P.O. Drawer 140, 100 Central Circle

Low Moor, VA  24457

540-863-1809    540-863-1804 fax


DATE:   June 18, 2018





Virginia Tiered Systems of Support (VTSS) Application


VTSS is “a data-informed decision making framework for establishing the social culture, and academic and behavioral supports needed for the school to be an effective learning environment (for academics, behavior and social-emotional wellbeing) for all students.” (VDOE, Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports: Success for all Students, Sophia Farmer, VTSS Training Specialist, VTSS Research and Implementation Center,




Tier 1 of VTSS involves implementing well researched programs and practices demonstrated to produce good outcomes for the majority of students. Tiers II and III involve implementing instruction in addition to core instruction to achieve benchmarks with 20% (Tier II) to 5% (Tier III) of the student population. Tier II is considered effective if 70-80% of students improve in performance effectively closing the gap toward performance goals. Tier III is considered effective if the 0-5% of students who require intensive individualized instruction in addition to core and supplemental instruction show improvement in achieving performance goals.


VDOE has accepted applications from divisions for the past four years to participate in a cohort program to receive staff development, coaching and other supports from VDOE to help in achieving division goals. This year the application for cohort 5 of VTSS was sent out May 11, 2018. The deadline for applications is in June.


I began communicating with two VTSS support personnel from the Technical Training and Assistance Center (TTAC) at Radford in late March, 2018, requesting their guidance and assistance with how to apply for a VTSS cohort. Under their direction and guidance, I solicited feedback from building administrators to see if there was interest in applying for VTSS in the division. Sarah Rowe had participated in the VTSS process before and was interested in having CMS participate in the process. She began working with her staff to determine if there was interest in participation in her building. April Easton also expressed interest in the process. I provided her links to informational webinars shared with me by TTAC and recommended she share these resources with a team of staff (for her choosing) to see if there was a consensus within her building that her staff wanted to participate in the VTSS process. Both Principals found that there was interest in participating in their buildings. Prior to April 26, 2018, the webinars were viewed by staff members from both schools. At a joint team meeting May 10, 2018, the determination was made that staff in both schools had a consensus in moving forward with pursuing getting technical assistance from TTAC (VDOE) through VTSS. In arriving at this consensus, various data was considered for both schools that included: academic performance (including SOL results), behavior data (including discipline referrals), staff retention, climate data, attendance data, and graduation rates. Research data was also provided and considered to determine if the Tiered Systems of Support model would be a good working model for our schools.


I am requesting your approval for CMS and MVES to apply to the VDOE as pilot schools for the VTSS model in our school division. I would be happy to answer any questions that you have.



This is not expected to have additional costs beyond what we would already be implementing and supporting with local funds. VDOE has historically provided $25,000 to school divisions that were accepted into a VTSS cohort. But, we do not know at this time whether that practice will continue with Cohort 5, for which we are applying.






Elizabeth V. Heath, Ph.D., Director of Special Education





 VTSS Attachments