Sandy Spring Friends School



Student Support Services

Working together, the school nurses, counselors, and learning specialists make up the Student Support Services Group (SSS).With an eye toward the development of preschool-Grade 12 health support and education, SSS works collaboratively to identify areas of need and the resources necessary to fill such needs. 

The Student Support Services Group works with our entire community of parents, students, faculty, and staff by proactively providing education on a variety to topics and responding to crises affecting the community.

Student Support Services at SSFS:

  • Consists of the nurses, the learning specialists, and the counselors
  • Aims to assist students requiring help
  • Strives to maintain confidentiality in all forms, including electronic and written communication, conferences and phone conversations as outlined in the community handbook
  • Serves the student resource teams in the appropriate divisions and seeks out the advice of these teams when necessary
  • Addresses many health, learning, and counseling issues
  • Provides referrals to outside resources including therapists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, academic tutors, and/or organizational tutors when situations arise beyond the capabilities of the student support position
  • Examines educational and psychological testing and assists families
  • Meets regularly to address the physical, mental, social and educational needs of the school community
  • Develops the Health and Wellness program by writing curriculum, teaching Life Skills classes, arranging appropriate speakers, and providing written supportive materials

Learn More About The Student Support Services Group


The two registered nurses (RNs) work with students in each division offering the following core services:

  • yearly hearing and vision screening
  • generalized healthcare
  • monitoring of chronic health conditions
  • oversight of all health records
  • symptomatic assessments and follow-up care
  • delivery of health curriculum
  • liaison between student, school and medical professionals/ specialists

Learning Specialists

The learning specialists in all divisions offer the following core services:

  • consultation with parents, students, teachers, and outside professionals about learning needs
  • help the teachers implement recommendations and accommodations
  • faculty/student workshops about how students learn and study
  • assistance with the identification of learning differences
  • development of strategies with students to help them adapt to their learning styles
  • offering referrals to outside resources (tutors, speech and language therapists, psycho/educational testing services, etc.)

School Counselors

There is a counselor in each division of the school, and in our residential life program. The academic training of our counselors includes social work and school counseling. School counselors offer the following core services:

  • individual and group counseling
  • conflict resolution, life transition counseling, and assistance with cultural adjustments
  • teach grade appropriate health and life skills classes addressing topics such as social, emotional, and physical development
  • support teachers in working with students and families
  • educate students, parents and faculty about mental health concerns
  • act as a student advocate
  • refer to mental health providers in the community

Supports for Boarding and International Students

The Upper School boarding program and international student program have unique needs and receive additional support including the following:

Registered Nurses

  • provide health and medical oversight of all dorm students
  • refer students to local medical specialists as needed
  • oversee immunizations
  • oversee international student insurance
  • offer health consultations with parents and guardians of dorm students

Dormitory Counselor

  • provides monthly classes on adolescent health and wellness topics
  • oversees student safety and well being
  • oversees study and social program
  • trained medical technicians

Learning Specialists

  • are available to assist students with learning issues
  • provides referrals for tutors and educational testing


  • College counselors guide the search and application process
  • US Counselor teaches Life Skills Course to 9th Graders and provides counseling to students during the school day