Robbinsdale Area Schools


Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework for helping all learners succeed by matching interventions, instruction and assessment to the personalized needs of learners. It is a whole school, data-driven, prevention-based framework for improving learning outcomes for EVERY student through a layered continuum of evidence-based systems. MTSS includes social and emotional learning (SEL) and academic instruction and supports.

According to the Minnesota Department of Education (2017): “The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) advocates the use of MTSS to increase the number of students meeting grade-level standards and graduating with skills for further education and work careers. The majority of MDE’s work with MTSS is connected to implementing the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards with fidelity and building additional intervention supports to increase student achievement for all students.”

Essential components of MTSS

  • Assessment: Multiple tools, both formative and summative, used to gather information about student learning.
  • Evidence-Based Instruction: Quality instruction that is supported by scientific research that promotes success for ALL students.
  • Intervention: An evidence-based strategy used to reteach a skill, build on a skill or encourage the application of an existing skill to new situations or settings. Data is collected to monitor progress.
  • Three-Tiered Continuum of Support: MTSS is characterized by a continuum of integrated academic and SEL supports reflecting the need for students to have fluid access to instruction and supports of varying intensity.
  • Implementation Fidelity: The implementation of evidence-based practices that include core instruction, intervention and enrichment with fidelity.
  • Data-Based Decision Making: Stakeholders use data obtained through the MTSS process to improve academic and SEL to make decisions about students’ achievement.

What are the critical elements of MTSS?

The critical elements of MTSS is a detailed description of how to successfully implement the essential components of MTSS. The critical elements are:

  1. Effective leadership that provides connections between the MTSS framework, the School Improvement Plan (SIP) and the Unified District Vision (UDV)
  2. Alignment of policies and procedures across classroom, .grade/departments, building, district and state levels
  3. Ongoing efficient use of problem-solving processes to support planning, implementing and evaluating effectiveness of services
  4. Positive and ongoing collaboration among all stakeholders to ensure successful student outcomes
  5. Comprehensive, efficient and user-friendly data-systems for supporting decision-making at all levels
  6. Availability of coaching supports to assist school teams’ problem-solving efforts
  7. Ongoing data-driven professional development that aligns to student goals and staff needs
  8. Communicating successful outcomes and opportunities for growth with all stakeholders

The MTSS Handbook will be posted soon!