What is MTSS?

The Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a collaborative, evidence-based approach to differentiating and personalizing instruction and intervention, across academics, social-emotional learning, and behavior for all students—so that every student can achieve academic and life success.

MTSS aims to provide an equitable educational experience by leveraging collective knowledge and expertise to help teachers understand their learners' needs and make informed and strategic decisions that best support them.

MTSS begins with teachers assessing the skills of everyone in the class to proactively identify who may need additional support in an area (e.g., reading, math, behavior). Students receive support (research-based, targeted instruction or intervention) matched both to their skills and level of need. Student progress is monitored closely to ensure that the additional support is helping.

If the skill gap has resolved, additional support in that area is no longer required. If the skill gap doesn't improve, then the level of personalization increases, further problem solving to understand why each student struggles, and to design a customized plan to support their needs in a defined and systematic way.


The Tiers of MTSS

Core/Universal Instruction- on grade level academic and/or behavioral (e.g., social-emotional, attendance, discipline) instruction that includes differentiation for struggling students as well as students working above grade level

Supplemental/Secondary Instruction (in addition to Core Instruction)-acceleration and/or remediation in prerequisite grade level skills for students who are at-risk academically or behaviorally, or enrichment for students working above grade level.

Intensive Instruction (in addition to Core and Supplemental Instruction)-more intensive or more frequent instruction on prerequisite grade level skills for students who are at-risk academically and/or behaviorally, or more intensive enrichment opportunities for students performing well above grade level.


Branching Minds

Middletown Public Schools has partnered with Branching Minds to service as a platform in which to display data for analysis in order to support the complete child.

Branching Minds is an MTSS/RTI system-level education platform that brings together innovative, easy to use technology with the latest insights from the learning sciences to help drive student and school success, while making teachers and administrators work easier and more effective. Branching Minds does the heavy lifting of MTSS by bringing together actionable data, collaboration tools, and a library of research-based interventions.

Branching Minds empowers intervention teams and classroom teachers to figure out exactly what the root of a student’s problem is, as well as precisely which support will meet that student’s needs.


A Personal Literacy Plan (PLP), Personal Math Plan (PMP), or Personal Behavior Plan (PBP) is a plan of action used to accelerate a student's learning in order to move toward grade level reading proficiency. A problem-solving approach is used to develop this plan in order to determine specific needs, establish short-term student goals, and set the course of action. The cycle of student support follows:

  • Diagnose, Analyze, and Validate Need (s)

  • Design Intervention Plan

  • Implement Intervention

  • Review Progress Monitoring Data

  • Revise/Modify Support

  • Implement Revised/Modified Intervention

  • Use Assessments to Determine Discontinuation or Need for New Intervention

This process is inclusive because it involves teachers, parents, administrators, and other staff members. Parents may choose not to participate with home support; however, they may not decline a PLP for their child.