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Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a comprehensive system of supports that includes universal screening, data-based decision-making, tiered services and supports, high-quality core instruction, parental engagement, district/building level leadership, RtII/SLD (Specific Learning Disability) determination, and professional development. Educators use evidence-based practices that may be implemented across a system to include academics,  behavior and social emotional learning 

Educators must insure that all students are provided meaningful access and receive high-quality, standards-aligned differentiated instruction. All students must participate in universal screening and be assessed using other measures to determine strengths and areas of need. Increasingly intense instruction and intervention is immediate for students who are falling below benchmark. When a student’s response to instruction and intervention is deemed “inadequate” despite core and supplemental instruction and/or intervention, the eligibility determination process is initiated.

Process Using MTSS (formerly RTII) for SLD Determination

IDEA 2006 and PA Chapter 14 regulations provided two options for the determination of a specific learning disability (SLD). Schools may use the ability-achievement discrepancy model or Multi Tiered Systems of Support (formery Response to Intervention RTII) framework. To use MTSS for SLD determination, schools must acquire approval through the Bureau of Special Education’s established MTSS/SLD Approval Process. Schools that want to use MTSS as part of a comprehensive SLD eligibility determination must demonstrate that they have technically adequate models and/or fidelity of implementation.




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Educational Resources


Richael Fertig
Supervisor of Special Education 
724.287.4156 ext. 1331


Linda Delvaux

724.458.6700 Ext 1272

Leah Winans