School Coordinated Care Team:  Questions and Answers

What is a Coordinated Care Team?

A Coordinated Care Team is a school-based student services structure that uses resources and staff time efficiently. Coordinated Care Teams increase student achievement by linking educational interventions with needed support services. Care Teams provide the platform for the delivery of services at “full-service schools.” Life stressors that impact education and student wellness are addressed using a three-dimensional Response to Intervention (3D RtI) model. Professional services are combined with youth development activities and resiliency programs to form “packages of support” for students. Support services are coordinated and monitored rather than fragmented or operating in isolation. Support services are examined through the lens of equity and cultural competency. Parents and guardian engagement is essential to the success of support services offered in schools.

What is the difference between a Coordinated Care Team and a Student Success Team?

Coordinated Care Teams deliver and coordinate all student services and support at school sites. Since many students and families are discussed at Coordinated Care Team meetings, early interventions can be put in place using site and community resources. Coordinated Care Teams require less time than addressing all concerns through Student Success Team (SST) meetings. Student Success Teams are utilized to intervene with individual students when indicated. Coordinated Care Teams connect students directly with services and support prior to SST meetings. Early intervention can obviate the need for Special Education assessment. Care Teams strengthen district plans to address disproportionality.

 Who are recommended members of a Coordinated Care Team?

Suggested Care Team members include: the principal and/or site administrator, school psychologist, school social worker, school registrar, school nurse, after school program coordinator, social work and psychology interns, school resource officer, juvenile probation officer, health and mental health service providers from public and community agencies with which district has a formal partnership agreement (MOU). Coordinated Care Team meetings are used to monitor effectiveness of Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS), school climate, and school safety plans and strategies. Student needs identified at Care Team meetings influence the equitable allocation of resources, including youth programs before, during, and after school. Staff who develop and lead site-based programs are invited to attend Care Team meetings. Special education staff members attend as available. District leaders attend Care Team meetings to provide support and guidance aligned with district goals.

What interventions occur before a referral is made to the Coordinated Care Team?

When behavior concerns arise at school, the administrators or teacher typically 1) discuss the concerns with the student 2) call home, and 3) meet with the parent or guardian and student. The staff member inquires about the student’s talents and interests, concerns, and resources. The staff member shares with the parent or guardian that the Coordinated Care Team may be able to help the student to be more successful at school.  School Coordinated Care Teams provide the framework for School Wellness Centers.   School Wellness Centers and School Coordinated Care Teams go hand in hand.   The ultimate purpose is to increase access to instruction.

How is a student referred to a Coordinated Care Team?

1) Attendance, academic performance, and behavior is monitored to proactively connect students with support services when indicated. 2) Administrators, teachers, and school staff members may refer a student directly to the Coordinated Care Team by completing a Care Team Referral Form. 3) Disciplinary actions, restorative practices, and alternatives-to-suspension result in referrals to the Coordinated Care Team. 4) Parents and guardians who would like to request support services may contact an administrator or staff member who then completes a Care Team referral form. 5) Students may self-refer to site-based services. Care Teams are not designed to address crisis situations. School personnel may recommend that the student access health, mental health, or other services outside of the school setting.   Informed consent / permission is obtained for all site-based counseling services, including services for which minor-consent is provided.

How often does the Care Team meet?  How are Care Team agendas developed?

Weekly Care Team agendas are created based on the referral forms received, and data that shows the need for support services. Intervention plans typically include a point person assigned to coordinate the interventions for each student. Site, district, and community resoruces are identified and recommended during the meeting. The Care Team may make a referral to the Student Success Team (SST) meeting to bring together significant people in the student’s life for in-depth shared intervention planning and determination of responsibilities (see Care Team Flow Chart). The Care Team addresses attendance concerns along with the School Attendance Review Team, School Attendance Review Board, and IEP teams. For follow up, intervention plans are brought back to the Coordinated Care Team for review. Individual school sites have modified the Care Team process to best meet student needs.

How are intervention plans tracked and monitored?

Schools have different options for saving confidential and protected information. Protecting privacy is imperative.   A password-protected and encrypted tracking document is used to record referrals, intervention plans, and demographic information. Documentation is secured according to California Medi-cal regulations. Intervention plans are centrally documented. Care Team “communication forms” are filled out and sent to the referring party, site administrators, special education and general education staff, and collaborating service providers. Clerical support is provided by available school personnel. Because multiple students are discussed at Care Team meetings, students and caregivers do not attend Care Team meetings. All information exchanged at Care Team meetings is exchanged as allowed by law and with parent / guardian permission.

Ensuring communication through a feedback system and direct communication among team members is essential to the coordination of support services. The values of equity and shared responsibility are at the foundation of Coordinated Care Teams.

For more information about MTSS and School Coordinated Care Teams, or to arrange a training for your school, please contact:

James Jedai Wogan, MFT, LCSW, PPSC

Text/ I-message / Tel:     925.250.5500


It takes a village.