Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Joseph F. Marcoline, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

Sue Rieg, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed.


Providing equitable education for all students is the responsibility of administrators, teachers, and parents. Even though the MTSS/RtII Framework has evolved from the RtI and RtII models, the basis is the same: intervening and identifying students’ needs and analyzing data and programming instruction to meet all students’ needs. Even though in the early stages of RtI gifted students were not included, recent literature has proven that it is a must for gifted success. When incorporating the MTSS/RtII Framework with gifted students, this becomes a successful model for all. In order to establish an effective MTSS/RtII Framework with gifted students, administrators have to lead the implementation procedures.

This study’s purpose was to analyze elementary administrators’ perceptions regarding the Pennsylvania’s MTSS/RtII Framework with gifted elementary students. The intent was to learn more about MTSS/RtII and gifted students from administrators who have been developing the Pennsylvania’s MTSS/RtII Framework with gifted elementary students. The MTSS/RtII Framework that was renamed in 2014 categorizes students based on their abilities from data analysis. Recent literature suggests expanding from the three-tiered approach to five tiers including the high achieving and gifted students.

Participants included seven elementary administrators who are involved in the Pennsylvania’s MTSS/RtII Framework with elementary gifted students. From the Pennsylvania Department of Education, demographic information was collected. Elementary administrator interviews were completed.

The results demonstrate that implementing the Pennsylvania MTSS/RtII Framework requires administrator leadership. Three significant themes emerged: curriculum/instruction, data analysis/assessments, and collaboration/leadership. The research validated the significance of a systems thinking approach to increase effective gifted education with Renzulli’s (1978 & 1977) Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness and Triad Enrichment Model. Important points were identified regarding the consistency between schools in the same school district, time, and the MTSS/RtII procedures. This study concluded that more research should be investigated with intervention frameworks/models like the MTSS/RtII Framework with gifted elementary students.