Traditionally, parent-teacher conferences are held in October. At that time, your child’s current progress in school and learning goals are the usual topic of discussion. This year, Capistrano Unified School District is breaking tradition.
Parent-teacher conferences are not scheduled until mid-November. In the past, the conferences have been a good time to discuss educational issues. However, if your child appears to be struggling in school, some teachers don't want to wait until report card time for you to learn about a problem. The SST conference provides an opportunity to give parents the needed information right now. Plus it allows you and the teacher to discuss your child’s educational needs and make plans together to see they are met.
Here are a few questions and answers to help you better understand:
- What exactly is an SST? SST is an acronym for student study team. An SST 1 indicates that this is the first time you have met to discuss a particular concern. An SST 2 would be a follow up meeting. If an SST 2 is needed, they are generally held 6 to 8 weeks after the first meeting.
- Should I be Concerned? That is a difficult question to answer. If you have been notified of an SST meeting, there is a reason for it. Either your child is struggling socially, academically or having problems because of his/ her behavior. Whatever the reason, be grateful for the meeting. It will give you the opportunity to hear what the teacher thinks. And, it will provide you with a direct avenue for expressing your thoughts and asking pertinent questions.
- Who will attend the SST? If possible, both parents should attend. Please find adequate child care for your youngster. He or she should not be listening to this adult conversation. The teacher will be at the meeting and, often an administrator. Usually, it is just the teacher and parents for the first SST. A second SST would require a school administrator be present.
- What should I expect to happen at the meeting? Your child’s teacher should outline your child’s school related strengths and weaknesses then explain the concerns they have. Jointly, both of you will come up with things that can be done to help get your child on the right track to success. Both of you will agree to create ways to help your student. For example, the teacher may agree to double check that your child has written down all homework assignments properly before leaving for the day, while you agree to assist or supervise to assure the homework is completed in a timely manner.
If you have been asked to attend an SST meeting it simply means the teacher has noticed your child struggling in a specific area. The teacher wants to see your child succeed. This meeting is an excellent opportunity to create a positive communication link between parents and the school.
Attend the meeting with a good outlook. The school wants to help. Be willing to listen to their ideas and be honest with your own concerns. Working together, clear answers and help for your student will be right around the corner.