Diverse Learners

Special Education Supports and Services


Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

Meeting the needs of all students

MTSS is designed so that schools can provide the appropriate level of instruction and intervention for their students. Using performance data and monitoring, learning rates through MTSS, educators can make important instructional decisions to meet the needs of students from different backgrounds, learning styles, and levels of attainment.

Info Graphic

FIGURE: MTSS Tiers

A fundamental concept of MTSS is that all students receive core academic and behavioral supports, and additional targeted instruction and interventions are provided to students as needed, based on a continuous review of the child’s performance; root cause analysis of problem areas; and refinements to strategies, supports and interventions to address what is not working.

Tiers of academic and behavioral instruction and supports

Tier 1

Core Instruction and Supports General academic and behavioral support, differentiated for all students in a general education setting.

Tier 2

Targeted Supplemental Instruction and Intervention More focused, targeted instruction, interventions, and supplemental supports, provided in a general education setting (in addition to Tier 1).

Tier 3

Intensive Individualized Instruction and Intervention The most intense instruction and intervention that is made available and provided in a small group general education setting.

Determining the appropriate tier of support/intervention:

Step 1

  • Teacher (or parent, administrator, or counselor) recognizes a consistent need exhibited by the student.
  • Discrepancy in the student’s academic, social/emotional, behavioral, and/or physical ability may signal the need for additional academic or behavioral supports.

Step 2

  • School-level team will engage in the problem-solving process to determine the root cause.

Step 3

  • School-level team will strategize and develop a cooperative plan that includes tiered interventions to close the gap for the student.

Implementation of additional tiered support

Typically students will be identified by school-level teams and have alternative education strategies implemented prior to referral for special education assessments, unless a disability is clearly suspected. Intervention teams usually consist of the teacher, an administrator, and/or other general education teachers. Effective interventions are:

  • Research or evidence-based
  • Engaging and delivered with high quality instruction

Frequent monitoring of progress and application of student response data to determine further educational and behavioral decisions must also be included.

Have Questions?

Complete and submit this form to request assistance and support for your child regarding special education.

Contact Information

Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 773-553-1800
Fax: 773-553-1801
Email: odlss@cps.edu

School Assignment Services
Phone: 773-553-1847

Student Transportation
Phone: 773-553-2860

Nursing Information
Phone: 773-553-4589

Page Last Modified on Monday, November 19, 2018