Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is a system-level initiative, therefore it is important for leadership, at the district-level, to develop a plan for the use of MTSS in early childhood programs. Just as leadership teams create a plan for the use of tools and processes in K-12 programs, they should create a plan that outlines the tools and processes to be used in early childhood programs by involving early childhood representatives in the planning process. District-level planning ensures there is a cohesive approach to MTSS across a district, while also acknowledging the differences appropriate for use with younger children. The inclusion of early childhood representatives on the leadership team promotes collaboration, shared responsibility, and accountability for all students. Important considerations include: 1) a common understanding of the MTSS Framework; 2) roles and responsibilities; 3) implementation steps; 4) sufficient support to ensure the plan and timelines are implemented; and 5) alignment to district policies.

Examples of early childhood district-level questions to be considered:

  • How will early childhood be represented on the leadership team?
  • What learning areas will your early childhood MTSS address (e.g. literacy, mathematics, and/or social/emotional behavior)?
  • What core curricula will be used by all early childhood classrooms?
  • What data will be collected for use with problem-solving and data-based decision-making?
  • What interventions are available and appropriate for use in early childhood programs?
  • How will early childhood be included in collaborative teams?
  • What training is needed to implement each MTSS element?
Title Resource Category Description
Early Childhood Program-Wide PBS Benchmarks of Quality Self-assessment Tool designed to help early childhood programs evaluate their progress toward implementing positive behavior supports program-wide.
Collaborative Teams Training Training module Part of the Missouri District Continuous Improvement Framework this module can be useful in helping to develop collaborative teaming skills.
Leadership for Effective Implementation of District-Wide Evidence-Based Practices Training module Part of the Missouri District Continuous Improvement Framework this module is useful for leadership teams.
All, Some and A Few: Tiered Instruction – CONNECT Training module Introduces participants to tiered instruction in early childhood for both academic and social emotional learning.
RTI Action Network Pre-K Resources Website Learn how RTI at the pre-K level addresses the needs of young children who show signs that they may not be learning in an expected manner.
What is “Special” about Special Education? Specially Designed Instruction for Students with Disabilities within a MTSS? Article Developed by the Florida RTI Network, describing the relationship between specially designed instruction, core instruction and interventions within an MTSS model.
Response to Intervention (RTI) in Early Childhood Article Developed by the National Professional Development Council and reviews key components of RTI and its application in early childhood programs.