A Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) is a term used in Kansas to describe how schools provide supports and intervention for each child to be successful and the processes and tools teachers use to make decisions.
Implementing MTSS can be a daunting task. KNEA believes that in order for MTSS to be successfully implemented by a district, the staff must be prepared and supported. This means high-quality preparation, on-going professional development with support from the district, and adequate time.
As always, the students must be the priority. Supports must be built or readjusted to meet the students' learning needs.
There are two federal laws that have made a difference in how schools deliver and coordinate services for children. The first is the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA); most recently referred to as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. This Act requires that by the year 2014 all of students are to meet the proficiency targets in the areas of reading and math, that schools would have a high graduation rate, and conversely a low dropout rate.
The second law influencing districts and schools is the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is the federal law that defines special education. The concept of Response to Intervention (RtI) was introduced in the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA and has influenced the way districts identify and serve students with exceptionalities.
These two laws, when taken together, support the beliefs and practices behind Kansas' Multi-Tier System of Supports.