To ensure the educational success of each of our students, the Rome City School System utilizes a framework developed by the Georgia Department of Education entitled the Student Pyramid of Interventions. This framework for instruction is organized as four layers, called Tiers. Each tier offers increasingly intensive instructional efforts that are provided to students based on their individual needs.
Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions are implemented and documented in the general education program by the classroom teacher. Tier 2 interventions could also be implemented through school programs that exist outside of the classroom. This added flexibility within the general education classroom enables teachers to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of each student without implementing the formalized Student Support Team (SST) process.
If a student does not achieve success through Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions, research-based Tier 3 interventions can be implemented through the formal SST process. Tier 4 was developed specifically for students who need specialized instruction that cannot be provided through the general education program alone.
Is this SST process mandated?
Yes. Student Support Team (SST) is defined in Georgia Board Rule 160-4-2-.32. Therefore, if your child is found to need support on the Tier 3 level (SST) a formalized procedure will be started. SST is a general education, problem-solving process that is implemented in every school in Georgia. The purpose of SST is to provide support to both teachers and students with the goal of improving student performance. Parents are always an integral part of the SST.
Can the SST refer students for evaluation? For special education consideration?
Yes, a student can be referred for psycho-educational and/or speech diagnostics as part of the SST process. However, referral for diagnostics usually occurs after reasonable classroom interventions of sufficient duration have been carefully implemented without success, and the SST agrees that the evaluation would provide additional information that would aid in developing additional interventions to promote student success.
Yes, a student can be referred directly for special education eligibility determination by the SST. However, a referral usually occurs only after reasonable classroom interventions of sufficient duration have been carefully implemented without success, and the cause of the problem is suspected to be a disability that cannot be resolved without special education services.