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Arlington Tiered System of Support (ATSS)

The Arlington Tiered System of Supports (ATSS) is the overarching framework that encompasses both the academic and social/emotional dimensions of learning. The ATSS framework is a key component of the broader APS strategy to support ALL learners and ensure equitable access to a robust, high quality education.

ATSS implementation is the shared responsibility of all APS educators, staff, families and communities. It is designed to enable educators to make data-based decisions to meet the needs of students from different backgrounds, levels of language proficiency, learning styles, and levels of achievement.

Our Focus

Mission Statement

The goal of ATSS is to provide a high-quality tiered instructional framework that is personalized, flexible, and inclusive.  Utilizing the principles of Universal Design for Learning, we promote the use of evidence-based, comprehensive, and rigorous curricular resources in order to meet the academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs of ALL learners.

Vision Statement 

To support schools in the development of sustainable academic and behavioral tiered systems of support through relationship building, focused professional learning, and strategic coaching in order to ensure schools have the systems needed to guarantee equitable outcomes for all students.

Core Beliefs

  • Students come first.
  • Equity is fundamental.
  • Decisions are informed by data.
  • Improvement is continuous.
  • Know better, do better.

ATSS Important Information

Universal Screening Information

All students will receive universal screening in reading and math in Elementary and Middle School to identify any needs early on so supports, interventions, and extensions can begin right away. The screenings are often administered 3 times a year.Questions to ask after the universal screener has been administered:

  • Is our core curriculum working?
  • Is instruction effective?
  • Which students need additional assessment and instruction?

Core Instruction in Tier 1

Core instruction should have a strong evidence base, address all the essential elements of the content area at each grade level and support Virginia’s Standards of Learning. Instruction should be explicit, differentiated, and inclusive. (http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/virginia_tiered_system_supports/index.shtml)In addition to core classroom instruction, student progress is assessed three times per year through universal screening. Tier 1 instruction is considered successful when 80 – 85 percent of students meet instructional expectations.

Tier 2

Tier 2 intervention extensions is commonly delivered in a 15-30 minute block and provided three to five times per week in addition to core instruction time. Typically, progress is monitored every 2-3 weeks.

Tier 3

Tier 3 intervention is commonly delivered in a 30-45 minute block and provided five times per week in addition to core instruction time. Instruction at this level is more intensive, focused, frequent and individualized. Progress is usually monitored every week.

Progress Monitoring

A practice used to frequently assess students’ academic progress to determine effectiveness of intervention extension.Questions to ask after administered a progress monitoring assessment:

  • Are students meeting short and long term goals?
  • Are students making progress at acceptable rates?
  • Does the instruction need to be adjusted or changed?


Arlington Tiered System of Support

Office of Academics
Syphax Education Center
2110 Washington Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22204

Phone:  703-228-6053

  • ATSS Teacher Specialist, English Language Arts: Elizabeth Carino
  • ATSS Teacher Specialist, Mathematics: Gabrielle Wolosik
  • ATSS Teacher Specialist, Social Emotional Learning: Jessica Kingsley
  • ATSS Teacher Specialist: Stephanie McIntyre
  • Administrative Assistant: Isabel Andino