Student Support Services

Laurie Church

Laurie Church

Director of Student Support Services

Tecumseh Public Schools educates approximately 2,900 learners from preschool to 12th grade. Our vision includes identifying a path for each learner to discover their unique gifts and talents. We know that learners learn at different rates and through different learning styles. Therefore we strive to keep learning the constant and develop individual learning paths. We at Tecumseh schools share a collective belief that all learners can learn at high levels and we are filtering all decisions through our mission of being “uncompromisingly learner centered.” In our work with educators, families and the community we can make our learner’s hopes and dreams for the future come true.

Student support services main focus is to work with educators and families to ensure that each and every one of our learners receives the support they need to be engaged and successful on their learning path. We provide everyone working with our learners the resources and professional development needed to deliver any additional supports for interventions, enrichment, or acceleration.

Student support services encompass the following areas:

Special Education

At TPS we believe in supporting our learners’ needs ahead of their labels. We believe that all learners are considered general education learners first. We are shifting our focus to that of learner-centered and to helping our learners with special needs receive the supports and services they need to be successful. Our focus is on core educational practices for all learners and for all educators and support staff to work together to address the educational needs of each and every learner regardless of their educational label. It takes everyone to support learning and a collaborative approach is key.

Special education is specially designed instruction to help our learners with special needs reach their maximum potential. All learners receiving special education services in Michigan must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that details the appropriate education plan outlining modifications, accommodations, services and supports for learner success. Michigan Law requires that special education supports be available to all eligible children from birth to age 26, or until graduation.

The Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) define eligibility for special education services within 13 categories of disability. The 13 categories are listed below:

  1. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  2. Cognitive Impairment (CI)
  3. Deaf-Blindness (DB)
  4. Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD)
  5. Emotional Impairment (EI)
  6. Hearing Impairment (HI)
  7. Other Health Impairment(OHI)
  8. Physical Impairment (PI)
  9. Severe Multiple Impairment (SXI)
  10. Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
  11. Speech and Language Impairment (SLI)
  12. Traumatic Brain Injury ( TBI)
  13. Visual Impairment (VI)

If you have any concerns regarding your child and would like more information regarding our services and supports please contact Laurie Church at 517-424-9864

Title One Services

Title One services are provided through our reading specialists, reading coaches, and math support coaches. They work with learners in grades K - 6 who have been identified by assessments (NWEA, Fountas and Pinnell and/or DIBELS) as needing intensive interventions.

The reading coaches work with small groups of 3-4 learners, 4-5 days a week and also provide services in the classroom through co-teaching with the general education facilitator. Reading coaches provide assessment training for facilitators and inform faculty of best practices in the area of literacy.

Our reading specialists play a very important role in our MTSS process through facilitating and interpreting data at our Data and Progress Monitoring Meetings. They also offer suggestions for interventions, help set up individual goals and work with general education and special education facilitators to coordinate services and supports. Coaches work under the supervision of the reading specialist and assist with assessments and delivery of services to identified learners.

The math coach works with learners who need support in the area of Math. NWEA data is used to determine which learners need intervention. Coaches attend Progress Monitoring Meetings and work with small groups of learners in and out of the classroom.


The Essential Practices Instructional Practices in Early Literacy is a resource for parents and facilitators, and provides best practices in reading instruction developed by the Early Literacy Task Force, a sub committee of the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA) General Education Leadership Network (GELN).

Michigan 3rd Grade Reading Law

Reading proficiently by the end of third grade has become a significant milestone in a learner's educational pathway. This is the transition point where a learner begins to read to learn, versus learning to read.

In 2016, the Michigan Legislature passed a law that requires schools to identify learners who are struggling with reading and writing and to provide additional help. The law states that third graders may repeat third grade if they are more than one grade level behind beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.

Facts for Families: What is the Read by Grade Three Law? is provided by the Michigan Department of Education to help families understand the law so they can better support their children.

Other useful information:

Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS)

At Tecumseh Public Schools we believe that each and every child learns and achieves to high standards and that learning includes academic, behavior and social competencies. The Tecumseh Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) has been designed to assist in creating the structures necessary to utilize a system that supports each and every one of our learners. MTSS is an integrated multi-tier system of instruction, assessment and intervention that enables us to achieve those high standards through being consistent, efficient and data focused. It is a collaborative system that ensures resources needed will be intentionally designed to match our learners needs.

We have developed MTSS district manuals for our K-6th learners. These manuals identify information regarding our Tiers of support and are a guide for conducting data meetings, progress monitoring meetings and also include our team problem solving process.

MTSS Kdg-4th Grade Manual

MTSS 5th Grade Manual

MTSS 6th Grade Manual

Michigan Department of Education (MDE) MTSS Practice Profile

Support Staff - Instructional Assistants

Instructional assistants have a rewarding position within education and Tecumseh Public Schools. Instructional assistants influence positive changes in academic, social and behavioral achievement of the learners they work with. Their interest and work with our learners and their assistance to facilitators is invaluable. Their priorities are to foster independence and socialization and to help our learners to be engaged in the learning environment.

Instructional assistants work in collaboration with general education facilitators, special education facilitators and other team members to ensure that each learner they work with will have the best and most positive educational experience possible.


Best Practices Handbook

TPS has developed a handbook of best practices for instructional assistants and the facilitators they work with. Parents/guardians may also wish to review the Instructional Assistant Handbook.

Tecumseh Enrichment and Acceleration Model (TEAM)

Tecumseh Enrichment and Acceleration Model (TEAM) is designed to support our learners who are ready for challenges beyond the grade level curriculum and are expected to demonstrate quality work, problem solving skills, and risk taking by utilizing creativity, imagination, and a wider depth of knowledge practices.

Parents have implemented a support group that meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the school board meeting room at the Administrative Service Center at 212 N. Ottawa St., Tecumseh. The group meets to share ideas, create opportunities (game nights, Maker Faire, etc.), and learn more about supporting children’s needs.

For more information about the support group, contact: tecumsehteam@gmail.com

Parent to Parent Group

Parents can feel overwhelmed at some point in their journey through the special education system. Please know we are here to help. The importance of parent input and involvement in a learner's education is very important.

We are happy to share our experience and help parents in understanding special education, MTSS, and any other supports and services we offer. We welcome questions and concerns, and refer parents to appropriate administrators, school personnel, and support groups.

The TPS Parent to Parent Group exists to serve two basic functions:

  1. To discuss matters pertaining to special education; and
  2. To facilitate communication, awareness, and involvement between parents, and all those who work with their children

For more information, please contact Laurie Church.