A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a standards-aligned, comprehensive school improvement framework for enhancing academic, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes for ALL students. The focus of MTSS is prevention and with team collaboration and data-driven problem-solving, we can improve outcomes for every student through partnerships with families, schools, and communities (PaTTAN, 2018).

In 2022, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) released the updated components of Multi-tiered Systems of Support, with the delineation of components between elementary and secondary systems. This shift provides clarity around the nuances of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support at each level, capturing the contextual nature of the components. Each level’s systems should be responsive to the students they support and we no longer need to retrofit the components to fit the middle school and high school landscape.

Each of the 8 elements play a pivotal role in the development of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. Here is a brief overview of each component.

Core Instruction

Core instruction is the foundation of MTSS. Systems provide all students with access to high-quality, standards-aligned core instruction with grade level peers. Clear expectations for behavior are developed and positive behaviors are acknowledged throughout instruction.

Universal Screening / Screening

Screening in academics, behavior, and social-emotional for all learners. The data we receive from our screenings should answer the question, “How are all students responding to core instruction?”

Shared Ownership

Mindset is everything! In MTSS, all staff share all students and presume that all students can learn and grow. Systems promote active involvement where staff members are willing to share barriers and solutions for students.

Data-Based Decisions

Data-based decision-making is an ongoing process of collecting and analyzing a continuum of data sources to inform instructional and intervention strategies.

Data-based decisions involves regular data collection and interpretation from multiple sources to determine:
   – who needs extension of core instruction?
   – who needs additional practice in the core?
   – who needs remediation in the core?

Response to Intervention (RTI)

RTI as an assessment process to inform instructional intensification and student growth within MTSS. Systems measure the impact of interventions and enrichment on the outcomes seen with the intervention and within core instruction.

Family Engagement

Families are a crucial component of MTSS. Systems should regularly collaborate with families to positively acknowledge student strengths, communicate progress on a regular basis, and involve families when problem-solving.

Multiple Tiers / 2 Tiers

Tiered support provides equitable, effective, and efficient evidence-based supports and services through a system of service delivery. All students have access to core instruction IN ADDITION to additional tier support or enrichment. MTSS delivery system relies on the strength of the professionals in the system.

Professional Learning

Systems develop professional learning plans that are responsive to identified needs for MTSS implementation. Professional learning plans are driven by in a vision statement for MTSS and include support system change.

Watch MTSS Morels: The Components of MTSS

PaTTAN and MCIU Project Consultants Becky Millspaugh, Karen Stover-Perri, Lauren Benfield

Elementary MTSS in PA
Secondary MTSS in PA 
Equitable Access to Evidence Based Practices for All Students 

To learn more about behavior and school support groups, attend the virtual breakout session on Monday, June 17 from 11:15-12:15 during the third annual MTSS Event: ALL IN! Creating Responsive Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

All who register will have access to keynotes and all sessions until December 31, 2024!

2024 MTSS Conference All In: Creating Responsive Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Keynote Speakers Tai A. Collins, PhD BCBA-D. Jason Harlachner, PhD June 17-18 2024 Virtual


Lauren Benfield

Project Consultant