Manhattan Beach Unified School District

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Educational Services » Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)


The MBUSD Board Goal 1 is to maximize the academic success of all students.  An essential program driving our work toward this goal is the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), which is a proactive approach to systematizing, organizing, and providing learning support for all students.
What is MTSS?
MBUSD’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports, also known as MTSS, defines a system that includes support in the areas of social-emotional, behavior, and academics to ensure every learner can be successful.
The key components are the following:
  • High-quality, research-based instruction in the general education setting
  • Universal screening to identify students needing supplemental support (Tier 2 or Tier 3)
  • Multiple tiers (levels) of instruction that are progressively more intense, based on the student’s response to instruction
  • Evidence-based interventions matched to student need
  • Ongoing progress monitoring of student performance (response to intervention) In the multi-tiered system of supports, the progress of all students is monitored, and instruction and intervention are provided in varying intensities (multiple tiers) based on student needs. 
To learn more about the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework, visit the California Department of Education MTSS page.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn (CAST, 2022). The framework translates an understanding of neural networks and brain-based learning into practice using three guiding principles:

  • Multiple means of engagement (the “why” of learning)
  • Multiple means of representation (the “what” of learning)
  • Multiple means of action and expression (the “how” of learning)

UDL is the design and delivery of curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of all learners by providing them choices for what they are learning, why they are learning, and how  they will share what they have learned (Novak, 2016)

Universal Screener

A central component of all MTSS models is an early screening of all students to identify those at risk for academic, social-emotional,  and/or behavior difficulties.


STAR Reading, STAR Early Literacy, and STAR Math are standardized, computer-adaptive assessments created by Renaissance Learning, Inc.  

  • STAR Early Literacy: Foundational reading, language, and vocabulary.  ​
  • STAR Reading: Phonology, literature, informational text, and language. ​
  • STAR Math: Counting, operations, algebraic thinking, and geometry.

MBUSD students in grades 1-8 are administered STAR three times a year.  Results are used in conjunction with other formative assessments to determine Tier 2 interventions.


  • WIN (What I Need) Time for Differentiated Instruction
  • Core and Targeted Instruction
  • Uses Strategic Evidenced Based Interventions
  • Delivered in Small Group Instruction by General Education Teacher


-Reading and Math Tier 3 programming

- Math Success and English Success Classes

- Student Academic Success (SAS)

California Department of Education MTSS

Center for Applied Special Technology-CAST Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning

STAR Renaissance

MBUSD Board Policy 6120: Response To Instruction And Intervention
If you have any questions, please contact Patti McCullum, MTSS TOSA.