Multi-Layered Practices and Support

🎥 What does it mean?

Tiered service facilitation is a school-wide, culturally and linguistically sustaining multilayered system of practices that intensifies instruction and supports as needed, so that each student meets rigorous and meaningful social, emotional, behavioral, developmental, and academic benchmarks. The tiers described refer to levels of support students receive, not to students themselves.

A Continuum of Support

Tier 1 is the core, the instruction, supports, procedures, etc. that all students in the school experience. Tier 1 is the foundation of any additional support that a student might receive — Tier 2/3/SpEd are layered on top of Tier 1 and the student continues to interact with the core. In order for the rest of the system to function effectively, it's vital that Tier 1 is designed to meet the comprehensive needs of the vast majority of students.

Tier 2 interventions are supplemental and sometimes referred to as "plug and play" interventions. Each Tier 2 intervention program works similarly for all students receiving it. Because of this predictability, we can easily match interventions with student needs, and the intervention should be rapidly accessible.

Tier 3 interventions are intensive and individualized. The student receives  instruction/support more often, for longer periods, and the intervention is increasingly customized to address each student's unique needs.

Special Education could be referred to as "Tier 3 on steroids" because it's conceptually the same thing, but with a few important distinctions:

  • There is funding available to further intensify interventions and provide them long-term.
  • There are legal due process protections for students with disabilities (e.g., discipline protections).
  • The toolbox for modifying environments and tasks (even in core) expands dramatically for students with disabilities.

An illustration of how a student might interact with various tiers of support in a school is available via this flowchart.

Curriculum, Practices, and Programs

Check out our service area webpage to access instructional/intervention resources designed to support every level of the MTSS framework, including Tier 1.

The websites below index evidence-based programs and provide guidance on assessing efficacy.

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