The educational support team (EST) is one component of a school’s ESS. The job of an EST is to act as a "think tank" and help solve the puzzle of what is happening in school for a student and determine what he/she might need to be more successful. It is also the job of the EST, with the aid of the classroom teacher, to monitor, review and revise students’ EST plans to ensure that the suggested programs, supports, and/or accommodations are effective. The focus is on what school staff can do differently, such as changing strategies, adjusting the environment, and altering expectations. The EST can also provide data to help evaluate and improve programs.
The purpose of an educational support system (ESS) is to ensure that all students, regardless of their eligibility for categorical programs, achieve basic skills, meet Vermont standards, and experience success in the general education environment. It is helpful to think of an ESS as a safety net of programs and supports around regular education components like curriculum, instruction, standards and assessments.
Teachers are responsible for being aware of ESS programs and supports, knowing when and how to refer students to those appropriate programs and supports, and for working with programs to ensure the success of every student.
Section 504 and special education are part of a range of supports and remedial services available to students as part of the ESS. Because special education and Section 504 are categorical programs with specific eligibility requirements, these services are not available for all students.