Creating Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTTS)

Students come to school with a wide range of instructional needs. We know from the science of educational research that specific structures and processes must be in place for teachers to work together, using data to drive instructional decisions, and to identify learner needs with the allocation of time and resources to effectively intervene with progressing learners.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is not the latest edu-speak catchphrase sweeping the nation. Rather, MTSS is a focusing framework for leaders to develop the systems and capacity to prevent learning failure by identifying struggling learners and providing appropriate interventions.

RTI’s underlying premise is that schools should not delay providing help for struggling student until they fall far enough behind to qualify for special education, but instead should provide timely, targeted systematic interventions to all students who demonstrate the need.

—Buffum, Mattos, and Weber

To support our schools in understanding and implementing MTSS across districts, schools, and classrooms in Wayne County, a MTSS Collaboration has been formed. This committee has been charged with developing a framework for MTSS that is research based, resourceful, and provides criteria for quality implementation of research based instruction and intervention in our schools. Wayne RESA’s MTSS Framework will align to the tools provided by the Michigan Department of Education. Consistent with the purpose of the MDE, it is our intention to make connections among the various compliance requirements of school improvement, school reform, Title grants, and special education by supporting our schools to have quality research-based systems in place.

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.



The MTSS is comprised of eleven essential principles organized into five strands that include:

Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices:

  • Research based core curriculum
  • Research based, valid interventions and instruction
  • Fidelity of implementation

Instruction and Intervention

  • Effective instruction for all children
  • Early Intervention
  • Multi-tiered model of instruction and intervention

Data and Assessment

  • Progress monitoring
  • Data based decision making
  • Assessment use for three purposes: Universal Screening, Progress Monitoring and Diagnostic

Problem Solving

  • Collaborative Problem-Solving Model

Stakeholder Involvement

  • Engagement of parents and community

The Wayne RESA MTSS Collaboration involves a broad representation of education leaders, including WRESA consultants, district curriculum and instruction administrators, special education administrators, and instructional specialists in second language learning, literacy, and intervention. The collaboration is developing an accessible framework with phases of implementation, training and support to our schools. Our purpose is to provide guidance, tools, and supports to improve the capacity of our schools to fulfill their missions of meeting the needs of all learners.


MTSS diagram (1)