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Multi-tiered Systems of Support

North Rose-Wolcott Central School District is committed to helping all students succeed. We have many ways to help students learn, and to ensure those who need additional supports are successful. The Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) is one way schools like ours provide those supports.  

MTSS is a multi-step process of providing instruction and support to promote the academic and behavioral success of all students. A student's individual progress is monitored and results are used to make decisions about further instruction and intervention.  MTSS is most commonly used in addressing reading, math and behavior, but it can also be used in other areas. The MTSS process is flexible and is designed to meet the needs of students.

The MTSS process typically has three tiers. Each tier provides differing levels of support. This system offers a framework for academic and behavioral interventions based on three leveled tiers of support and supports staff as they implement and sustain the use of best practices for teaching academic behaviors and social expectations.

Tier III: Individualized, Intensive
Interventions are provided to students with intensive/chronic academic and/or behavioral needs based on on-going progress monitoring and assessment.

Tier II: Supplemental, Targeted
Interventions are provided to students identified as at-risk of academic and social challenges in an attempt to close the achievement gap.

Tier I: Core, Universal
ALL students receive academic and behavior instruction. Expectations are taught, reinforced and monitored in all settings by all adults.


  • In Tier I, all students receive high-quality curriculum and instruction in the general education classroom. The teacher assists all students.
  • In Tier II, the school provides supplemental instructional support, usually in small groups, to students who need additional supports to what they are receiving from the general curriculum.
  • In Tier III, intense instructional support is provided to students with the greatest needs, with frequent progress monitoring.


  • In Tier I, all students are explicitly taught positive behavioral expectations. All teachers use a consistent approach to discipline.

  • In Tier II, the school provides supplemental targeted behavioral skill interventions usually in small groups.

  • In Tier III, student centered planning is used to develop customized interventions with frequent progress monitoring.

What are the key components to any MTSS process?

A key component to the MTSS process is that ALL students receive high quality curriculum and instruction in the general education classroom (Tier I).

Another component is that the school conducts universal screenings. Universal screenings review the progress of all students. These are given three times a year (September, January, May). These screenings help us to identify any students who may need more support.

As a result of universal screening, students may be identified as needing supplemental instruction (Tier II level of support) in addition to the instruction they are receiving in Tier I. Research-based interventions are used to support students in the area of need. (*Research-based interventions are strategies or methods that have been proven to be effective in helping students be more successful with academics or behavior.) There are many different types of interventions, academically and behaviorally, that can happen in the classroom, outside of the classroom or in small groups. These interventions could take place with a reading teacher or teaching assistant, a math teacher or teaching assistant or a counselor.

Another key component to the MTSS process is progress monitoring. Progress monitoring is a way for teachers to take a snapshot of how students are doing on a specific skill. It shows how well the intervention/support is working. Progress monitoring helps determine whether an intervention/support is successful or needs to be adjusted.

When the student meets the goals developed by the school, the intervention/support is no longer needed and the child continues to receive support in the general education classroom. When progress monitoring shows that a child is not responding to the intervention/support, another approach or intervention may be tried. However, when a higher level of support is needed, students are given individualized instruction which further focuses on supporting the skills they need to be successful learners (Tier III).

What if I think my child needs help?

Contact your child's teacher, counselor or the counseling office, and we will set up an appointment with you and our MTSS team (Administration, your child's teacher(s), your child's counselor, the school psychologist if necessary, a reading teacher if necessary, etc.). Parents and guardians have two options to complete the request for assistance form (below):

1) Save the form to your desktop. Complete it and email it to the counseling office secretary.

2) Call or email your child's counselor.

A Parent/Guardian's Role

Parents/Guardians play a critical role in supporting what their children are learning in school. Research shows that the more parents are involved in student learning, the higher the student achievement. There are many ways parents can support what their child is doing in school such as:

  • Make reading an everyday habit at home.
  • Communicate with your child's teacher.
  • Monitor and assist with homework assignments.
  • Ask for regular monitoring reports.
  • Share your child's successes.
  • Learn more about the curricula and interventions being used in your child's school.  
  • Attend parent/teacher conferences and other school meetings about your child and their program.