Student Academic Success Services Team
Student Academic Success Services (SASS)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
How do students get enrolled in SASS?
Often a Guidance Counselor will refer a student who is struggling due to difficulties with time management, efficient study skills etc. Parents can also request assistance from the SASS program.
How and when do students receive SASS services?
In the Middle School, SASS teachers, provide direct strategies instruction twice a week, in lieu of a study hall. In the Upper School, students enroll in a Resource class that meets daily. At both levels, teachers embed the use of a targeted strategy with their current academic assignments and work with students before and after school.
What types of interventions might SASS teachers implement?
Interventions can include use of specialized instructional techniques for memory, organization of information, etc. Instruction in the use executive functioning skills for long term learning is the focus of this program.
How is student progress monitored?
Students’ grades and assignment completion is monitored on a regular basis. In addition, progress in applying executive functions will be monitored by SASS teachers, both in content area classes and during resource class. Progress is shared with students and parents through semester reports and regular parent contact. Teachers assess: what students know to do to improve their learning, how well they recognize when to apply specific strategies and the extent to which they apply them consistently and independently.
How can parents maximize benefits of services provided by SASS?
Have students arrive at school well rested, on time, and organized, with the necessary materials for learning. Frequent monitoring of grades and assignments contribute to academic success along with regular communication with teachers.
What is the goal of the SASS Program for supporting students?
The SASS Program promotes awareness of how each student learns best by teaching students a variety of effective techniques to become strategic learners. Teachers provide direct instruction on strategies that work to improve executive functioning skills through embedded application with current assignments in English, Social Studies, Science and Math. Students learn effective problem solving and critical thinking, which builds confidence and self-esteem as well as performance in academics. This program helps students learn how to learn for the rest of their lives.
What type of student would benefit from the SASS Program?
The SASS Program can benefit any student, as it is an individualized, strategy-building program. Students who come to SASS might have difficulties with certain academic areas or skills, such as memory or reading comprehension, while other students might need support to improve organization or study skills. Students in SASS range from those identified with learning differences to students who are in honors and AP courses. Some students simply respond positively to added support within their academic context to develop more independence as learners.
What if my student doesn't want to be in the SASS Program, but I feel that he/she should be?
Students who do not “want” to be part of SASS likely have a pre-conceived notion of what type of student is in SASS. Students might also lack the awareness that using resources is a smart move, especially students who find learning easy, but are challenged by the organizational demands of middle or high school. The concept of reframing can help you, as the parent, change these perceptions. Reframing involves the process of viewing or thinking about things in a more positive manner. Speaking about the benefits of the program, about achieving goals, and how they can use the same things that you use as strategies (organizers, planners, visual imagery, problem solving) to be successful in school, sports, and other meaningful activities can be very effective to reducing negative perceptions. View the SASS program as a tool, similar to wearing glasses.
Is there a stigma attached to a student who is in the SASS Program?
This is another opportunity for reframing. There are always a few students who are sensitive to how they are being perceived by peers with respect to being in SASS. These are the students who might lack confidence and can build it through problem solving, which is the most effective way to encourage confidence and self-esteem. Building self-efficacy, which is the ultimate goal for 21st Century learners, is an individual's belief in his/her ability to succeed in a given situation. SASS provides this opportunity for students who need supports to build problem solving, self-esteem, and self-efficacy to lead them to independence.>
How long will students need SASS services?
Length of time depends on various factors, such as motivation to apply effective strategies, recognition of opportunities to apply a strategy for memory, note-taking, organization, review etc. and a student's commitment to make use of resources available not only at U School, but college and beyond. Parents can help by sharing the strategies they use to learn, remember, organize etc. This way students get the message that strategic learning is for life. The more they practice effective strategies, the more likely they will become routine and transferable to all learning situations.
If you have any other questions, please contact Melinda Ossorio, Director of Student Academic Success Services, at (954) 262-3972 or firstname.lastname@example.org.