Federal Definitions

Specialized Instructional Support Personnel and as Referenced and Defined in Federal Education Law

The terms "specialized instructional support personnel" and "related services" are referenced in federal education and special education laws. Defined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, Sec. 8002, paragraph 47).

This same group of professionals has been formerly referred to as pupil services personnel are also the providers of related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, Sec. 602, paragraph 22).



Every Student Succeeds Act (2015)
Title VIII, General Provisions, Sec., Definitions, (47)

‘‘(A) SPECIALIZED INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL. — The term ‘specialized instructional support personnel’ means — ‘‘(i) school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists; and ‘‘(ii) other qualified professional personnel, such as school nurses, speech language pathologists, and school librarians, involved in providing assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic, and other necessary services (including related services as that term is defined in section 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1401)) as part of a comprehensive program to meet student needs. ‘‘(B) SPECIALIZED INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES.— The term ‘specialized instructional support services’ means the services provided by specialized instructional support personnel.’’

(29) OTHER STAFF – The term “other staff” means pupil services personnel, librarians, career guidance and counseling personnel, education aides, and other instructional and administrative personnel.

See a detailed listing of all references to specialized instructional support personnel (SISP) under ESSA for more information.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,
Amendments of 2004

Related Services
SEC. 602 (Sec. 300.34 of IDEA Regulations)

(a) General. Related services means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. Related services also include school health services and school nurse services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.