Arizona Department of Education’s MTSS/RTI Guiding Principles are…


To collaboratively develop the capacity of all Arizona LEA’s to implement, and sustain a system of supports that prepares all students for college and career readiness.


To accelerate and maximize academic and behavioral outcomes for all students through the application of collaborative data-based problem-solving utilized by effective leadership at all levels of the educational system.


  1. ALL students will learn and achieve academic success as a result of effective teaching, early intervention and ongoing support.
  2. ALL students must have access to a rigorous, standards-based curriculum and research-based instruction delivered with fidelity.
  3. Collaboration among ALL stakeholders is the foundation of effective problem-solving and data based decision-making.
  4. A multi-tiered system of evidence-based interventions is essential for addressing the full range of student needs.

MTSS logo

Multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) is a coherent continuum of system-wide, data-based problem solving practices supporting a rapid response to the academic and behavioral needs for all students. This comprehensive system of supports includes assessments (universal screening, diagnostic, progress monitoring, formative, and summative), research-based instruction, and interventions. This instruction/intervention is delivered across multiple tiers dependent on the individual student needs identified by student outcome data.

Three tiers describe the level and intensity of the instruction/interventions provided across the continuum.

Tier 3: Intensive

Intensive, Individualized Interventions and Supports
The most intense (increased time, narrowed focus, reduced group size) instruction/intervention based on individual student need provided in addition to and aligned with Tier 1 and 2 academic and behavior instruction and supports.

Tier 2: Targeted

Targeted, Supplemental Interventions and Supports
Individual or small group targeted instruction/intervention and supplemental supports in addition to and aligned with Tier 1 academic and behavior instruction and supports.

Tier 1: Universal

Core, Universal Instruction and Supports
Academic and behavior instruction and supports designed and differentiated for all students in all settings.