Student Support Teams (SST)

As required by State code, each school has an Intervention and Referral Team, which is referred to as the Student Support Team (SST). Teams are comprised of several staff members and they serve to collaboratively work with teachers and parents to resolve learning, behavior and health problems that students are experiencing in the general education program.

School personnel typically initiate a request for assistance to Student Support Teams. Parents are invited to participate as members of the team as solutions are considered to improve the student's success in school. Parents or guardians who are concerned about their child's success in school may also request that this process be initiated and are encouraged to bring their concerns to the attention of the child's teacher(s) or counselor.

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of SBSD Student Support Teams' is to provide a standardized, systematic problem solving process to assist staff in supporting students who are at risk socially, emotionally and/or academically through focused intervention & action plans in order to promote success.

The classroom teacher always holds primary responsibility for meeting the needs of all students in their classroom. It is the teacher's job to identify students' learning style and individual needs using multiple measures to best instruct students. Differentiation practices based on data should always drive the instructional choices and methods of the teacher. The intent of the South Brunswick Student Support Teams is to support staff in teaching the various learners in their classroom by supporting teachers through a problem-solving approach. This approach offers assistance in:

  • Identifying a specific observable behavior * (circle of influence vs. circle of concern)
  • Identifying targeted instructional strategies
  • Creating a time-bound action plan
  • Support in the implementation of the plan
  • SST Meeting Protocol

Purpose of SST (Student Support Teams)
The purpose of Student Support Teams in each building is to develop Tier 2 support for students who are not responding to the Tier 1 core program as related to the Response to Intervention (RTI) Organizational System. Students who are performing below standards may need Tier 2 support. Through addressing students' needs in an SST Action Plan it may help students remain and succeed in the general education program. SST is not part of the school's special education process, but rather a general education process. However, students who are classified may access the SST process as long as interventions do not interfere with their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

SST addresses academic and/or behavior and health problems. SST addresses the needs of students through individual plans. Interventions should focus on student strengths. In many cases the SST is able to assist students who need interventions in order to succeed, but who do not necessarily have a disability.

SST is a support group to assist regular education teachers in supplementing instruction for students within their classrooms who are demonstrating a lack of response to the core curriculum and differentiated instruction, despite the strong instruction and many efforts of the teacher.

Although the SST is a vehicle through which a student may be referred for an evaluation, the team's main function is to use the resources available within the school to provide supplemental measures to support student success in meeting grade level standards. The task of SST is to eliminate obstacles that are in the way of a student's path to success. The SST's role is to be a support and resource to the teacher.

It should be noted that at any point a parent has the right to request a formal evaluation to determine eligibility for special education. Additionally, after several interventions at Tier I and Tier 2, if little or no progress is shown and the team is in agreement, a Child Study Team evaluation may become part of an SST Action Plan.

Finally, it should be noted that if it is clear from the onset that a CST evaluation is necessary, such as in the case of a child with a clear disability, the SST process should not hinder or delay the CST evaluation. The CST evaluation and SST action plan should continue in tandem if moving in this direction.


For more information on Student Support Teams, K-5, contact Suzanne Luck-Born, Director of Student Assessment and Instructional Support at (732) 297-7800 x 5106.

For more information on Student Support Teams, 6-12, contact Amy Finkelstein, Supervisor of Student Assistance and Wellness at (732) 329-4044 x5220.