School Beat — December 3, 2009

Student Assistance Team helps struggling students

by TOM HOSFORD
Assistant Principal, Rockford High School

Our Rockford Public Schools take great pride in the success of our students. Our community should be proud of the numerous awards Rockford students receive for their success in the classroom. We should be equally as proud of the success and progress that our schools achieve with those students who struggle or are identified as “at risk.” Each of our schools is challenged with students who struggle in the classroom due to various reasons which create a barrier that hinders success at school. When this occurs, it is time for the Student Assistance Team to step in!

The Student Assistance Team, or S.A.T., is a district-wide, building intervention program that meets on a weekly basis to hold discussions regarding students and their individual needs. This team is made up of building counselors, social workers, school psychologists, teacher consultants and school administrators. It is a valuable resource for teachers and parents to refer to when they begin to notice students struggling in the school environment. Issues such as academic struggle, a recent change in behavior, absenteeism, etc. are valid concerns that are brought to S.A.T.

The mission of the S.A.T. is to investigate the situation, gather data from parents/teachers and, through collective collaboration, implement strategies and interventions. The ultimate goal is that the student will respond in a positive manner and achieve success. There are literally hundreds of proven strategies and interventions that can be implemented. If, after careful evaluation, an intervention is not working, the team will reconvene and delicately implement another.

On occasion, students are affected from situations that occur outside of the school setting. The S.A.T.

can be helpful in this regard as well, due to the fact that there is a network between S.A.T. and several agencies that offer a variety of services ranging from counseling, testing or family services. The important factor is that the student has constant support with proven methods.

It is definitely a privilege to work with all the professionals on the team. Each member of S.A.T. truly has the passion and expertise to make a positive difference in a student’s life. If you have any questions about the S.A.T., please contact the administration at your school.

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