Educational Support System
Sometimes the things that happen in a student’s life can get in the way of his ability to learn well. As a result, grades, behavior, attendance, peer relationships and safety may be compromised. Reaching goals and dreams may become difficult. The staff and administration at Leland and Gray are committed to helping all students who struggle with a variety of difficulties through the Educational Support System (ESS).
In year 2000, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 117, a mandate for all public schools to adopt an Educational Support System that achieved two goals:
1. To provide regular education students with academic, behavioral, and health-related supports to encourage their school success, and
2. To curb Special Education costs with consistent and effective services.
The ESS consists of a range of supports and services, instructional strategies and accommodations needed to increase the ability of a school to meet the needs of all students in the general education environment. One of the many components of the ESS is the Educational Support Team (EST).
The job of the EST is to act as a “think tank” and help solve the puzzle of what is going on for a student and determine what he/she might need to be more successful. It is also the job of an EST to review, revise and monitor the effectiveness of interventions. The focus is on what school staff can do differently by changing strategies, adjusting the environment, and altering expectations. Members of the EST include, but are not limited to classroom and special education teachers, specialists, administrators, nurses, paraprofessionals and school counselors. While parents and students are not required to attend the EST, they are invited to participate and resulting plans are always shared. Referrals are made to the EST by any school employee, parent or student and are usually made after teachers have tried a variety of strategies. Referrals are screened by the Director of Student Services.