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Student Supports in Tennessee

The goal of this webpage is to pull together the various state-developed student supports. Please click the icons below to be directed to student support resources.

Tennessee’s multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS) is a framework for seeing how all the practices, programs, and interventions fit together in order to meet students’ needs both within an individual classroom and across the school building. This graphic is not exhaustive—every school and district will prioritize different programs based on the unique needs of the school community. It is most important to intentionally utilize student data to identify student needs and tailor programming to meet student needs.   

Framework/Overview

Tennessee MTSS Model, Multi-Tiered System of Support: Academic Support - Non-academic Support   Guiding Principles Leadership • Culture of Collaboration • Prevention & Early Intervention  TIER I - All 80–85% ALL students receive research-based, high-quality, instruction using Tennessee State Standards in a positive behavior environment that incorporates ongoing universal screening and ongoing assessment to inform instruction. In general, 80–85 percent of students will have their needs met by Tier I supports.  TIER II - Some 10–15% In ADDITION to Tier I, extra support is provided to students who have been identified as “at risk” in academic or non-academic skills or have not made adequate progress with Tier I supports alone. In general, 10–15 percent of student will receive Tier II interventions.  TIER III - Few 3–5% In ADDITION to Tier I, extra support is provided to students who have not made significant progress in Tier II interventions or who are significantly below grade level in academic or nonacademic skills. Tier III interventions are more explicit and more intensive than Tier II interventions.
Effective Tier I Practices: TIER I - All 80–85% ALL students receive research-based, high-quality, general education instruction using Tennessee State Standards in a positive behavior environment that incorporates ongoing universal screening and ongoing assessment to inform instruction. Effective Tier I practices within the MTSS framework include the following four main components  Engaging Academic Instruction Schools and classrooms that teach the Tennessee State Standards through engaging practices optimize student potential for success. Engaging academic instruction includes differentiating content, process, and product through consideration of student readiness, interests, and learning styles. Examples include the use of technology to increase opportunities to respond, varying response formats to increase access for students who struggle with reading and writing, and providing choice in academic tasks.  School Climate and Connectedness School climate and connectedness are critical for students, staff, and families to feel valued, as well as physically and emotionally safe. Universal strategies for building a strong, positive school climate that fosters student connection include consistent schoolwide behavior expectations, student leadership opportunities in developing school policies and practices, positive behavior acknowledgment system, and schoolwide discipline policy utilizing restorative practices.  Health and Wellness Prioritizing resources to address both physical and mental health issues improves academic and life outcomes for students. Some universal strategies that support health and wellness include student access to licensed health professionals, school breakfast programs, providing comprehensive health education for all students, and student health screenings.  Social and Personal Competence Social and personal competence is necessary for children and adults to manage emotions, establish and achieve positive goals, develop and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Universal strategies that promote social and personal competence include class meetings, cooperative learning groups, and student focus groups. Additionally, offering character education in schools (see T.C.A § 49-6-1007(a)) can support students in developing positive values and will complement the promotion of social and personal competence.