Desert Sands's Student Study Team

Student Study Team


Q: How is a student selected to be discussed at the SST?

A: Usually, the classroom teacher makes the initial referral and indicates that the student's learning, behavioral and/or emotional needs are not being adequately met under existing circumstances. Parents may also refer their child for Student Study Team consideration.

Q: Will anything have been done to help my child before the referral to the SST?

A: Yes, usually the teacher has already contacted the parent(s) and made some modifications in the classroom. The principal and the teacher have met to review the student's needs and to discuss intervention strategies and/or program modifications.

Q: What is a "Program Modification"?

A: A program modification is a measure taken to accommodate a student's special needs. Some examples of modifications are:

  • Change of seating
  • Use of diagnostic materials
  • Cross-age tutors
  • Individual contracts
  • Change of group
  • Buddy system
  • Change of class assignments
  • Learning games
  • Notebook for assignments
  • Visual aids in giving instructions

All school personnel have access to an excellent manual of interventions titled, "Hawthorne Strategies."

Q: How many people will be at the SST?

A: The team will always include the parent(s), the teacher referring the student to the SST, and sufficient staff to review the student's needs. Fourth through eighth grade students are encouraged to attend. The principal or designee leads the meeting. Participants on the team may vary depending on the student's grade level or perceived needs.

Q: What does the Facilitator do?

A: The Facilitator is the person who leads the meeting and guides the discussion.

Q: What does the Recorder do?

A: The recorder keeps a record of what is being said about your child on a large chart which we call the Student Study Team Summary. The Student Study Team Summary is a large piece of paper divided into columns with the headings: Strengths, Information, Modifications and Areas of Concern, Questions, Strategies, Actions, and Person(s) Responsible. This helps the team to organize its thinking. As the different categories are discussed, the information is written on the paper in the appropriate column. The paper serves as the minutes of the SST meeting.

Q: What do I need to do before or during the meeting?

A: Try to think of any information that would be helpful to the school. The school will provide you with a paper on which to record your thoughts. Give special attention to your child's strengths. Some examples of a student's strengths are:

  • Is a learner
  • Likes school
  • Likes to help mom or dad
  • Is creative
  • Has a hobby
  • Is neat
  • Likes sports
  • Is good with animals
  • Is outgoing and sociable
  • Is good at math; writing; science

Q: Will I be given ideas to help my child at home?

A: If it is appropriate, some suggestions will be made at the SST about ways you can help your child at home.

Q: Does this meeting mean my child will receive Special Education help?

A: No. The primary purpose of the Student Study Team is to develop strategies and/or suggestions for modifications in the regular classroom or suggestions of other kinds of help for the student. If this does not work and future testing shows significant educational gaps, the possibility of special education assistance may be considered.

Q: How many meetings will there be?

A: At the end of the first meeting, the team will schedule a follow-up date, if necessary, to evaluate and share the results.

Q: Who will be involved in the follow-up meeting?

A: The entire team might be present at the follow-up meeting, but sometimes the follow-up meeting involves the parent(s) and only one member of the team.

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions before coming to the meeting?

A: Call the school office and you will be referred to the appropriate person.

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