ATSS Important Terms

Universal Screening:

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. (

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 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 60 minutes 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?