Private School Information
Within Richmond County, there are a number of private schools. While we cannot provide extensive services to students enrolled in private schools, the Richmond County School System supports private schools in a number of ways. Specifically, the Department of Student Student Services: Support Services, provides information, training, and support on topics such as Section 504, Response to Intervention and Student Support Teams, and student evaluations and screenings.
Response to Intervention & Student Support Teams
Response to Intervention (RtI) is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. The RtI process begins with high-quality instruction and universal screening of all children in the general education classroom.
Student Support Teams (SST) are multi-disciplinary teams that utilize the problem-solving process to identify student strengths and weaknesses in order to address them. Once the team determines the problem, they develop a plan to support the student through intervention. The team monitors and reviews progress regularly to check for improvements and/or adjust the interventions and instruction.
Below is the exact text of the state’s commitment regarding SST teams:
“A. Student Support Teams
“Each local agency shall develop a Student Support Team. The Student Support Team is a joint effort of regular education and special education to identify and plan alternative instructional strategies for children prior to or in lieu of a special education referral. Each building level team is comprised of such persons as administrator, classroom teacher, requesting teacher, special education teacher, counselor, school psychologist, special education resource person, school social worker or central office personnel. Parental involvement is also a critical part of the Student Support Team process.
“This interdisciplinary group which plans for modification in a student’s education program shall engage in a six step process to include: (1) identification of needs, (2) assessment, if necessary, (3) educational plan, (4) implementation, (5) follow-up and support, and (6) continuous monitoring and evaluation. The Student Support Team functions under the auspices of regular education curriculum services and is based upon the child study team concept.
“Requests for service for the student from the Student Support Team may include curriculum modification, learning style assessment, behavior management techniques, achievement evaluation, home-school communication, or study skill assistance. Requests for special education services may also be made. Prior to consideration for special education referral, non-special education options should be considered, interventions used, documented, described, and discussed at the special education placement meeting. In limited instances, initial referral to the Student Support Team prior to special education referral will not be necessary. These cases are those in which the necessity for special education is so clear that use of non-special education options would be non-productive or harmful to the child. In those cases where initial referral is not to the Student Support Team, the reasons therefor will be documented.
How does SST relate to the Response to Intervention (RTI) process?
SST provides the structure and RTI the process for individualized interventions at Tier 3 of RTI, that is, the RTI process should meet the SST state board rule basic requirements. Over time, RTI may evolve into something else, but the SST requirement in Georgia public schools is permanent!
MTSS stands for Multi Tier System of Supports. This is a term that is intended to be more all-encompassing term that addresses behavior, social-emotional needs, and academics. Essentially, it is a support system for the "whole child". In Georgia, A MTSS is a “tiered system of supports that integrates assessment and intervention within a school-wide, multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and reduce behavioral problems. MTSS promotes systems alignment to increase efficiency and effectiveness of resources” (Adopted from National Center on Response to Intervention, 2010). MTSS integrates instruction and intervention (PBIS, RTI, Student Support Team, Student Mental Health, Wrap Around Services, etc.), delivered in levels of prevention, through interventions that vary in intensity based on individual student need.
What is the difference between MTSS and RTI?
- MTSS is a large system of tiered interventions that is widely considered an umbrella framework that includes “whole child” data, responses, and growth (achievement as well as attendance, behavior, and social emotional), essentially combining the previously separate PBIS and RTI processes.
- MTSS is applied to all students (not just struggling students). For example, MTSS calls for us to continue challenging high-achieving students.
- MTSS often includes language about collaborative, concurrent, and/or communicative supports. There is an expectation that educators are effectively working and communicating with all stakeholders to provide a unified support system.
- Response to Intervention (RTI) is a process within the system of an MTSS framework. RTI is part of the data-based decision-making process within progress monitoring where team members review data to determine how students are responding to the interventions in place. It is a process to observe and adjust (intensify, select new, or continue) an intervention based on a student’s progress toward the trajected goal.
Section 504 is a federal civil rights law under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It provides protection against discrimination for individuals with disabilities. Students in school settings fall under the civil rights protection of Section 504. Section 504 guarantees the right to full participation and access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) with enforcement being from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Section 504 is designed to provide equal access and fairness in general education to students with disabilities, through what is known as a Section 504 Accommodation Plan or an Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP). It is not a plan designed to enhance a student’s performance, but rather a way to provide fairness and equal access to education. Section 504 requires the provision of FAPE for students who are identified as having a disability.
504 Child Find Notice
Pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the District has a duty to identify, refer, evaluate and if eligible, provide a free, appropriate public education to disabled students. For additional information about the rights of parents of eligible children, or for answers to any questions you might have about identification, evaluation and placement into Section 504 programs, please contact the District’s Section 504 Coordinator, Dr. Ed Sanderson by phone at 706-826-1000, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 864 Broad St. Augusta, GA 30901.
Q & A
Students who attend private school are able to recieve special education services through the Speech and Lanugage Impairment program if they meet the state eligibility requirements. However, they must transfer to a Richmond County public school to recieve any other special education service. If the private school offers services, they can be provided through the school.
If a student needs an evaluation, or parents would like thier child evaluated by the Richmond County School System, a packet must be requested in order to have the student's hearing and vision examined. Once that is done, the referral will be given to a school psychologist. They will contact the school to schedule an RtI/SST meeting with the school, teacher, and parent.