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Response to Intervention and Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports

Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, our district is transitioning to Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to further strengthen our current Response to Intervention (RTI) system. The New York State Education Department defines MTSS as “a framework for both academic and behavioral instruction. MTSS is grounded in the belief that all students can learn, and all school professionals are responsive to the academic and behavioral needs of all students.  MTSS focuses on evidence-based practices, relies on student progress data to inform instructional decisions, and ensures that each student, based on their unique needs, receives the level and type of support necessary to be successful (n.d.).” 

What is the difference between RTI and MTSS?

Many schools use RTI and MTSS interchangeably. However there is a difference:

  • RTI usually refers to a school's academic support system only.
  • MTSS is more expansive, describing the systems set up in a school to provide coordinated support for both academic and behavioral/social-emotional needs.
  • However, RTI and MTSS are similar in that each offers several levels of intervention support, uses data to identify students requiring services and employs research based strategies to help at-risk learners.