Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) (RtI)

"It is the responsibility of every educator, organization, and parent to actively engage in collaborative efforts to meet Florida's goals. In the unified effort, all schools in Florida should ensure evidence-based practices, instructionally relevant assessments, systematic problem-solving to meet all students' needs, data-based decision making, effective professional development, supportive leadership, and meaningful family involvement. These are the foundation principles of a Response to Instruction/Intervention (RtI) system which provides us the framework to elevate the efficacy of our statewide improvement efforts."

~ Dr. Eric J. Smith ~
Commissioner of Education June 2008

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is "an assessment and intervention process for systematically monitoring student progress and making decisions about the need for instructional modifications or increasingly intensified services using progress monitoring data" (NRCLD, 2006). As such, the School District of Lee County has created a practice that is designed to lead a school-based team through the MTSS problem-solving process in order to best address student needs. This practice should assist the team in the problem-solving and decision-making process. It is comprehensive, and allows the team to effectively use data to match research-based and/or evidenced-based interventions with student needs. Additionally, this approach ensures that the district is in compliance with state-adopted rules and federal mandates.

The MTSS framework is built upon the philosophy that instruction and interventions may be intensified to better meet the needs of individual students. Florida has adopted a three-tiered model, with the tiers representing a continuum of student support. The tiers do not represent placements or procedural steps, but rather varying levels of instructional intensity. All students receive the core instruction (Tier I). In addition to the core, some students may require more strategic (Tier II) or intensive/targeted (Tier III) levels of support in order to be successful.

It is important to remember that MTSS is a problem-solving process for addressing the academic and/or behavioral needs of students, not a procedure for getting students evaluated for special programs or services. However, should the need arise, MTSS is part of the evaluation process for ESE eligibility decisions. The goal of this focused attempt is to provide meaningful and specific interventions that clearly address a student's individual needs. Our mission is to ensure that every student is provided appropriate instruction using proven research-based strategies.

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