Parents involved in the referral process, can access a copy of the New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:14 regarding special education along with a booklet entitled "Parental Rights in Special Education" (PRISE) by following the links above . The parental booklet informs you of your rights as a parent with a child going through this legal process.
Children are usually brought to the attention of the Child Study Team (CST) in two different ways:
1. As a result of a referral from Intervention & Referral Services (I&RS) Committee; and
2. As a result of a parental request stating the need for an evaluation.
When a teacher feels that a child is having difficulty in class, scientifically-based interventions, strategies, and assistance are recommended and provided to the student at school through the I&RS Committee.
At this point the CST is not involved.
However, if after receiving these interventions for a reasonable length of time, and the child continues to have difficulty and is not making meaningful academic progress, then the I&RS committee may recommend that a "referral" be made to the CST to determine if the child has an educational disability.
As part of the referral, the CST receives the child's name and a review of the services and strategies that have already been tried by the teacher(s) and other personnel in the school building.
When this referral is made, the district has twenty (20) calendar days from the time in which we received the I&RS's referral or your written request to contact you and schedule a meeting to begin the process.
Other professionals who know the student may also be present including:
School Nurse; and
By Day 20
By Day 100
By Day 110
CST receives your child's referral
Identification Meeting with the CST
Evaluations complete and report sent home
Eligibility meeting, IEP development and program implementation
Annual Review Meeting
Re-Evaluation process begins
(I&RS) THE INTERVENTION AND REFERRAL SERVICES TEAM PROCESS
The Intervention and Referral Services Team process is a collaborative school effort between district personnel and parents to intervene when a student has been identified as making minimal academic and/or emotional progress in the regular education setting. The team or committee collects and evaluates relevant data in order to determine or identify specific barriers to student performance. Once these barriers have been identified, individualized interventions are determined and implemented through an action plan in order to alleviate the concerns.
Student monitoring continues throughout this process by the identified individuals in the action plan. This process is ongoing, in that, it continues to identify and evaluate problems, solutions and progress within the student’s academic setting. This process may continue for several weeks to several months.
1. Request for Assistance
2. Information Collection
3. Parent/Guardian Notification and Participation
4. Problem Solving
5. Develop I&RS Action Plan
6. Support, Monitor and Continue the Process
7. Problem resolved or referral to the CST
If the I&RS process exhausts all of the available classroom and school based regular education interventions with minimal success, often, the student is referred to the CST for a comprehensive evaluation in order to gather additional information as well as to determine if the student is eligible for special education and related services. The recommendation for a CST evaluation could come directly from the I&RS team or from the parent at any time during the process.
WHAT INTERVENTION IS AND IS NOT
In some cases, intervention is not successful and a referral for special education is deemed necessary. Even in these cases, the prior period of intervention is valuable. Prior intervention will illustrate that a referral is appropriate (as required by law) and it will help inform the IEP team about strategies that have or have not produced success when it comes time to develop the written IEP. It is important that parents not see interventions as merely a waiting process or a "red tape" step for special education.
The primary purpose of the I&RS team is to identify students in need and then plan and provide appropriate intervention for those students within the general education community; to identify the responsibilities of building staff who participate in the planning and provision of intervention and referral services; to actively involve parents/guardians in the development and implementation of the I&RS plans; to review and assess the effectiveness of the services provided in achieving the outcomes identified in the intervention and referral plan; to provide professional development to general education staff members who either refer student(s) to the I&RS or who assist in providing the intervention and referral services; and, finally, to coordinate the services of community-based social and health agencies.
An I&RS team is one of the many resources used by schools to intervene with learning, behavior and health problems, prior to Child Study Team (CST) evaluation.