The Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) integrates academics, behavior, and mental health into a single decision-making framework for establishing the supports needed for a school to be an effective learning environment for all students. The VTSS systemic approach allows divisions, schools and communities to provide multiple levels of support to students in a more effective and efficient, clearly defined process (VTSS, 2016).
Building this framework is a complex and iterative process: stakeholders are identified and consistently included in planning as partners; existing practices and instructional resources are studied, aligned, and organized for efficient delivery; gaps are identified and matched to evidence-based solutions; student progress is frequently and consistently monitored; relevant and actionable data are collected in ways that are readily accessible for decision-making; teams are established to analyze data and make decisions; and, ultimately, all students and adults are integral and valued contributors in a system that is responsive to their needs and seeks to ensure their success. This process requires extensive collaborative dialogue, ongoing and embedded professional-learning, effective problem-solving, and compromise; it should be a journey that is both rigorous and exciting. It is a whole system change initiative that is unique in education. As partners in this process, VTSS Leadership and Systems Coaches offer each year, 3 one-day institutes for division leadership teams inspiring this change in schools. Each institute offers a General Session and four Strands that spiral through relevant topics and enhance implementation as you progress through the learning.
Through three one-day data-informed decision-making professional learning events, division leadership teams will build on the work begun during the Exploration & Installation series. Teams will refine effective data meeting structures and develop an understanding of the DLT’s role in supporting school-based teams by providing access to data for problem-solving and implementation of evidence-based practices; develop systems that support staff in efficient implementation of instructional practices; and explore the process for selecting evidence-based practices for teaching academic, behavior, and mental wellness skills.
The Strand 2 virtual training will examine the components of an academic system of supports in order to align with other systems. In the first session, participants will review the role of the Division Leadership Team in supporting an aligned academic structure at the division and school levels, identify, access, and analyze Tier 1 academic assessment data, and begin to examine the components of quality core Tier 1 instruction, and examine the implications of our current context.
Participants will examine school and division data to identify advanced tier needs and align systems in order to create success for staff providing these additional supports and the students who receive them.
In this strand, division leaders will focus on investigating and analyzing equity challenges within their current systems to identify and implement actionable steps. Participants will engage with content and tools to identify systems and practices that address their selected equity challenge. Through completion of the three sessions, leadership teams will identify action steps to eliminate the predictability of student outcomes based on race, gender, zip code, ability, socioeconomic status or languages spoken at home and begin implementation of their equity plan.
Students, staff, families and the larger community all benefit when schools are able to forge equitable collaboration that support implementation of multi-tiered approaches. In this strand, participants will explore six essential elements of meaningful family engagement in multi-tiered systems of supports that deepen family and school commitment to meaningful partnership while increasing specific student and family outcomes across domains.