Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Overview

As early childhood educators across Missouri explore the use of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) in early childhood programs, it is important to have a common understanding of the essential components of MTSS and its application in early childhood settings. The purpose of this page is to provide an overview of Early Childhood MTSS and its use in Missouri Early Childhood Special Education programs, including programs and practices appropriate for young children with disabilities.

Early childhood experiences form the foundation for young children’s future academic and social success, therefore it is important that Missouri educators understand and use evidence-based programs and practices appropriate for young children with disabilities. MTSS is an evidence-based prevention model designed to differentiate instruction with key features that can be applied in early childhood settings.

Defining MTSS for Early Childhood

At its core, MTSS is a framework that schools use for identifying and providing differing levels of support through evidence-based academic and/or behavioral curricula and interventions. MTSS is a districtwide initiative designed to meet the needs of ALL children. Key to any MTSS plan for use in early childhood special education programs are high-quality early childhood programs and practices, including the use of evidence-based teaching and learning practices. An MTSS framework creates a process for matching each child’s needs to a hierarchy of support distinguished through a data-based decision-making process.

Since early childhood programs differ from K-12 programs in a variety of ways (e.g., learning standard domains, curricula, assessment practices, the role of families, locations where services are provided, class sizes and makeups) careful consideration must be used when applying MTSS practices in early childhood/early childhood special education settings. The direct adoption of frameworks and practices used with older children is often not suitable for younger children without appropriate modification.

Center Resource Category Description
Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood (CRTIEC) Website Conducts research and provides resources that support application of RTI in Early Childhood Education.
National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) Website Strives to improve and support state and local systems and programs in the implementation of an early childhood multi-tiered system of support.
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Website Managed by a team of staff at Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and conducted under a set of contracts held by several leading firms with expertise in education, research methodology, and the dissemination of education research.
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) Website Founded in 1966, FPG is currently one of the oldest and largest multidisciplinary centers devoted to studying issues facing children and families to enhance policy and improve practice.
Center on Multi-Tiered System of Supports(NCRTI)
American Institutes of Research (AIR)
Website The American Institutes of Research (AIR) currently oversees and maintains the NCRTI website and products and continues to provide support for states, districts, and schools implementing MTSS/RTI.
IRIS Center Resource Locator Website Develops and disseminates evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices to support the education of all students, particularly struggling learners and those with disabilities.
Other State MTSS Resources
Center Resource Category Description
Colorado Department of Education(CDE) Website Provides leadership, support and accountability to the state’s school districts, early learning centers, state correctional schools, facility schools, the state’s libraries, adult/family literacy centers and General Education Development (GED) testing centers.
Florida Department of Education (FDE) Website Promotes system-wide practices to ensure highest possible student achievement in both academic and behavioral pursuits.
Illinois MTSS Network(IL MTSS-N) Website Strives to increase district capacity to implement evidence-based programs and practices proven to improve the progress and performance of ALL students in grades K-12, including those with disabilities.
Kansas Technical Assistance System Network(TASN) Structuring Guides Implementation Guides Website Works with Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Special Education and Title Services (SETS) leadership to provide coordinated evidence-based technical assistance.
Michigan's Technical Assistance Center(MiMTSS) Website Promotes district-wide implementation of effective, data-driven practices that integrates behavior and reading support through intensive technical assistance and involves a structured process that will endure over time.
North Carolina MTSS Implementation Guide(NC MTSS) LiveBinder The purpose of this LiveBinder is to outline processes, practices, necessary to establish a Multi-Tiered System of Support.