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Georgia Tiered System of Supports for Students

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Georgia’s Tiered System of Supports for Students (Georgia’s MTSS framework) is a prevention framework of evidence-based, system-wide practices to support a rapid response to academic and behavioral needs.
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38,874 students – The number of students in 61 Cohort 1-3 schools potentially impacted.
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“[Georgia’s Tiered System of Supports for Students] has given me the knowledge and experience to ensure that I am providing individualized instructions to my students based on their needs by using reliable, researched data.”
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​Visit GaDOE Community for MTSS Professional Learning​ events​​​

​Georgia educators are alig​ning to create a preventive framework to improve performance outcomes of all learners. Georgia 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 Tiered System of Supports for Students advance the work of Georgia's Systems of Continuous Improvement​?

Essential Components​​
Link to show MTSS essential components and Georgia's Systems of Continuous Improvement framework

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 and 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 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 ​

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 access SLDS instructions.​ 

Units of Study 
  • Overview and Expectations 
  • Screening
  • Progress Monitoring
  • Multi-Level Prevention System Tier 1
  • Multi-Level Prevention System Tier 2 

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, and behavioral achievement of all students to prepare them to be successful high school graduates.

What You Need to Know

Every Student S​ucceeds 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 Hi​gh-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.

Legislation Guidance

  • House Bill 740
  • House Bill 855​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 Contact Information

Jeannie Morris, Ed.S,  

Senior Program Manager, GaTSS 

Phone: 678-673-0416


Karen Suddeth, Ed.S.

State Personnel Development Grant Manager

Phone: 404-548-4348


Please email questions to

​​Upcoming Events & News

Are you implementing MTSS in your school or district? Please join our network of professionals by clicking register​.


 Getting Started


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)​.