PRE-REFERRAL INTERVENTION N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.3(b)
Interventions in the general education setting shall be provided to students exhibiting academic difficulties and shall be utilized, as appropriate, prior to referring a student for an evaluation of eligibility for special education and related services.
After interventions have been utilized, the New Jersey Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.3(c)1 addresses the next step:
When it is determined through analysis of relevant documentation and data concerning each intervention utilized that interventions in the general education program have not adequately addressed the educational difficulties, and it is believed that the student may have a disability, the student shall be referred for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education programs and services.
MAKING A CHILD STUDY TEAM REFERRAL: If you believe your child may have a disability and might need special education services, you may refer your child for an evaluation by submitting a written request to the school district in accordance with Policy 2460 (21).
- 2460 (21). "The school district will not accept the use of electronic mail from the parent(s) to submit requests to a school official regarding referral, identification, evaluation, classification, and the provision of a free, appropriate public education; requests for meetings with the Child Study Team or IEP Team; requests for copies of student records; requests for observations of the student, concerns about implementation of a student’s IEP; and notices of parental intent to unilaterally provide services to a student for which they intend to seek reimbursement from the Board pursuant to State or Federal law."
What is a referral?
A referral is a written request for an evaluation that is given to the school district when a child is suspected of having a disability and might need special education services. In most instances, the student suspected of having a disability should first be referred to the Intervention and Referral Services Team. If as a result of the interventions recommended by the team, the student continues to experience difficulties in the general education classroom, the I&RS Team will determine the next course of action, which could include amending the Action Plan, determining 504 eligibility, or referring the student to the Child Study Team for evaluation.
How is a student referred for a Child Study Team Evaluation?
Students between the ages of 3 and 21 suspected of having an educational disability may be referred to the Child Study Team for an evaluation. If you believe that your child may have a disability, you may refer your child for an evaluation by submitting a written request to your school district.
Who can make a referral?
I&RS: School staff and/or the building administrator(s) can refer a student to the Child Study Team through their school based Intervention and Referral Service (I&RS) teams. The I&RS teams are building-based, inter-disciplinary teams that meet regularly to develop intervention plans for students experiencing significant academic and/or social/emotional difficulties in the classroom. Once the I&RS has exhausted its resources and determines that additional information may be necessary, or feels that the student may be educationally disabled, the I&RS team forwards a Child Study Team referral to the Director of Pupil Services. The Director of Pupil Services forwards the request to the school’s Child Study Team who schedules an Initial Planning Meeting with the parent(s), Child Study Team and the student’s teacher(s) to discuss the student’s academic and/or social/emotional difficulties and a possible evaluation for Special Education and Related Services.
PARENT(S): Parent(s) may initiate a Child Study Team referral for their child who may be experiencing significant academic and/or social/emotional difficulties in the classroom by contacting the Director of Pupil Services and forwarding the request in writing.
ADMINISTRATORS or OUTSIDE AGENCIES: If a student is experiencing significant academic and/or social/emotional difficulties in the classroom and the intervention plan has been unsuccessful in mitigating these difficulties the Principal, other building administrators or an individual from a state agency may refer a student to the Child Study Team.
What is the procedure after the referral is made?
Once the referral has been made, the Case Manager has twenty (20) calendar days (excluding school holidays) to schedule an Identification Meeting. The necessary personnel expected to attend this meeting would be a social worker, psychologist, learning disabilities teacher-consultant, classroom teacher, speech & language specialist (if the suspected disability included that area or the child was age 3-5) and the parent.
Are students automatically assessed if the request is made?
No, they are not. When a request for a Child Study Team evaluation is made, an Initial Planning/Identification Meeting must be scheduled. At that meeting, it is determined if a Child Study Team Evaluation is warranted and if so an Evaluation Plan is developed.