Student Support Team (SST)
About the SST
The Student Support Team (SST) is a group of individuals whose purpose is to use a collaborative problem-solving process to find ways around roadblocks to academic, behavioral, and social-emotional success for any student referred to it. At part of a multi-tiered system of support, the SST considers the individual needs of students in order to develop and refine plans that include supports and evidence-based intensive intervention strategies designed to close skill gaps and increase success in school.
Per Georgia Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.32, every Georgia school must have a Student Support Team.
Response to Intervention and the Student Support Team
What are the key components of Response to Intervention?
What are the three tiers of instruction in a Response to Intervention framework?
Student Support Team Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who makes up the Student Support Team?
Membership varies from school to school. Typically there are three to five members. They may be an administrator, a counselor, a regular education teacher, a special education teacher, a school social worker, a parent, a media specialist, a school psychologist or other central office persons, as appropriate.
What happens when SST addresses a problem?
A systemic, collaborative problem solving process is used to generate recommendations that are targeted to the student’s learning or behavior problem. These recommendations, which include a specific academic and/or behavior plan, are documented in SST records and provided to the student’s teacher(s) and/or others to implement with the student. The team then meets periodically to review the student’s progress monitoring data and determine the need for continuing, modifying, or concluding the intervention (e.g., increase time, additional supports).
How long is the research based intervention implemented?
Interventions used should be those that have a proven record of success, supported by rigorous, objective research methods. The length of time an intervention is implemented is typically indicated in the intervention, which specifies the length of time needed for the process to attain reasonable success (e.g., how many weeks, days and minutes are indicated for each intervention based on how it was researched and designed). Interventions must be implemented with fidelity in the way they were designed and researched, following the specific steps of the intervention and reviewing progress monitoring/student response to the intervention. It is vital that progress monitoring is analyzed on a consistent/frequent basis so that the SST problem-solves next steps based on reliable, current data.
Can the SST refer students for evaluation for special education consideration?
Yes, but only after several important decision criteria are met: 1) that reasonable SST interventions of sufficient duration have been carefully attempted, without success; and 2) that the cause of the problem is suspected to be a disability that cannot be resolved without special education services. Interventions to support the student must be continued during the special education evaluation period.
Do all referrals for special education need to go through the SST?
The state’s court commitment (unique to Georgia) was that virtually all referrals should go through the SST referral process. The exception-- or “Bypassing SST”--was outlined in the directives from the Marshall Court Case: “These cases are those in which the necessity for special education is so clear that use of non- special education options would be nonproductive or harmful to the child. In those cases where initial referral is not to the Student Support Team, the reasons therefor will be documented. (Marshall v. GA, 1984 )”
Must parents give consent for a SST meeting?
Parents must be invited to all SST meetings; however they do not have to give consent for the SST meeting to take place or to give consent for the SST plan to be implemented.
How can schools determine the effectiveness of the SST process?
Many indicators can show success of the SST process, from parent/faculty satisfaction; to pre/post student performance; to placement rate for initial referrals to special education, i.e., that a high percentage of referrals to special education indeed were found eligible.