As you may know, occasionally staff and/or family members have concerns regarding student learning. During the spring of 2019, Arlington Public Schools (APS) developed a streamlined process for supporting student learning and responding to concerns. As we recognize and value the importance of family engagement, we want to be sure that you are knowledgeable about the new process, and are aware of ways in which you can partner with your child’s school should concerns arise regarding your child’s academic, social-emotional, and/or behavioral needs.
Beginning this September, APS is utilizing a new Student Support Process. Below are the procedures to be followed when staff members have concerns about students.
- When there is an academic, social-emotional, and/or behavioral concern about a student, the teacher will begin to implement supports within the classroom first.
- If a student is not making anticipated progress with current support, the teacher will share concerns with the collaborative staff team at the school, and communicate with the student’s family to collaborate and gather additional information to implement new interventions.
- 3. If after the teacher and/or collaborative team have implemented interventions with fidelity for at least 5-6 weeks and the student is still not making anticipated progress, the teacher will make a referral to the Student Support Team.
The Student Support Team (SST) is an interdisciplinary team in each school which includes parents/guardians and is led by a Student Support Coordinator (SSC). The SST will meet together to discuss the concerns, and the SSC will ensure one or more of the following actions occur based on the team’s recommendations:
- Create an intensified intervention plan (formerly called IAT)
- Move forward with evaluation for special education (formerly called Student Study)
- Move forward with eligibility for Section 504
One important resource that will guide our schools is the Student Support Manual which will serve as a reference guide and outline the various processes that APS utilizes to support student needs. A Spanish translation is coming soon.
Parents/guardians may also initiate a Student Support Team process. If you have concerns about your child’s academic, social-emotional development, and or behavior, the first step you should take is to talk directly with your child’s teacher(s) to share your concerns. You may also request a Student Support Team meeting to consider an evaluation for special education and/or Section 504 eligibility if a disability is suspected. To do this, contact the Student Support Coordinator assigned to your school.
We anticipate that consolidating, aligning and strengthening our processes will: ensure that consistent practices and processes are implemented in a timely way across all schools and grade levels; reduce time teachers are pulled out of class and time families need to come in for meetings; and provide consistent guidance and support to families. Finally, we believe that this streamlined process will enable us to effectively and efficiently respond to concerns to ensure all APS students have the supports they need to thrive and experience success in school.
Parents may contact the Parent Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-228-7239 with questions and/or to receive additional information.
As always, we are grateful for our engaged parent community’s support in our ongoing efforts to continue to improve and enhance student learning in APS, and we look forward to partnering with you this year.