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School Assistance Team: General Screening and Student Intervention Guidelines - December 2002 Revision

Notice: This policy was reviewed, revised, and/or renamed. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please see our current policies and procedural directives.

This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in September 2018. We provide this revision for historic purposes only.

Each school has a Student Assistance Team (formerly Student Support Team) whose role is to ensure that students are provided the opportunity to succeed in the general education environment. Students are to be referred for special education evaluation only when interventions and modifications have been unsuccessful and data justifies possible separation from the general education program.

General Screening Procedures Applicable to all Students

Purpose General screening utilizes the school-wide systems already established for providing general information about the status and progress of each student and for locating students who have unique needs.

Definition General screening refers to all types of general information collected about students at each school level. This information relates to student's present levels of performance, standardized test information, health records, and/or other available reports.

Parental Notification This notification is provided as part of the general parental notification prior to the SAT meeting (SAT Parent Letter).

Procedure The following are examples of general screening procedures applicable to all students:

  • Ongoing child identification (public awareness and screening)
  • Vision and hearing screening (in accordance with APS Nurse Procedure Manual)
  • Review of health records.
  • State and District mandated tests (e.g. Terra Nova, New Mexico
  • Achievement Assessment, Assess 2 Learn (grades 4-8), etc.)
  • Placement tests
  • Progress reports
  • Documented teacher observations (including study skills, social behaviors, learning styles, test scores, academic skills, etc.)
  • Attendance records
  • Cumulative file data
  • Primary Languages/Alternative Language Services
  • Demographic information
  • Other available data
  • Student Interventions Prior to Student Assistance Team Review

Purpose Teacher(s) identifies areas of individual student need and address(es) those needs in the classroom and/or with the parent(s)

Definition Interventions are actions designed to meet the individual student’s needs in an educational setting. Interventions may include but are not limited to:

  • Changing instructional strategies for the student;
  • Seeking parental involvement (when appropriate) including notification and/or conference;
  • Initiating a behavior management system for the student;
  • Conducting a documented observation of the learning environment and the individual student’s behavior by someone other than the student’s teacher;
  • Initiating a weekly and/or daily progress report;
  • Provision of special services/programs, i.e., Title I, Alternative Language
  • Services, and/or tutorial services;
  • Providing school counseling services;
  • Providing substance abuse intervention and support;
  • Referring to community agencies and/or private practitioners;
  • Reassigning student to another class(es)/level; and
  • Enrolling in an alternative school setting.

Procedure for students in need of individual intervention:

  • Consideration of General Screening information;
  • Classroom teacher(s) and/or individual(s) identifies area(s) of need for student;
  • Interventions are selected by the identifying person and implemented for individual students with parent participation/notification;
  • Determination of language proficiency when primary language is not English.

Review of Individuals by the Student Assistance Team

Purpose Teacher(s) gather all relevant data on students referred for Student Assistance Team review. The Team recommends interventions for individual students whose specific needs have been identified.

Definition The Student Assistance Team is an interdisciplinary team that reviews referrals of individual students whose educational needs have not been resolved through Strategies for Students in Need of Intervention. The population being considered will include:

  • Students who are performing below standards and/or who are exceeding standards,
  • Students being considered for an Academic Improvement Plan - Level II, 
  • Students with disabilities not eligible for Special Education services who may be considered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and/or 
  • Former special education students who are returning to general education, but need modifications that may be considered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Parent Involvement Prior to initiating a Student Assistance Team review, parent notification of individual student screening and review is required. The date(s) and result(s) of parent and school contact(s) (either in person or by telephone) must be documented. Required parent notification includes sending and maintaining a copy of the SAT Parent Notification Letter.


Classroom teacher(s), parent(s), or other person(s) will initiate a review by the Student Assistance Team.

The membership of the Student Assistance Team may include:

  • Principal or designee
  • Counselor or designee 
  • General education teacher 
  • Special education teacher (when applicable) 
  • Teacher(s) of student being reviewed 
  • Licensed nurse (if available) 
  • Parent and student (when appropriate) 
  • Other members as appropriate 
  • A facilitator, if designated, must be from general education.

An official recorder must be named to maintain Student Assistance Team records.

All members must have SAT training. The Team will determine meeting dates, times, procedures, and timelines for student review.

The Team activates in-school procedures and established timelines for intervention strategies based on supporting data. The following data, where appropriate, are to be collected by the designated Team representative(s):
E. The following data, where appropriate, are to be collected by the designated Team representative(s):

  • Student Assistance Team referral form
  • "General Screening Information" and teacher developed classroom intervention plan; and 
  • Health assessment (in accordance with the APS Nurse Procedural Manual).

The Team will develop an Intervention Plan which recommends strategies to address individual student needs and requires documentation of the following:

  • Present levels of performance (academic and social/emotional) including areas of strength
  • Goals and instructional strategies 
  • Persons responsible for implementation 
  • Timelines - implementation and effects of interventions are documented. A minimum of three to four (3-4) weeks is recommended for new interventions 
  • Outcomes of the intervention strategies 
  • Date of follow-up meeting
  • The person(s) who initiated the SAT Referral must receive a copy of the Student Assistance Team Referral Plan.
  • Parent(s) must receive Support Team recommendations with Parent Notification of Support Team Recommendations Form.
  • Parent(s) must receive Student Assistance Team recommendations with Parent Notification of Student Assistance Team Referral Intervention Plan.
  • At the follow-up meeting the SAT Reviews and evaluates implemented strategies;
  • Determines successful/unsuccessful interventions; and 
  • Considers other available options, as needed, which may include but are not limited to:
  • Additional intervention strategies recommended by Student Assistance team
  • Referral for retention
  • Referral for further evaluation under Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act
  • Referral for special education evaluation
  • Records

A confidential record of each student reviewed by the Team must be maintained by the Student Assistance Team.

If a student transfers within APS, the Student Assistance Team Chairperson must place student's SAT records in the student cumulative folder or send the records to the new school's Student Assistance Team Chairperson. The receiving school will review the student's SAT plan with their staff and place the previous Student Assistance Team Intervention Plan in the student’s cumulative folder.

If a student is referred for a special education evaluation, a copy of the records is placed in the referral packet.

If a student is transferred to a non-APS school, or disenrolled, the school must place appropriate records in the student’s cumulative file and destroy any remaining records.

Student Assistance Team Training Manual

  1. Each school must maintain a current manual available to all staff.
  2. Evidence of a yearly review of the Student Assistance Team procedures is required.

Meetings for students being discussed for Section 504 eligibility are recorded on Section 504 Accommodation Plan (form #504). Both the parent and all involved staff members must receive a copy of this plan.

Cross Ref.:

  • Board Policy I.01
  • Board Policy I.08
  • Board Policy J.15
  • Board Policy J.11
  • APS Special Education Operational Standards
  • SAT Parent Notification Letter
  • APS Nurse Procedure Manual
  • APS District Remediation Plan
  • Referral Intervention Plan

Legal Ref.:

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • NM Children’s Code

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JGBE

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: July 1996
Revised: June 1997
Revised: December 2002

This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in September 2018. We provide this revision for historic purposes only.