MTSS, also known as Response to Intervention (RTI) is a process by which schools use data to identify the academic and behavioral supports each and every student needs to be successful in school and leave school ready for life. The process provides students with evidence-based instruction and interventions matched to their needs and monitors student progress to improve their educational outcomes.

The MTSS process also allows educators to evaluate the overall health of their system and target resources by providing the necessary data to determine which elements of the education system are performing adequately and which require further development. MTSS is a decision-making framework composed of evidence-based practices in assessment and instruction. MTSS is not a packaged program, set of assessments or curriculum that can be purchased.

MTSS is also a framework for educating all children to high levels of proficiency. It is driven by general education, though it has been demonstrated to be effective for students served in special programs (e.g., Special Education, English Language Learners etc.) The MTSS process takes place within Universal, Targeted, and Intensive levels of instruction. Each of these levels provides increasingly intensive instruction, based on student needs, to support student progress toward proficiency. The essential components that must be in place to ensure that MTSS is implemented effectively are listed below. Critical to each and every one of these components is fidelity of implementation.

Essential components

  • Robust universal instruction in the Iowa Core/Iowa Early Learning Standards
  • Universal screening
  • Evidence-based instructional interventions at the Targeted and Intensive levels
  • Progress monitoring
  • Data-based decision-making

Iowa’s multi-tiered system of supports process


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Have a Question? Want to Know More? Contact a Central Rivers Administrator!

Cedar Falls Office

Name Title Email
Joe Kremer Assessment Coordinator Joe Kremer

Marshalltown Office

Name Title Email
Kim Swartz Regional Administrator Kim Swartz