Critical Components of MTSS
Exploration of MTSS

Response to Intervention (RtI) and Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) are both frameworks of instructional design that support all students in making progress towards and exceeding mastery of grade-level content standards. In an MTSS/RtI framework, instructional supports are differentiated by levels of support to accelerate growth for students who lag behind their peers, as well as those exceeding grade-level expectations.

A school-wide, multi-level instructional system for preventing school failure includes screening, progress monitoring, and data-based decision making for instruction and movement within the multi-level system.

MTSS and RtI are viewed as similar concepts by the Minnesota Legislature; however, since 2012, education leaders have witnessed a systematic movement away from RtI toward MTSS. Many RtI resources for training and implementation that were developed before 2012 are still very useful and appropriate. Therefore, the terms RtI and MTSS are used interchangeably throughout the Toolkit.

The tools and resources in this section will help leaders explore the essential components of MTSS/RtI and may use them to learn how these components work within a school system. Teachers will find tools to help them become familiar with critical features of MTSS/RtI, while administrators will find tools for planning and preparation.

About MTSS

Response to Intervention ( is a Minnesota Department of Education web page dedicated to Response to Intervention (RtI). The terms Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and Response to Intervention (RtI) are frequently used interchangeably and many of the resources on the RtI web page cover concepts important to developing MTSS. The page includes links to additional resources that help introduce key concepts to school staff and prepare schools to implement each component.

Multi-tiered System of Supports to Accelerate the Learning of All Students ( This three-page PDF document from the Minnesota Department of Education briefly describes key elements of Multi-tiered System of Supports in a question-and-answer format and provides links to additional resources.

Minnesota MTSS/RtI Community of Practice (CoP) is a voluntary network of Minnesota leaders and practitioners working together to build Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) frameworks at local, district, regional, and state levels. This CoP addresses the complexities and challenges of implementing and sustaining MTSS for reading and math from elementary through high school. E-mail your request to join the COP to

Essential Components of RTI - A Closer Look at Response to Intervention ( The National Center on Response to Intervention (NCRTI) has developed a 14-page PDF that provides a definition of Response to Intervention (RtI), reviews essential RtI components, and responds to frequently asked questions, as well as a two-page “placemat” that summarizes this information. These resources provide educators with guidance for RtI implementation that reflects research and evidence-based practices and supports the implementation of a comprehensive RtI framework.

Specially Designed Instruction for Students With Disabilities Within a Multi-tiered System of Supports ( This document was developed by Florida's Department of Education and collaborating partners to clarify the relationship between Specially Designed Instruction, Core Instruction and Interventions within a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) for educators develping, improving and maintaing systems of support for all students.