Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS)


The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) defines Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) as an integrated, multi-tiered system of instruction, assessment, and intervention designed to meet the achievement and behavioral health needs of ALL learners. In short, an MTSS framework is designed to ensure that each and every student that walks into a classroom will have his or her individual needs met through high-quality instruction. In addition, the integration of an MTSS framework within the Michigan Continuous School Improvement Process is an essential component for improving academic achievement for all learners. The MDE is striving to improve achievement for all learners through the strategic support of Michigan districts and schools.

Experience has demonstrated that in order to increase achievement, successful systems plan their improvement efforts collaboratively. Developing one common plan for improvement streamlines the school and district’s efforts and resources, and maximizes improvement for all learners. The Michigan Continuous School Improvement Process serves as a comprehensive process to organize the work through data analysis, goal setting, planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating. By strategically embedding an MTSS framework into the district and school improvement plan, a school system sets itself up for continuity and alignment in the implementation of a research-based system of MTSS. When working together, the Michigan Continuous School Improvement Process and the MTSS framework enhance and strengthen each other for the benefit of all learners.

Essential Elements

MDE has defined MTSS and included eleven essential elements to help clarify the definition. In order to be an effective and efficient system, all eleven elements must be present. To further simplify the eleven elements they have been combined together to form 5 cluster areas. Each cluster area and the elements it comprises are below:

Instruction & Intervention
Data and Assessment
Family Engagement
Evidence-based practices
Problem Solving