• MTSS stands for “Multi-Tiered System of Supports.” This means that on a daily basis, ASD staff work together to support every student academically, behaviorally, and socially based on ongoing needs.

  • MTSS Triangle Collaboration

    Staff, students and families work together to support students.


    Positive Relationships

    Staff, students and families are connected to bring value to learning.


    Powerful Instruction

    Staff, students and families support learning experiences that are relevant, rigorous, and engaging.


    • Data based decision making - Continuous Improvement
    • Leadership/Foundations Teams
    • Grade/Department Meeting
    • Communication
    • Professional Learning
    • Community and Family Involvement
    • Growth Mindset
    • Collaborative Teaming

Positive Relationships

    • Data based decision making - School /Classroom Climate
    • Direct Instruction- Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Skills
    • Building Connections
    • Adult-to-Student
    • Student-to-Student
    • Adult-to-Adult


Powerful Instruction

    • Data based decision making- Student Response to Instruction (SRI)
    • Targeted, Evidence-based Intervention
    • Culturally Responsive Practices
    • Advanced Coursework
    • Relevant and Meaningful
    • Engaging, Rigorous & Challenging


How does MTSS work? 

  • The Anchorage School District (ASD) uses a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) which is defined as an integrated, multi-tiered system of instruction, assessment, and intervention designed to meet the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of ALL students, including those with dyslexia/reading difficulties.  This three-tiered framework utilizes high-quality evidence-based instruction and assessment practices to ensure that every student receives the appropriate level of support to be successful. 


    The Three-Tiered Framework


    Tier I: Core Instruction


    All students receive high quality scientific, research-based instruction from teachers in the core curriculum. Core academic and behavioral instruction is differentiated, culturally responsive, and occurs in the general education setting. At this level, teachers match students’ prerequisite skills with course content to create an appropriate instructional match and use evidence-based instructional strategies with integrity.


    At the core instruction level, universal screening for all students provides an indicator of student performance at critical points throughout the school year. Core instruction is aligned to key learning standards and provides the foundations upon which more targeted and intensified interventions are formulated. Core instruction, including advanced coursework, should meet the needs of approximately 80 percent of the student population.


    *Core instructions include explicit instructional routines that address phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension (Big 5 / ECORI) which are essential for all students to learn to read, especially those who experience Dyslexia.


    **Advanced coursework can include additional opportunities for practice, which is essential for those who experience Dyslexia.

  • Tier 2: Targeted Instruction


    In addition to core instruction, some students (approximately 15 percent) will need targeted instruction. Students who need targeted instruction are identified through screening data, teacher referral, review of past performance, and other data sources. Targeted instruction supplements, not replaces, core instruction and should be based on identified needs of the student.  These needs are determined by formative, diagnostic and progress monitoring assessments.


    This instruction is intended to be short-term in duration (e.g., 6-12 week intervals, up to a single semester), is generally provided in smaller groups (as FTE permits), and may occur in the classroom or other settings. Implementation of targeted instruction is more effective and efficient when aligned to core instruction and time is built into the master schedule. If the student continues to make inadequate growth, a Student Support Team or Department meeting should be requested to problem-solve and develop intensified instruction for the student.


    * Targeted instruction at this level may include Dyslexia Specific Interventions. Frequency and intensity will vary depending on individual needs.


    ** Dyslexia specific Interventions can be provided by a teacher, TA, or staff member with supported district level trainings. Examples of evidence-based, dyslexia specific interventions used in our district are Priority Plans for Tier I, II, and III, K/1 Star Binder, Phonics for Reading, SIPPS, Heggarty, and Barton. 

  • Tier 3: Intensified Instruction


    A small proportion of students (approximately 1-5 percent) will require more intensified instruction, replacement curriculum, and/or individualized behavior plan. Students receiving intensified instruction are those students who are performing significantly below standards and who have not adequately responded to high-quality instruction provided through the core and targeted instruction. 


    Intensified instruction is substituted for the core and targeted instruction with the intention of accelerating levels of proficiency so students may return to core instruction.  Scientifically evidence-based intensified instruction and district-sponsored, replacement curriculum is more explicit, systematic and is provided in smaller groups. Students receiving intensified instruction are monitored more frequently to evaluate the effects of instruction in a timely manner. If the student continues to make inadequate growth, a Student Support Team (SST) or department meeting should be requested to problem-solve ways to intensify and adjust instructional variables.

Screener FAQs

  • What is a Universal Screener?

    Universal screening is the first step in evaluating the effectiveness of core instruction for all students.  It is also the mechanism for identifying students who need advanced coursework, as well as students who are experiencing unproductive struggle to learn (Jenkins, Hudson, & Johnson, 2007).  


    Who is tested?

    All K-8th grade students in Anchorage School District will be administered standards-based assessments in reading and mathematics.


    When and how often?

    Students will be screened 3 times a year, in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. District-wide assessment for screening identifies annual and catch-up growth in core subject areas. See our Assessments Calendar for more information.


    What is the purpose of the screeners?

    These assessments are designed to gather evidence of student learning.  They are used to recognize students’ strengths and weaknesses as well indicate a need for more intensive instruction, interventions, advanced coursework. 

What do Screeners Do?
  • The progress of the student is then monitored to inform ongoing decision-making, the impact of instruction, and necessary strategic adjustments.  Monitoring includes ongoing formative program assessments and curriculum based measures.


    What assessments are used within the ASD?

    ASD utilizes Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA’s) MAP Growth Reading and Mathematics Assessments for universal screening in grades 3-9 and FastBridge Learning for academic screening in K-2. Some schools also use tools to screen for behaviors and social and emotional learning needs in schools.  Additional assessments may be used to gather more information.

Assessments within ASD

  • For more information about how MTSS is implemented at your school, contact your child's teacher or school principal.