Evidence-Based Instruction, Intervention and Supports

Tiered Delivery System with a Continuum of Supports


Kentucky’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (KyMTSS) is a preventative framework organized to provide a continuum of instruction, intervention and supports to meet the academic, behavioral and social-emotional needs of all students. Three tiers are typically used to describe the level and intensity of practices across the continuum. Movement through the tiers is a flexible and fluid process based on student assessment data and collaborative team decisions.

Why It’s Essential…

The design and implementation of a multi-tiered approach provides for efficient and effective allocation of resources within the educational system. When practices are implemented with fidelity, a layered continuum of instruction and intervention will support the academic, behavioral and social-emotional needs of all learners.

Key Features

Tiered Delivery System - Tier 1 Graphic
The foundational or universal level of support. All students receive high-quality, evidence-based instruction aligned to grade-level standards, schoolwide behavioral expectations and key social-emotional competencies. In sustainable systems, at least 80% of students have their needs met through this universal level of support.
Tiered Delivery System - Tier 2 Graphic

The targeted or supplemental level of support. Intended for some students who require more opportunities for practice and feedback or enrichment beyond Tier 1. In sustainable systems, 10-15% of students access this level of support in addition to the universal level. Tier 2 supports are often provided to groups of students with similar targeted needs.

Tiered Delivery System - Tier 3 Graphic

The most intensive level of support. It is intended for students with the most significant and persistent needs extending well beyond the reach of the Tier 1 level. In effective systems, 3-5% of students need access to this level of support. Tier 3 is characterized by increased intensity and individualization of instruction and targeted supports.


  • Communication and collaboration among key stakeholders (staff, families, community partners) at each tier.
  • Allocation of equitable resources (personnel, materials, space, time) to provide access to the full continuum of instruction, interventions and supports to meet the needs of the whole learner.
  • Clearly articulated processes in place for how learners will be identified as needing intervention or extensions; a description of the continuum of interventions and supports; decision rules to enter, intensify and exit intervention; and progress monitoring guidelines.
  • Ongoing professional learning opportunities and coaching provided in how to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners and in strategies to intensify the intervention and supports.


  • Analysis of relevant data across the continuum to match supports to student need(s), utilizing a consistent problem-solving process.

  • Analysis of student outcome data and intervention tracking data to determine level of use, effectiveness and fidelity of implementation.
  • Fluid movement between tiers supported by data and student response to intervention.


  • Equitable, responsive and evidence-based instructional practices, intervention programs and strategies identified at each tier, matched to student need and delivered in an environment where students feel safe, supported and welcome.

  • Tier 1: All students receive high quality universal instruction aligned with grade-level standards, school-wide behavioral expectations and core social-emotional competencies. Teachers use differentiation and scaffolding to ensure all students benefit from core instruction.
  • Tier 2 and 3:  MTSS teams identify academic interventions and/or targeted behavioral and social-emotional supports that have demonstrated positive effects for desired outcomes and are aligned with student needs.
  • Interventions and supports are delivered with fidelity with an appropriate duration and at a frequency to ensure students have increased opportunities for practice and corrective feedback.

Resources and Tools

Visit the Resources for Tiered Delivery System with a Continuum of Supports webpage for key resources to help in the implementation of this component!


Center on Multi-Tiered System of Supports.  Essential components of MTSS (n/d).  Retrieved from Essential Components of MTSS | Center on Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (mtss4success.org)

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (2021).  Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports [Website].  Tiered framework.  Retrieved from https://www.pbis.org/pbis/tiered-framework