Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is the APS general education support for all students

Abington Public Schools support all students in their social, emotional, and cognitive development through the Multi- Tiered System of Support (MTSS) - Click here for more information about MTSS. We call this process our “Student Support Team” (SST) and "Instructional Support Team". Though SST/IST takes varying forms in each of our schools, they all operate according to a three-tiered, school-wide approach to meet the needs of all learners in a strategic, systemic way. SST/IST is “fluid”; students move between tiers depending on their response level to interventions.

3 level  pyramid of support


Tier 1 – 100% of students; general education and school-wide curriculum
Tier 1 supports all students through the general curriculum and school initiatives. Students receive consistent, high-quality instruction through best teaching practices, differentiation, progress monitoring, professional dialogue, and specialist consult. Tier 1 is also implemented through positive behavior initiatives; the promotion of a community dynamic and positive school climate; and social, emotional, physical, and developmental support.  100% of APS students receive Tier 1 instruction.

Tier 2 – 5-15% of students; general education
Tier 2 increases support for those students who have been identified based on a variety of data sources, including but not limited to: grades, district, school and state assessments, in-class observations, and anecdotal evidence. Tier 2 is initiated only after the SST/IST team has exhausted Tier 1 interventions over the course of an 8–12-week period. Approximately 5-15% of students will receive Tier 2 interventions. Tier 1 supports continue.

Tier 3 – 1-5% of students; general education
Tier 3 intensifies support for those students not responding to Tier 2 interventions over an 8–12-week period. A decision about this response level depends on similar data sources to those described above, but also the more specific interventions and programs utilized by our staff in Tier 2. Approximately 1-5% of students will receive Tier 3 interventions. Tier 1 supports continue.  Students not showing significant growth after receiving Tier 3 support for an intervention cycle may be recommended by the SST/IST team for evaluation.



*Response to Intervention (RTI), which you may have heard about, is a framework that many schools use to help students who are struggling with academics. Like MTSS, there are 3 levels of support. Most students can make progress in the first level, which uses high-quality instruction to help kids catch up. Students who need more intensive help can get it in the second and third levels of RTI. A multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) is more comprehensive. It may include the three levels of RTI. But, as noted above, MTSS goes beyond just academics. It also covers social and emotional supports. That means it can include behavior intervention plans. MTSS covers the adults at school, too. It includes things like professional development for teachers. MTSS also focuses on creating ways for adults to team up to help struggling kids.