Student Support

At J. Fithian Tatem Elementary School, we strive to provide an optimal learning environment that supports the academic and social needs of all children.  While we believe that all students can meet high standards, we also recognize that students learn at different rates and may require additional help and support to meet social and learning goals.  To that end, our school provides a variety of support services that may be called upon by faculty and/or parents.  Support services include, but are not limited to, the following:

Differentiated Instruction (DI) provided by the Classroom Teacher


Differentiated instruction is a way of thinking about teaching and learning. Differentiated instruction involves providing students with different avenues to acquiring content; to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and to developing teaching products so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability.  Differentiated instruction is the process of ensuring that what a student learns, how he/she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he/she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning. Differentiation stems from beliefs about differences among learners, how they learn, learning preferences and individual interests.


Literacy Support Provided by the Language Arts Specialist


Tatem's Language Arts Specialist is Mrs. Joanne Letwinch.  Mrs. Letwinch provides a variety of support services to staff and students, including limited in-class support, teacher training, small group instruction, and reading assessments designed to inform teacher instruction.  Mrs. Letwinch can be contacted at or 429-0902, ext. 105.


Intervention Specialist (Mornings only, Grades K-2)


The Elementary Intervention Specialist works with small groups of students in grades K-2 to provide supplemental literacy support.  This can follow an in-class or out of class support model.  Students typically quality for this support based on teacher recommendation and are usually reading below grade level.  Program delivery is usually based upon the following reading programs: Language Literacy Intervention (LLI) or SPIRE.

 Tatem's part-time Intervention Specialist is Mrs. Masciangelo ( / 429-0902, ext. 128).


Instructional Support Program (ISP)


ISP is a supplemental instructional program that provides math and reading support.  Classes meet either before or after school, and instruction may include technology based programs like Study Island and Lexia reading support.  This program services regular education students in grades 2-5 in need of support.  Students gain access to the ISP program primarily through teacher recommending; however, parents may also request placement for their child (limited based on class space).  The program begins in October and ends in early May. 


Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS)

The J. Fithian Tatem School Intervention and Referral Services Team

supports the needs of students who are experiencing some level of difficulty within the regular education program.   In collaboration with the teacher and parent, the team recommends intervention strategies designed to support the needs of the learner.  This intervention is for regular education students.  For more information, contact your child’s teacher or Mr. Priolo at 429-0902 /  For an I&RS Brochure, click here.

Guidance Counseling Services

Tatem’s Guidance Counselor is Mrs. Batoff.  She is available to provide class and individually based support for students who may be experiencing challenges stemming from personal, family, or environmental factors.  Mrs. Batoff is at Tatem every afternoon, except Wednesdays, from 12 to 3.   Please feel free to contact Mrs. Batoff at / 429-0902, ext. 101.

For more information about these supports, or any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or the principal, Mr. Priolo, at 429-0902 /