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Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Framework and Field Guide

The goal of VTmtss is to guide Vermont educators as they work to prevent difficulties where possible and to support students when needed so that all students can succeed.

In 2015, Vermont‘s Title 16 (16 V.S.A. § 2902) replaced the term "Education Support System" with "Tiered System of Support". The term also appears in the Vermont State Board of Education Rules Series 2000 – Education Quality Standards under 2121.5. More than just a name change, a Multi-tiered System of Support provides a framework that “at a minimum, includes an educational support team, instructional and behavioral interventions, and accommodations that are available as needed for any student who requires support beyond what can be provided in the general education classroom, and may include intensive, individualized interventions for any student requiring a higher level of support”.

VTmtss is about changing opportunity for all students. VTmtss unifies a progressive system of supports, personalization, flexible pathways and proficiencies. Context matters: VTmtss promotes a systemic approach that acknowledges the importance of Vermont’s cultural context and connects schools with services and institutions in the community.

The VTmtss Framework supports a focus, among both general and special educators, on preventing academic, social emotional, and behavioral difficulties and improving learning for all students through increasingly differentiated and intensified assessment, instruction, and intervention. It is both a framework for decision making and a call to action.

2019 VTmtss Field Guide

The VTmtss Field Guide are guidelines for the field - expanded from the last edition in 2014 – that support schools and SU/SDs in designing comprehensive systems so that the knowledge, information, and expertise already embedded in a school system can ensure equitable outcomes for all students.

VTmtss Field Guide 2019

The first Field Guide was published in 2014, after two years of work by a committed group of Vermont professionals. Their work laid the foundation for this Field Guide. However, after five years, there was a need to capture the new policies and practices that have emerged from bold and fresh thinking at all levels of the educational cascade.

This 2019 edition reflects a renewed and strengthened commitment to promoting rigorous outcomes for everyone, especially for students who have been historically marginalized and/or under-performing.

The VTmtss Field Guide is intended to provoke conversation and reflection, provide information about effective practices, and support collaborative and systemic efforts to improve outcomes for all students. Changes from the previous Field Guide include:

  • An explicit discussion of how school and district internal cultures contributes to school improvement in each component
  • A new section, VTmtss in Action, that addresses how to use the Systemic and Comprehensive Approach for decision-making, continuous improvement and problem-solving
  • A set of Vignettes showing how Vermont schools are using the VTmtss Framework to address questions and make decisions
  • Practical Matters discussions for each component to explore some of the practical issues that need to be addressed
  • Reflection Tools for schools or school districts to look at their systems and practices through the lenses of the components and their interconnectivity
  • Enhanced discussion of social and emotional concerns and Specific Learning Disability (SLD) determination

  • An explicit connection to Vermont and federal legislative policy, specifically: EQS, Act 173, ESSA, and IDEA
  • Intentional connection to state guidelines on assessment, specific learning disabilities, early education, and community and family engagement
  • Digging Deeper section that provides further resources and information about each component

VTmtss in Action Vignettes 

Currently available on pages 71-88 of the VTmtss Field Guide 2019


The VTmtss in Action Vignettes, are real-life examples of how the VTmtss Framework has been applied to different priority problems of practice within Vermont school systems. 

Each vignette was written by school personnel involved in the work.  

Who should use it? 

We recommend individuals or teams of educators refer to these vignettes to familiarize themselves with the CNA process through the lens of the VTmtss Framework components. 

VTmtss Reflection Tools 

Currently available on pages 89-101 of the VTmtss Field Guide 2019


The Reflection Tools, one for each of the five VTmtss components, are designed to encourage and promote deeper thinking about the specific components in VTmtss Framework. 

The summary of these conversations should be included in the CNA process when organizing and conducting a data inventory and in the VTmtss Driver Diagram to inform action planning within a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP). 

Who should use it? 

We recommended this tool for schools who want or need to take a deeper dive a component(s) into their VTmtss components, identified in the System Screener.  

Each Reflection Tool is designed as a stand-alone resource; school systems can choose to engage with any one or a combination of these tools, and do not need to complete all five. 

VTmtss Framework Supporting Documents

We offer these supporting documents to lay a common foundation and use of language for collective work to improve and expand tiered systems of support for each and every child in Vermont.

Vermont Multi-Tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Professional Learning Providers

The Suggested Criteria and Questions When Selecting Vermont Multi-Tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Professional Learning Providers includes guidelines for SU/SD/schools when considering professional learning providers to support expanding and improving the systemic infrastructure of the VTmtss Framework.    

The VTmtss Professional Learning Providers (2023) list reflects individuals and organizations that have demonstrated knowledge of the VTmtss Framework and experience supporting educators based on the five criteria as outlined in the Suggested Criteria and Questions document above. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement from the State of Vermont; school systems are encouraged to conduct additional research and reference checks to identify the resource(s) that will work best for their needs.