MTSS for Families


Schools are committed to helping all children succeed. They have many ways to help children learn and to ensure those who need additional supports are successful. The Illinois Multi-Tiered System of Supports Network (IL MTSS-N) is one way schools provide those supports.

MTSS is a framework for problem-solving that involves all stakeholders who impact students, especially parents. While parents have the ability to inquire about their child’s progress, it is the school’s obligation to keep parents informed.

What is a Multi-Tiered System of Supports?

A multi-tiered system of supports is not a separate program or class but rather an organizing framework for instruction and intervention. The goal of a school using a multi-tiered framework is to provide high-quality instruction that is responsive to the needs of all learners. Educators consistently analyze and use data, or progress monitor, to identify students who may benefit from additional academic, behavioral, and/or social-emotional assistance. Student response to intervention data is monitored and used to determine whether supports will be faded, continued, or modified.

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What are the key components of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports?

  • High-quality instruction;
  • Universal screening for early identification of students in need of supplemental support;
  • Academic, behavioral, and social-emotional evidence-based interventions that are progressively more intensive and matched to student need; and
  • Ongoing progress monitoring of student performance.

What are tiered supports?

A Multi-Tiered System of Supports organizes instruction and intervention into tiers or levels of support:

  • Tier 1/Universal: All students receive high-quality instruction in the general education classroom.
  • Tier 2/Targeted: In addition to Tier 1 content, Tier 2 supplies supplemental targeted academic, behavioral, and social-emotional skill interventions and instruction, usually in small groups.
  • Tier 3/Intensive: In addition to content received in Tiers 1 and 2, students who receive Tier 3 supports have individualized student-centered plans that are frequently progress monitored to assess skill development. Changes may be made based on student progress.

How does the school identify and support students?

  • During the year, schools screen all students to see which students are meeting grade-level standards and which students need additional support.
  • For the students needing more support, a school-based team uses a problem-solving process to plan interventions and monitor progress (Tiers 2 and 3).
    • Tier 2 small-group problem-solving teams may include principals, educators, school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, instructional coaches, intervention specialists and parents.
    • Tier 3 individual problem-solving teams should include parents and staff knowledgeable about the student, grade-level expectations and the problem-solving process. At Tier 3, individual diagnostic assessments may be administered to help plan the intervention.
  • Parents are not required to attend problem-solving meetings but must be given opportunities to participate in problem-solving for their child.

What can I expect from schools using a Multi-Tiered System of Supports?

  • Information on my child’s progress in meeting grade-level standards;
  • Notice of academic or behavior concerns (early identification);
  • Instruction and intervention that is matched to my child’s needs;
  • Feedback on how my child is responding and making progress; and
  • Involvement in individual, data-based problem solving for my child.

Who do I contact if my child is struggling and needs help?

Contact your child’s educator, the school administrator or the school counselor with your concerns.