Multi-Tiered System of Support for Gifted Students

Use of a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) provides responsive services for all students. It is a process that provides high-quality, research-based instruction based on learner needs. Needs are identified by monitoring students’ progress. Adjustments to instruction and interventions are based on students’ performance and academic growth. MTSS promotes a well-integrated system, connecting general, gifted, and special education with intervention and enrichment services.

The MTSS process addresses academic, social and emotional needs. Under the MTSS model, student needs are categorized under three tiers of support.

Tier 1 refers to the instruction that occurs within the classroom. The majority of students’ needs are met within this tier. The five core best practices in gifted education to form the foundation of differentiation for gifted learners include: pre-assessment, compacting, learning contracts/independent study, tiered instruction and assignments for depth, complexity and higher-order thinking, and grouping strategies that allow for a like-ability learning cohort.

Tier 2 interventions are utilized with a small percentage of identified students after documented Tier 1 interventions haven’t supported achieving appropriate growth. Students who require this level of intervention are typically outliers, even within the gifted population.

In rare cases, a student may require Tier 3 interventions. This level of intervention involves significant changes to a student’s learning experience.

Individual schools are the primary resource for information on gifted education and the front line of communication for families. The Gifted and Talented Department focuses on providing professional development and serving as a resource to district staff.