Student Success Team Meeting (SST)

Often times when a student is struggling to achieve academic success in school, a Student Success Team Meeting (SST) is called in order to discuss the ways in which teachers, parents, and other school staff can intervene and offer proper support to the student. What follows is a summary of a hypothetical Student Success Team Meeting, which can sometimes also be referred to as a Student Study Team Meeting. 

This example will help parents to know what to expect when they are called to attend a Student Success Team Meeting. In addition, if you are a school staff member and do not have a Student Success Team Meeting policy at your school, this hypothetical scenario can help you get an idea of how to hold a Student Success Team Meeting at your school in the future.

Hypothetical Scenario – What A Typical Student Success Team Meeting Looks Like

This hypothetical scenario does not necessarily present the ideal student success team meeting; however it accurately depicts what a typical student success team meeting might look like. It is important to note that a student success team meeting can take place prior to special education assessment, or afterward. These meetings should be held at any time when a student does not appear to be meeting his or her academic potential.

Composition of the Team

A Student Success Team (SST) meeting was called in order to discuss J’s academic struggles and to address the concerns of J’s teachers. Numerous members were in attendance at the SST meeting. J, J’s mother, and J’s aunt were present. The teachers in attendance included J’s Science teacher, Life Skills teacher, Strategic Literature teacher, Physical Education teacher and resource specialist teacher for Math and English. In addition, the following faculty members were also present: the ninth grade counselor, a parent representative from the parent center, the ninth grade academy administrator, the school psychologist, and the case carrier.  In total, there were thirteen people in attendance at the SST meeting.

Student Information

J is a ninth grade, African American, male student at Daily High School. J and his family speak English as their primary language at home. J is a transfer student who recently arrived at Daily High School in early October. J qualifies to receive special education services as a student with a specific learning disability. His current grades at Daily High School are low – he is earning mostly D’s and F’s in his classes. Although he appears to be doing poorly at this time, he has never been retained in school and at the age of 14, he is in the appropriate grade level for a student his age. During the meeting J was polite toward the adults in the meeting; saying yes ma’am, please and thank you to the adults when answering questions or making comments. J appeared interested and engaged while the meeting took place, actively listening, looking at his teachers when they spoke to him, and responding to questions appropriately.

First, the team members made a list of J’s personal strengths. According to faculty comments, some of J’s strengths include: he actively participates in class, he is able to work on task when prompted by an aide, he is among the top percentile of scores when compared to other students who work with the resource specialist, he behaves well in class - especially when encouragement and incentives are offered, he is socially accepted by his peers, and he is polite to adults at the school.    

Problem Description and Analysis

Next, the team members discussed their concerns for J’s success in school. The faculty members expressed multiple concerns during the SST meeting. The Physical Education teacher spoke of her concern that J has frequently refused to change into the P.E. uniform for class. Another concern was that J did not seem to have positive study habits or study skills, and as a result he had been receiving poor grades. The Science teacher was concerned because J had been exhibiting disruptive behavior in her classroom, frequently getting up from his seat and, “dancing around the room.” J’s English teacher explained that he did not appear to be organized because he was failing to turn in assignments. The resource specialist explained that J often had difficulty focusing in class and that he seemed to do his best work when assisted one on one by the teacher or teacher’s aide.

Several teachers in attendance mentioned that they had tried various interventions to assist J in the classroom. The resource specialist had been following through with several accommodations that were listed on J’s Individual Education Plan (IEP); such as small group instruction, re-teaching, teacher modeling, scaffolding, use of graphic organizers and visual aids, redirecting, multimodal assignments, and priority seating in the front of the classroom. Aside from the resource specialist, the other teachers present at the meeting did not report interventions that had been tried beyond seating J in the front of the room. 

Summary of the Team's Recommended Interventions

It seemed very clear that the teachers at J’s new school we unaware of the recommended interventions that were listed on his IEP. Although some teachers had placed J in the front of their classrooms, most of J’s teachers were not making an effort to assist J or attempt interventions that might help him. First it was recommended that all teachers become familiar with the recommended accommodations on J’s IEP and implement them as soon as possible. Another recommended intervention involved a class schedule alteration. Both J and J’s mother expressed a desire that he be moved to a different Strategic Literature class. This seemed appropriate because the alternative Strategic Literature class that J could be moved to contained far fewer students and utilized three teacher’s aides. Lastly, it was recommended that J receive weekly progress checks from his teachers so that he could become more aware of his grades and his academic progress or regression.  

Comments about the Process

There were no conflicts or disagreements that arose among the members in attendance. However, after the meeting ended, the Strategic Literature teacher mentioned privately to several people that she felt targeted during the meeting because of J and his mother’s request that he be moved from her class. The Strategic Literature teacher was assured by her co-workers not to take offense to the request. Overall, the suggested interventions that might help J improve academically were admirable and valid. J’s IEP recommendations were described to the group and teachers were asked to implement the recommendations and monitor J’s progress in the future.

The Ideal Student Success Team Checklist

In an ideal scenario, the following SST meeting checklist would earn answers of YES across all items. Please note that if you seek to create a Student Success Team Meeting policy in your school, use this checklist to guide your future meetings.

Team meets on a consistent (e.g., weekly) basis

A request for assistance form is used to identify the problem and provide data before the meeting

The request for assistance form is brief, but provides adequate information about the problem

Documentation of consultant meeting with the teacher prior to problem-solving team meeting

Baseline data are collected and presented

Data are objective and empirical

Selected interventions are research based

Selected intervention is directly linked to assessment data

Start with interventions that have a high probability of success

Consulting personnel assist with implementation of intervention

Team develops specific implementation plan with the teacher

Parent information is discussed

Data collection plan is developed to monitor effectiveness and progress

Monitoring data are objective, empirical, and directly linked to the problem

A plan is developed to assess implementation integrity of the intervention

Follow-up consultation is scheduled between the teacher and one problem-solving team member

Follow-up meeting is scheduled

A case documentation form is used to track the team’s activities

The building principal or administrative designee is present at the meeting

Problem-solving team members have designated roles (e.g., note taker, discussion facilitator)



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