Student Support Services
The International School’s Student Support Services (SSS) is designed to help students who may need extra support to succeed academically. The SSS process is modeled on a research-based method of academic support commonly used throughout the United States. Through the multi-tiered process, the school’s educational leaders use their cumulative expertise to help meet students’ unique needs. This process enables teachers to share successful strategies and resources so that a student can receive consistent support from class to class and year to year.
SSS does not diagnose or label students; it is simply a program to provide classroom-based practices and strategies to help students achieve success at school. Student Support Services helps to fulfill the school’s mission of providing a rigorous and comprehensive education within a nurturing, student-centered environment.
SSS aims to create a formal network to identify and support students’ academic and behavioral needs through a multi-tiered intervention process and provide ongoing support for students and staff that results in a safe and productive learning environment. The student support services team will provide resources and strategies for teachers to use in the classroom and provide strategies and resources for parents at home. The committee will serve as the only source to make all recommendations to parents for referrals, advancement, retention or any other necessary accommodations.
What types of situations call for SSS support?
Students may be helped by SSS if:
- They need additional academic support.
- They need additional academic challenge.
- They have medical or family circumstances that may effect academic achievement.
- They have any formal behavioral or academic diagnosis that may affect classroom performance.
How does SSS work?
The focus of SSS is to provide resources and strategies for teachers to directly support the student’s learning and achievement in the regular classroom environment. The process generally begins with the teacher identifying and recording student academic and behavioral observations and sharing them with the SSS Coordinator or grade level representative*. Then, the teacher works with the SSS Coordinator to implement classroom-based strategies and to monitor the student’s progress. For most students, these initial strategies are sufficient and no additional support is needed.
If the student does need additional support, the teacher and SSS Coordinator will meet with the parents and gather additional information. This may include classroom observations, gathering academic data, and/or providing referrals for outside support. TIS does not have learning specialists, but welcomes outside experts if the parents wish to engage them.
As with all personal information at TIS, SSS records are kept confidential, in a locked cabinet, and selective documents are shared only with those TIS staff members who work directly with the student.
Who is on the SSS committee?
The SSS committee includes TIS educational leaders with many years of teaching and teacher mentoring experience: the SSS Coordinator, the Head of School, Head of Early Childhood, Principal, and International Baccalaureate Coordinator. All committee members provide research-based practices and strategies to help meet student needs. Different committee members assist teachers for SSS students based on each student’s grade level and need. All teachers who work directly with the specific student (homeroom, English, library, art, music, PE) participate as appropriate. The SSS Coordinator and the homeroom teacher are generally the primary contacts for parents.
What if I suspect my child needs SSS support?
If you feel that your child may need additional academic support or challenge, if your child has medical or family circumstances that may affect academic achievement, or if your child has a formal behavioral or academic diagnosis that may affect classroom performance, please talk to your child’s teacher about SSS. You are also welcomed to directly contact the SSS Coordinator or your child’s grade-level SSS representative*.
If you have had your child formally assessed, it is very important that you share the results with the school. Without the assessment report, we will be less able to support your child’s unique needs. Please make an appointment with your child’s teacher, the SSS Coordinator, and/or with the TIS educational leader for your child’s grade.*
Example 1: A first grade student is having a hard time focusing on whole group instruction for long periods of time (>20 minutes).
Intervention: Provide the student with break cards that can be used to take a 3-5 minute break from the instruction while also teaching the student strategies for when it is an appropriate time (according to unique needs) to take a break.
Example 2: A third grade student has a dyslexia diagnosis.
Intervention: Provide the student with a form of assistive technology (ex: mobile device) and training to record instruction, take photos of the board, or use voice-to-text dictation.
Example 3: A second grade student seems to learn new concepts faster than his peers and asks questions at a deeper conceptual level.
Intervention: Provide the student with more challenging texts/resources with which to answer his questions, require fewer assignments on which the student must demonstrate mastery of content, and provide student with learning activities that require multiple higher-order thinking skills to be used simultaneously.
If you have questions about SSS or your child’s progress at any time, please contact the SSS Coordinator, Ariana Levi (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your child’s teacher. You are also welcome to directly contact your grade-level SSS representative: Maria Abad (PreK or LowK) or the K-5 Principal