Why Have an Effective Student Assistance Team in Your School?
1) Research proves that when teachers work together, student achievement improves. Growth within a school is a team effort and schools often improve achievement "one student at a time". Teams that work to find and implement research-based interventions for a single struggling student not only help that student, but they "grow their repertoire" of strategies and interventions to use with other students. When a school focuses on improvement in this manner, they engage in an upward spiral of change and growth.
2) Student Assistance Teams are required by WVDE general education and special education policies and they ensure compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) child find mandate.
3) Consider this: In 2001 Marion County Schools referred 360 students for multidisciplinary evaluations to determine whether they were eligible for special education services. Nearly half of those students were found ineligible. Since this time, Marion County Schools have been trained to make appropriate referrals, and we have seen a significant decline in unnecessary testing. Inappropriate referrals are costly to the county, provide no benefit to ineligible students and can be harmful to a student' self-esteem.
"Every 26 seconds, a child drops out of school in our country." (Chavous, 2014)