmarks that will measure positive outcomes from interventions in the out-of-school time setting.

Zip Link (149 MB) Select link to download the resources in this Click & Go!


Multitiered Systems of Support Mini Lesson

Podcast 1: Organizing Program Instruction and Interventions

Sit in as professionals from an out-of-school time program and the school day hold their biweekly meeting on response to intervention, RTI, initiatives. The out-of-school time practitioner shares the experience of implementing a social-emotional learning activity in her program. Although the activity seems to work for most students, she wants to learn more about how to address students who aren’t responding to the social and emotional activities. The school-day professional discusses how to use the MTSS framework with guidance from the district to implement interventions and resources to address student needs. [Download Transcript]

Podcast 2: Going Up the Pyramid of Interventions

This podcast provides MTSS users with examples of academic, behavioral, and social-emotional interventions. Learn how to identify and analyze problems through screening and assessments to best implement evidence-based interventions with equity in mind. Know the importance of reflecting on benchmarks and indicators related to program expectations to move interventions and services up the pyramid to target a range of students. [Download Transcript]

Podcast 3: Collective Efficacy

In this podcast, learn how to support one another as you implement systemic delivery of interventions. You will also learn practices and interventions that are categorized as proactive, interactive, and reactive. As you learn these practices and interventions, you will identify high-quality characteristics out-of-school time professionals should foster in themselves and others to ensure efficient MTSS implementation. [Download Transcript]

Podcast 4: Progress Monitoring of Interventions

This podcast discusses how to monitor student progress by screening students and then tracking data as interventions are implemented. It also models good communication between school-day and out-of-school time staff members, so everyone understands and uses similar interventions, stays aware of student progress in the different settings, and keeps on eye on student performance. [Download Transcript]

Snapshot of MTSS Implementation

This infographic offers an illustration of MTSS Implementation steps and a series of questions to help participants further define the function of each step. LINK

PBIS Cultural Responsiveness Field Guide

This field guide is a resource for professionals seeking to implement positive, culturally responsive procedures, interventions, and practices to enhance student behavior. The guide includes additional resources, examples, and policies for use in programs. LINK

Center on Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

The Center’s resource library helps users locate essential components of MTSS and guidance on MTSS implementation. Formats include articles, tip sheets, guides, and videos. LINK

Academic Success for All Students: A Multi-Tiered Approach - YouTube

Teachers from P.K. Yonge, a developmental research school, share their approach to using MTSS to differentiate and provide each student with the best level of instruction to succeed. This video focuses on MTSS academic supports in a school-day setting. LINK

Practice Profile: Data-Based Problem Solving and Decision Making

Colorado’s Department of Education further defines MTSS as data-based problem-solving and decision-making. LINK

Equity-Based MTSS & Academics: Tiered Instruction

The School District of Philadelphia uses an equity-based lens for MTSS and a tiered view for supporting diverse learners. LINK

Panorama Education Blog | MTSS

Best practices for multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) and response-to-intervention (RTI) frameworks. Some free resources are available here. LINK

PaTTAN - Multi-Tiered System of Supports

The Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) has compiled many resources to support MTSS implementation. LINK 1 LINK 2

Branching Minds

This K-12 services and technology company leverages learning sciences and technology to help districts effectively personalize learning through their MTSS/RTI practices. See the Resources section for some free materials. LINK

RTI is a model or framework for identifying and addressing the specific academic needs of students. MTSS is a broader system that is much broader than RTI. It is a comprehensive school improvement framework that includes a continuum of evidence-based academic, behavioral, and social-emotional supports and services to meet the needs of all students, including students with disabilities.

As noted in the article, Infrastructural Alignment for MTSS, alignment is key to ensuring effective MTSS implementation. MTSS describes what we do for all students, what we do for some students with specific needs, and what we do for a few students with very significant needs. That means making purposeful connections with school-based professionals across other settings is important to helping students stay on track with their school-day learning. To do that, OST staff and school-day staff need to share resources and professional learning around effective interventions; it’s equally important for them to share screening information to help students move into and among appropriate tiers of support.

Mental health promotion services and supports (Tier 1) are mental health-promoting activities that are designed to support the well-being of all students, regardless of whether they are at risk for mental health problems. These activities might include efforts to support a positive school climate and staff well-being. They can be implemented schoolwide, at the grade level, and/or at the classroom level. Examples include schoolwide curricular lessons and grade-level or classroom presentations for all students, regardless of whether they are at risk for mental health problems.

Early intervention services and supports (Tier 2) to address mental health concerns are provided for students who have been identified through needs assessments, screening, referral, or other processes as experiencing mild distress or functional impairment or being at risk for a given problem or concern. When problems are identified early and supports put in place, positive youth development is promoted, and problems can be eliminated or reduced. Examples include small-group interventions for students identified with similar needs (e.g., students with asthma), brief individualized interventions (e.g., motivational interviewing, problem-solving), mentoring, and/or low-intensity classroom-based supports such as a daily report card or daily teacher check-in.

Treatment services and supports (Tier 3) to address mental health concerns are provided for students who need individualized interventions for the significant distress and functional impairment they are experiencing. Examples include individual, group, or family therapy for students who have been identified, and often diagnosed, with social, emotional, and/or behavioral needs.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) focuses on teaching children positive behavior through modifying their thinking, while behavior interventions, such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), focus on preventing disruptive behavior in classrooms and schools. It can be said that PBIS is more like a framework, whereas SEL is oriented around a set of skills. Both are focused on different aspects of student development, PBIS aims to change the environment (e.g., implementing systems), while SEL aims to change individuals (e.g., supporting students).

Not at all! Implementing MTSS is a team approach and collaboration and communication with the school-based professional will be key in understanding and implementing the process. As needed, request training, development, consistent meetings to check in, and resources to support the implementation in OST.

Using a problem-solving lens and/or data protocols, in partnership with the school-based professionals, will support the identification and analysis of the data/problem. An example is shown below: the problem-solving process incorporates at least the following four steps in a cyclical, recurring model to address prevention, early intervention, and intensive intervention:

Step 1: Problem Identification: What is the problem? How does the student’s performance compare to the benchmark level of performance and peers’ level of performance?

Step 2: Problem Analysis: Why is the problem occurring? What would happen if______ would occur? Can we validate our ideas?

Step 3: Intervention Design: What are we going to do about the problem? What will we teach? How will we teach it? Is instruction matched to the problem we identified?

Step 4: Response to Intervention: Is the instruction/intervention working? How do we know? Is academic and/or behavioral performance improved? Are outcomes for all students equitable? Is the group’s/student’s response good, questionable, or poor? What are the next steps?

As a starting point, meet and collaborate with the school-based professional who supports the MTSS process during the school day. Next, consider the following:

  1. Set a vision for what MTSS will look like in the OST setting and document it.
  2. Build human systems to support the vision.
  3. Create or invest in data systems to track and monitor implementation progress.

Early and frequent communication with families is important. Using the guidance below, help families understand that they are a partner and critical part of the process.

If your child is identified as being at risk for learning, behavioral or social difficulties, you can be involved by:

  • Communicating regularly with your child’s teacher.
  •  Asking what interventions, matched to your child’s needs, are being used to address academic, behavioral, or social concerns.
  • Using the same strategies or interventions at home, when possible.
  • Asking the school about the formal guidelines they use for progress monitoring.
  • Asking the school to provide you with regular progress monitoring reports.
  • Attending meetings of the individualized problem-solving team if your child is getting more individualized Tier 3 interventions. Remember, you are the expert regarding your child!
  • Praising your child for any progress or general improvement in the area(s) of concern.
  • Making suggestions for strategies or interventions based on what you know works well at home, when possible.
  • Always asking questions when things are not clear!

To ensure the fidelity of interventions and programs, collaborating and planning for barriers to implementation is key. Consider how your resources, schedule, or staffing may shift when challenges arise.