Georgia’s Professional Standards Commission (PSC) has available for educators’ professional certificates an “add-on” endorsement for SST Coordinator.  To receive PSC approval to offer the coursework that would lead to this endorsement, the coursework-offering agency or higher learning entity would need to include the following content.  These coursework Standards were developed in 2005 for the PSC by a statewide task force chaired by SSTAGE leaders.  SSTAGE is currently playing an active role on a new PSC SST Task Force which is updating the SST Coordinator Standards.  The proposed revised Standards should be available for public comment by Fall of 2011.

Definition of SST: A Student Support Team is a group of three or more stakeholders whose responsibility is to assist classroom teachers in a reflective, collaborative, data-based, problem-solving process designed to identify a student’s educational strengths; instructional needs; effective and appropriate strategies for the general education classroom; and continuous monitoring procedures to improve performance.

Category 1: Problem Solving

Standard 1: The Learner

Understand how students generally learn and develop while recognizing individual variation across and within social, emotional, cognitive, language and physical health domains. Have knowledge of cultural, linguistic, gender, and socio-economic diversity of individuals and communities of learners and use this knowledge to guide and inform the SST process.

  • Draw upon theories of learning, growth and development, including individual variations and disabilities
  • Have knowledge of and communicate theories of behavior and classroom management
  • Understand how students differ in their approach to learning and their response to teaching/learning activities

Standard 2: Problem Solving Process

  • Frame, analyze, and resolve problems using a collaborative, systematic, data-based process and decision-making skills.
  • Identify problem (descriptive and measurable)
  • Gather information and analyze data
  • Establish instructional/behavioral objective(s)for the student
  • Develop an educational plan which specifies teaching/learning strategies and ongoing assessment measures
  • Implement plan
  • Evaluate educational plan periodically, adjusting plan or closing case, as appropriate

Standard 3: Assessment and Data Analysis

Understand how to select and analyze data related to individual students, groups of students and classrooms, and use the information to positively impact achievement and behavior.

  • Develop observation skills to obtain information about student, teacher, classroom and school environments
  • Gather and analyze data from a variety of sources and assessments
  • Understand how assessment informs and guides instruction, and measure the effects of instruction
  • Use data to identify barriers to, and factors that improve student achievement and performance
  • Determine students’ academic performance and/or behavior within the classroom/school setting at any given time
  • Facilitate students’ reflection on their own progress by providing them meaningful data and feedback

Standard 4: Instruction

Understand instructional decision-making.

  • Use data and information about the student to identify strategies to appropriately address the learner’s instructional needs
  • Prioritize and evaluate instructional alternatives/solutions and plan instruction
  • Redesign, maintain, or discontinue instructional strategies based upon progress monitoring (ongoing assessment data)
  • Acquire knowledge on the management of instruction and differentiated instructional practices

Category 2:  Team Process and Management

Standard 5: Facilitation and Communication

Manage a multidimensional process that utilizes interactive communication and group dynamics.

  • Manage multiple components of effective teams including: communicating/defining roles and responsibilities of team members; developing procedures; identifying resources (personnel, materials); organizing documentation and paperwork; applying brainstorming strategies; utilizing conflict resolution techniques; evaluating team procedures; and setting goals.
  • Develop and implement processes and procedures for assessing the effectiveness of the SST.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in oral/written/non-verbal form; apply listening and responding skills (e.g., acknowledging, paraphrasing, reflecting, clarifying, elaborating, summarizing); and, interview effectively to elicit/share information and explore problems
  • Give and solicit continuous objective feedback and acknowledge credit due to others

Standard 6: Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Ensure that the SST adheres to multiple legal requirements in order to protect the legal integrity of the system and students.

  • Understand the judicial origin and legal intent of the SST process
  • Understand and communicate pertinent aspects of applicable statutes and rules:
    1. State Board of Education SST Rule 160-4-2-.32
    2. Section 504 of 1973 Rehabilitation Act, P.L. 93-112
    3. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    4. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and confidentiality issues
    5. Records Retention schedule for SST records (where included)
    6. No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
    7. System Improvement Plan, School Improvement Plan
    8. HB 605: The Improved Student Learning Environment and Discipline Act
    9. Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators
    10. State reporting requirements, as applicable

Standard 7: Technology

Develop knowledge of and employ technology, telecommunications, and information systems to facilitate and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the SST process and to enrich instructional practices.

  • Identify and use various technologies to gather and analyze data
  • Communicate with team members, school personnel, families, and others
  • Electronically manage documents, forms, data, and resources

Category 3:  Leadership, School Improvement and Change

Standard 8: Collaborative Consultation

Recognize that successful and lasting solutions require commonality of goals and collaboration throughout all phases of the problem-solving process

  • Develop role as a change agent.
  • Draw upon expertise of staff and invited specialists for consultation, information and support
  • Engage parent/family participation and involvement throughout the SST process

Standard 9: Professional Learning and Staff Development

Recognize that professional learning is embedded in the SST process.  Engage the learning community (school and system) to identify and systematically address professional learning needs related to SST.

  • Use a problem-solving framework to identify the content for professional development based on data collection and analysis.
  • Help prepare educators to understand and appreciate all students, create supportive learning environments for them, and have high expectations for their achievements
  • Use knowledge about how people learn, and provide educators with the skills and knowledge to collaborate

Standard 10: Use of SST Data for Classroom, School and System Improvement

Aggregate and analyze SST data in order to inform school and system improvement planning.

  • Analyze SST data for trends that reflect needs for change in class, school and system processes
  • Align SST data with school improvement plans
  • Compare SST trend data across schools within the school system, analyze need for changes
  • Compare SST school and system data with data from other systems for needs and benefits
  • Provide results to system leaders and change agents