Understanding the
Student Study Team (SST)

The Student Study Team is often the first step a parent can take when they have a concern about their child’s progress in school. The purpose of the SST is to design a support system for students having difficulty in the regular classroom. 

The SST is a group formed within the school to further examine a student’s academic, behavioral and social-emotional progress.   The SST team can propose interventions for the student. The team usually consists of a teacher, administrator, and support personnel from the school.   Sometimes a special education teacher will also participate to give his or her perspective. The student and parent are also a part of the team.

This meeting is different than a parent-teacher conference which focuses on improving communication and addressing specific class problems.

The SST meeting provides everyone with an opportunity to share concerns and develop a plan. Either a staff member or parent can make a referral. The interventions agreed upon will vary depending on the child's educational needs.

If your child is struggling in school, the SST team tries to determine if it is due to a specific learning disability or another cause such as

If the SST team believes that the child could have a specific learning disability, they may recommend a formal special education evaluation.

The student study team may also decide to refer your child for a Section 504 evaluation.    Here, you child can also receive modifications. A 504 plan is typically used for a child who has a medical condition and requires accommodations in order to achieve academic success.

If you do NOT agree with the recommendations of the SST team, you still have the right to request a formal special education evaluation.  Once a school receives your request, they have 60 days to complete the evaluation. 

The student study team is a valuable resource for parents.  I encourage you to use it to your advantage.

If you're the type of person who'd rather have this information in a workbook format, check out the Parent IEP Guide and the 504 Parent Handbook to see if you would find these valuable for your situation.  Both of these are now available in a printed copy through Amazon.