Rhode Island Multi-Tiered System of Supports

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. How is MTSS different from PBIS and/or RTI?
A. A multi-tiered system of supports is in fact very similar to both Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RTI). Both of these systems provide a tiered framework for supporting student success with a focus on the preventative model. Hallmarks of these systems include a team approach, universal screening, using data to make decisions, evidence-based practices, and progress monitoring. The key factor that differentiates MTSS from PBIS or RTI alone is the integration of both behavioral and academic supports to ensure a whole-child approach to student success.

Q. Does participation in RI MTSS mean our school has to abandon its work on PBIS and/or RTI?
A. No. Because RI MTSS is a merged model of both PBIS and RTI, schools who are already implementing a tiered system of support have a solid foundation from which to build. If your school is already implementing PBIS or RTI with fidelity, the hallmarks of RI MTSS are in place. While schools will need to address gaps in academic and/or behavioral areas, schools should not abandon its previous work on PBIS and/or RTI.

Q. Can I get continuing education credits for participating in RI MTSS?
A. RDE or RIC is not providing professional development credits for RI MTSS participants. Districts and schools, however, may decide to allow educators to include participation as part of their professional growth goals.

Q. Who should participate in RI MTSS?
A. A successful multi-tiered system of supports relies heavily on district and building-level teams for championing, implementing, and sustaining MTSS. Because these teams are so critical, the RI MTSS team has created several resources to help districts and schools assemble the right people. Click on the Training tab to learn more.

Q. Does participation in RI MTSS cost anything?
A. All of the training, technical assistance, and online modules are available to districts and schools participating in RI MTSS free of charge. There are, however, associated costs of participating in the professional development, such as providing substitutes and/or stipends for teachers participating in the training. These related costs will be the responsibility of the district.

Q. How does RI MTSS connect to other RIDE MTSS bodies of work, such as RI Systems of Support or SSIP?
A. RI MTSS comprises one section of a larger body of work designed to implement and strengthen tiered systems of support in Rhode Island schools and districts. The Statewide Systems of Support connects RI MTSS, funded by the State Personnel Development Grant, to other projects, such as the National Center on Intensive Interventions and secondary school Response To Intervention. In addition, the Office of Student, Community, and Academic Supports (OSCAS) at RIDE organizes and supports work from both RI MTSS and the larger Statewide Systems of Support to improve measurable outcomes on state assessments for children with disabilities under the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP).
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Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities | Rhode Island College | Rhode Island Department of Education
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