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 Georgia's Tiered System of Supports for Students

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"A Multi-tiered System of Supports will negate the one-dimensional view of the role schools have played in the past and help create a new multi-dimensional vision in which schools, families, and communities work together to support ALL students."
— Monica Smith, coordinator of Student Services
Houston County Board of Education
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Since 2018, more than one thousand GA educators received training and 80% reported confidence in implementing the MTSS framework in their districts.
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"MTSS will assist districts in evaluating the success of current practices, aid schools in developing a team-based approach to address the unique educational needs of all students and align resources in order to achieve system objectives efficiently and effectively."
— Aaron B. Jackson, program manager
Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
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Georgia educators are alig​ning to create a preventive framework to improve performance outcomes of all learners. Georgia's Tiered System of Supports for Students is continued implementation of Georgia's Systems of Continuous Improvement, the statewide plan to provide a tiered system of supports for the districts, schools, and students. The tiered system includes evidence-based interventions and screenings that will provide the different levels of support needed to maximize student achievement and reduce behavior problems.

How do the components of Georgia's Tiered System of Supports for Students advance the work of Georgia's Systems of Continuous Improvement​?

Essential Components​ 
The essential components of Georgia’s framework are aligned with the nationally vetted Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) including: Screening​​​Progress Monitoring​, Multi-Level Prevention System​, and Data-Based Decision Making​. Georgia added Infrastructure as a fifth component​ to ensure schools can develop a systemic and preventive educational system that can ​​easily be personalized for every child. The following are critical elements of Infrastructure: Leadership, Effective Teaming, Professional Learning, and Family & Community Engagement​

Essential Component: Multi-Level Prevention System

Until now, Georgia was the only state to have a four-tiered pyramid. Georgia operates within a three-tiered, multi-level prevention system. Students receive services at all levels, depending on their needs. When all compo​nents are implemented, research shows results include strengthened Tier 1 instruction with 80% of students responding to core curriculum.

Georgia's Tiered System of Supports for Students represents a cross-divisional effort among Teaching and Learning, School and District Effectiveness, Federal Programs, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Special Education.

Cohorts 1 and 2​

Through a competitive application process, the GaDOE selected 16 school districts and all Georgia's State Schools to participate in Cohorts 1 and 2; these districts are committed to using evidence and research-based practices to empower their students to learn, live and lead by graduation.

​​Each district will receive support in measurement and evaluation, professional learning and technical assistance, including coaching, necessary to support implementation. Schools will receive multi-phase training and ongoing supports for refinement and sustainability purposes.  

Georgia's MTSS Implementation Step-By-Step Guidance​ 

Professional Learning Modules

Two online MTSS courses are available through the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS). The first course provides an overview of the framework and its five essential components. The second course, Georgia’s Tiered System of Supports for Students:Screening was designed to increase participant’s understanding of Screening, an essential component of MTSS. It addresses how effective screening tools may inform instruction and help identify students who are in need of enrichment/acceleration or who are at risk for poor learning and/or poor behavior outcomes. Click here for a complete course overview or for here​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ to acces SLDS instructions.​ 

Units of Study 

Georgia's Tiered System of Supports for Students is expected to become one of the primary guiding frameworks for a continuous, data-based, school improvement process, supporting academic, social emotional and behavioral achievement of all students to prepare them to be successful high school graduates.

What You Need to Know

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)​ requires the use of evidence-based interventions and suggests that schools and districts implement a tiered system of supports. ESSA also allows state flexibility in using grant funds to implement a MTSS framework for literacy in kindergarten through grade 12 [Sec 2224(e)(4)​].

House Bill 740​ requires local school systems to use multi-tiered system of supports and reviews prior to expelling or assigning a student in preschool through third grade to out-of-school suspension for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year. 

High-Leverage Practices

The success of a Tiered System of S​upports for Students is dependent upon the use of High-Leverage Practices (HLPs). HLPs are a set of practices that are necessary to support student learning, and that should be learned ​and implemented by all teachers.

Evidence-Based Practices

Evidence-Based Practices​ (EBPs) are effective educational strategies supported by evidence and research. Strategies are generally considered effective instructional and behavioral practices rather than a set of prescribed instructional procedures, systematically implemented. When HLPs s are coupled with EBPs, they provide a continuum of supports that result in a rapid response to academic and  behavioral needs.

 Family Guide and Resources


 Contact Information

​Karen S. Suddeth, Ed.S.
Program Manager
Office Phone: 404-656-6058
Cell Phone: 404-548-4348

Carole C. Carr
Communications Specialist

Office Phone: 404-232-7986
Cell Phone: 404-519-9998
Staff Contact List

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 Georgia's State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG)

​How to apply to be part of a Cohort 3?



This initiative is funded by a five-year State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) awarded to the state from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)​.