Assessing MTSS with Equity in Mind

Imagine a school where students set, monitor, and achieve their academic, social, and emotional goals by partnering with teachers. Students in this school develop academic, social, and emotional capacities, so they make positive, responsible decisions. Students in partnership with their families and educators create approaches to achieve their goals while building positive relationships with others.

When a learning community believes that together they are capable of developing their students’ academic, social, and emotional capacity… they do. Collective teacher efficacy (CTE) refers to a learning community’s shared belief that through its actions, it can positively IMPACT holistic student outcomes (Eells, 2011).

The Impact Team MTSS Framework is the only framework that puts learners in the driver’s seat so they get to advocate and make decisions about the kinds of support they need.

What is MTSS?

MTSS stands for a multi-tiered system of support. It’s a proactive framework schools implement to ensure targeted support for students. You may also hear it called the MTSS framework, the MTSS process, or the MTSS model.

When a learning community believes that together they are capable of developing their students’ academic, social, and emotional capacity… they do!

MTSS is designed to help schools support students early and intervene quickly. It focuses on the “whole child.” That means it supports academic growth, but many other areas, too. These include behavior, social and emotional needs, and absenteeism (not attending school).
The tiers of support are a huge part of MTSS. They get more intense from one level to the next. For example, a child getting small group interventions may need to “move up” to one-on-one help.

Strengthening MTSS with Collaborative Inquiry

Impact Teams Collaborative Inquiry Cycles, integrated with core MTSS principles, promote continuous improvement processes at all levels of the system (district, school site, and grade/course levels). Impact Team Inquiry supports collaborative restructuring efforts designed to align multiple systems of support, reduce initiative fatigue by aligning school improvement goals, and enhance triangulation of data to support “whole child” teaching. Impact Teams design collective actions that accelerate learning using the VL influences that get the highest impact.

The Impact Teams MTSS Framework supports systemic change through intentional human-centered design. The framework guides teams in developing solutions for obstacles and challenges by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process. Impact Teams integrate five MTSS core components (see table below) to create an integrated, comprehensive framework that focuses on quality implementation of:

  1. Balanced assessment framework
  2. High-impact, differentiated, tiered instruction aligned to the UDL framework
  3. Culturally responsive supports and resources
  4. Restorative support and relational literacy, necessary for academic, social, and emotional success
  5. Community-based support

So What Are Your Next Steps?

We have created this MTSS checklist so your team can engage in determining the strengths and needs of MTSS implementation. Please reach out to our Impact Team MTSS team if you need a thought partner or someone to support you.



Evaluating your school’s MTSS practices is not merely about ticking boxes on a checklist, but rather a journey to advance asset-based and grow self-efficacy with learners. As we navigate the complexities of education, let’s continue to honor and integrate diverse perspectives, voices, and experiences into our framework. Together, let’s strive for a school environment where every student feels seen, heard, and supported on their path to success.

Ready for More