Colorado Department of Education: Definition of Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
Colorado Multi-Tiered System of Supports (CO-MTSS) is defined as a prevention-based framework of team-driven data-based problem solving for improving the outcomes of every student through family, school, and community partnering and a layered continuum of evidence-based practices applied at the classroom, school, LEA, region, and state level. Our mission is to shape, develop, and increase the collective capacity of schools and LEAs to implement and sustain a multi-tiered system of supports through a problem-solving culture that integrates data, practices, and systems to improve educational outcomes for every student.
CO-MTSS sees our partnerships with LEAs as an integral collaboration to achieve five major goals: 1) increase state leadership capacity for CO-MTSS infrastructure; 2) increase regional and district CO-MTSS capacity and sustainability; 3) increase preschool-12, school level capacity for CO-MTSS through the implementation of evidence-based practices, data-based problem solving, and short-cycle action planning; 4) support improved teacher effectiveness in the classroom; and 5) increase partnering with families, schools, and the community.
CO-MTSS includes five Essential Components that create a more efficient and effective system of supports that benefit the outcomes of all students including those in low performing schools:
1. Team-Driven Shared Leadership: Teaming structures and expectations to distribute responsibility and shared decision-making across school, LEA, and community members (e.g. students, families, generalists, specialists, and LEA administrators) to organize coordinated systems of training, coaching, resources, implementation, and evaluation for adult activities.
2. Data-Based Problem Solving and Decision-Making: A consistent process is used by stakeholder teams and applied at multiple levels to analyze and evaluate relevant information to plan and implement strategies that support sustainable improved student and system outcomes.
3. Family, School, and Community Partnering: The collaboration of families, schools, and communities as active partners in improving learner, classroom, school, LEA, and state outcomes.
4. Layered Continuum of Supports: Ensuring that every student receives equitable academic and behavioral support that is culturally responsive, matched to need, and developmentally appropriate, through layers that increase in intensity from universal (every student) to targeted (some students) to intensive (few students).
5. Evidence-Based Practices: Approaches to instruction, intervention, and assessment that have been proven effective through research indicating improved outcomes for students.