Department of Special Services
Special Education Services
The determination of appropriate services to be provided should be reached by going through a specific checklist of needs and process of interventions.
Consideration for provision of services is usually initiated by the classroom teacher who refers the child to the Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) Coordinator at the child’s respective school. Upon notification of a referral the coordinator will schedule an I&RS meeting. Parents will be notified by the child’s classroom teacher that the I&RS Committee will be meeting to discuss their child. Members of the I&RS Committee, which usually consists of a classroom teacher from each grade level, the principal, specials teacher(s), and any other staff deemed necessary or appropriate, will convene to review previous interventions and develop further intervention strategies. The I&RS plan may include placement of the child in a Basic Skills Instruction program to address specific academic weaknesses; consultation with members of the child study team (LDTC, School Psychologist, Speech/Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist); consultation with the District Behaviorist; consultation with the District Reading Specialist; referral to the School Nurse for vision/hearing screening or other medical determination; or any combination of interventions deemed appropriate to help remediate the difficulty.
If the child is provided an I&RS plan and it is determined to be insufficient, given sufficient time to apply the strategies to address the child’s needs, a referral to the 504 Committee or the Child Study Team may be made by the teacher. If a referral is made to the 504 Committee, the committee will convene to discuss the possibility of evaluation for eligibility for a 504 plan and will contact the parents to meet with them if they determine that such a meeting is warranted.
If a referral is made to the Child Study Team, a member of the Child Study Team will invite the parents of the child to an evaluation planning meeting. During this meeting previous interventions and concerns are discussed and a determination is made regarding whether to conduct evaluations to determine eligibility for special education. These evaluations may include; an educational evaluation conducted by the district’s LDTC, a psychological evaluation by the district School Psychologist, and if warranted, additional information may be gathered through a Social Assessment by the School Social Worker, Speech/Language evaluation by the Speech/Language Therapist, or Occupational Therapy evaluation by the district Occupational Therapist. These evaluations may not be conducted without the written consent of the parent. After the evaluations are completed within and according to state mandated guidelines and timelines, parents and Child Study Team, along with the classroom teacher and building principal will meet to determine whether the child meets the criteria for eligibility for special education as outlined in the NJ Administrative Code Title 6A Chapter 14.
If the student is determined to be eligible for special education and/or related services an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed at a meeting with the IEP team which consists of: the classroom teacher, the parents, the case manager and any other appropriate child study team personnel, a special education teacher, and the principal of the student’s school. The development of the IEP includes a discussion of the student’s present levels of educational performance including strengths and weaknesses. Goals will be formulated, and the least restrictive program option will be discussed. These options may include: classroom modifications and accommodations only, in class support, resource center replacement classes, special class placement, or any other option available or allowable under the state and federal codes.
Please be aware that the