Specialized Student Support Services

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Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP)

Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) provide specialized student support services, which include prevention, intervention, transition and follow-up services for students and families. SISP provide direct services for all children and youth, especially those who are experiencing problems that create barriers to learning. Direct services are provided through education, counseling, consultation, and individual assessment. In addition, SISP provide in-service training, parent education, community collaboration, and carry out student service program management. SISP are a vital part of comprehensive school program success.


speech therapist teaching a kidMedicaid & Schools

Virginia's public schools provide health related services to students. Through the Medicaid school-based services program, the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) can reimburse school divisions for some costs associated with providing these services to children enrolled in Medicaid or FAMIS.

high school student meeting with school counselorSchool Counseling

School counseling programs support the Standards of Learning by providing guidance to students in their academic, career, and social-emotional development. School counselors collaborate with parents, teachers, administrators and others to promote learning and help students establish and achieve their education, career, and personal goals. School counselors provide leadership to ensure that students benefit from effective strategies and services aligned with the Standards for School Counseling Programs in Virginia Public Schools.

student receiving bandage from school nurseSchool Health Services

School health programs in Virginia public schools support the physical and emotional well-being of students through school nursing services, health education covering a range of developmentally appropriate topics and other services that promote a healthy learning environment. 

Back to Basics ModulesSchool Psychology Services

School psychologists provide a variety of professional services to support the academic achievement, positive behavior, and social-emotional wellness of all students, especially those who struggle with barriers to learning. School psychologists play a critical role in supporting the attainment of the goals of local school divisions and help to ensure that every student is ready to learn and every teacher is empowered to teach.

family meeting with school social workerSchool Social Work Services

School social work services are designed to address social, emotional, economic, and environmental barriers that may interfere with a student’s academic success. Through early identification, prevention, and intervention services, school social workers support the whole student -- his or her needs at home, in school, and in the community.


Featured Resources

Guidance for the Provision of Specialized Student Support Positions in Virginia Public Schools

The Guidance for the Provision of Specialized Student Support Positions in Virginia Public Schools (PDF) was developed in response to Senate Bill 1257 to amend and reenact §§ 22.1-253.13:2 and 22.1-274 of the Code of Virginia. It will assist school divisions in meeting this legislation, including defining Specialized Student Support positions, what constitutes “other licensed health and behavioral positions,” and information about funding for the positions.

Virginia Career and Learning Center for School Mental Health Professionals

The VDOE Office of Student Services has partnered with the Center for Implementation and Evaluation of Education Systems at Old Dominion University to develop the Virginia Career and Learning Center (CLC) for school mental health professionals. This website is a one-stop professional development and resource collection for specialized instructional support personnel such as school nurses, school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers.