Fall 2020: ATSS and Student Support Process

Fall 2020 Information for Families: Arlington Tiered System of Supports (ATSS) and Student Support Process
August 25, 2020
This fall, schools will continue to utilize the ATSS framework in a virtual setting to ensure that all students are receiving the targeted instruction they need.  With the guidance of the ATSS office, schools will continue to virtually refine and adapt the 5 main components of ATSS including:

1) rigorous, differentiated Tier 1 instruction,
2) universal screening and assessment,
3) progress monitoring,
4) research-based interventions, and
5) data-based decision making.

Schools will continue to use the three tiers of the ATSS framework to respond to the individual academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs of students.  For those students who require additional supports, certain adaptations and modifications will be implemented to accommodate these supports in a virtual setting. These supports could include:

  • frequent individual check-ins with APS staff
  • on-going diagnostic assessments
  • direct, explicit, and systematic synchronous instruction
  • increased frequency and duration of small group instruction and/or intervention
  • and differentiated and scaffolded Tier 1 synchronous and asynchronous instruction utilizing Universal Design for Learning guidelines.

APS staff will continue to offer a wide variety of interventions for students in need, including but not limited to Orton-Gillingham, Do the Math, and Zones of Regulation, in a virtual setting.  Furthermore, each school’s Student Support Team will be available to collaborate and support teachers in determining how to support the needs of all students virtually.  Collaborative Learning Teams (CLTs) will continue to meet on a weekly basis to analyze individual student data/progress and adjust instruction accordingly.

Student Support Team Meetings:

Staff or parents who have concerns regarding a student’s academic, social-emotional, and/or behavioral development may refer a student to a Student Support Team. Parents wishing to refer their child to a Student Support Team meeting to discuss concerns and/or request a special education evaluation are encouraged to share their request in writing with their child’s teacher.

For elementary school students, a copy should be shared with the principal or assistant principal.

For middle and high school students, a copy should be shared with the student’s counselor and the Director of Counseling.

To refer children ages two* through five who are not yet Arlington Public Schools students, contact the Arlington Public Schools Child Find Office.
(*Children need to be two years old by September 30th of the current school year in order to receive services in that school year.)

SST meetings will be held within 10 business days from the date of a referral.  Schools may use alternative team members to fill SPED and general education roles if needed to reduce the time staff are pulled from providing direct services.

Incomplete Special Education Evaluations:
Staff will communicate with families regarding continuation of special education evaluation processes that were suspended when schools closed unexpectedly in March, and additional information on virtual evaluations will be forthcoming.


More information about Student Support Teams, CLTs, and additional processes APS uses to support students can be found  here in the APS Student Support Manual (Revised, August, 2020).