• Intervention and Referral Services

    Why Does the District Have Intervention and Referral Services? 

    The district has intervention and referral services (I&RS) in each of its buildings that are designed to assist pupils who are experiencing learning, behavior, or health difficulties and to assist staff who have difficulties in addressing pupils’ learning, behavior, or health needs in accordance with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8.1 (see below).

    I&RS teams generally include the following members: the person requesting assistance, the principal or designee, a general education teacher, and a support staff member such as a guidance counselor.  Ad hoc members are asked to attend meetings as needed. Based on thorough data collection, the team develops action plans to address the identified concern and over a period of several weeks the interventions are monitored to determine their effectiveness.

    Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in the I&RS process.  Questions regarding I&RS services should be directed to the building principal.

    New Jersey Administrative Code requires all school districts to have Intervention and Referral Services. The code is quoted below: 
    6A:16-8.1 Establishment of intervention and referral services 
    District boards of education shall establish and implement a coordinated system in each school building for the planning and delivery of intervention and referral services that are designed to assist students who are experiencing learning, behavior or health difficulties and to assist staff who have difficulties in addressing pupils’ learning, behavior or health needs.

     

    What are the Goals of I&RS?

    • Identify learning, behavior and health difficulties of students
    • Collect thorough information on the identified learning, behavior and health difficulties
    • Develop and implement action plans which provide for appropriate school or community interventions or referrals to school and community resources, based on the collected data and desired outcomes for the identified learning, behavior and health difficulties
    • Provide support, guidance, and professional development to school staff who identify learning, behavior and health difficulties
    • Provide support, guidance, and professional development to school staff who participate in each building's system for planning and providing intervention and referral services
    • Actively involve parents or guardians in the development and implementation of intervention and referral services action plan
    • Coordinate the access to and delivery of school resources and services for achieving the outcomes identified in the intervention and referral services action plans
    • Coordinate the services of community-based social and health provider agencies and other community resources for achieving the outcomes identified in the intervention and referral services action plans
    • Review and assess the effectiveness of the provisions of each intervention and referral services action plan in achieving the outcomes identified in each action plan and modify each action plan to achieve the outcomes
     

    Overview of the I&RS Process

    I&RS is a collaborative, six-step process designed to brainstorm solutions that aid both the teacher and the student:
    1. Request for Assistance - The concerned teacher initiates the referral process.
    2. Information Collection - A case coordinator is assigned to oversee the collection of educational data. Information is collected using a variety of methods (i.e., interviews, observation, forms).
    3. Parent/Guardian Notification - Parent/guardian is contacted regarding the I&RS process.
    4. Problem Solve - The I&RS team meets. The problem is summarized, an objective is determined, and solutions are brainstormed.
    5. Develop I&RS Action Plan - A written plan is agreed to for implementing the intervention strategies identified in the problem-solving phase.
    6. Support, Evaluate and Continue the Process - The I&RS team holds a follow-up meeting to review the case, evaluate progress, and apply the appropriate action.

    How is I&RS Different from the Child Study Team?

    I&RS TEAMS
    CHILD STUDY TEAMS

    A general education model that permits the provision of services to special education students, as appropriate.

    A special education model.

    A collegial, collaborative problem-solving model, rather than a diagnostic model, and a coordinating mechanism that addresses global learning, behavior, and health issues.

    A joint decision-making process that identifies, evaluates, and determines the eligibility for and the placement of students with educational disabilities.

    Addresses students’ specific learning, behavior, and health needs in the context in which they occur.

    Provides for appropriate placements in the least restrictive environments.

    Does not classify student problems.

    Determines students’ educational disabilities.

    Participates in the development of an intervention and referral services action plan.

    Participates in the development of an individual education plan (IEP).

    Regulated under N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7 and does not fall under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997.

    Regulated under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 and N.J.A.C. 6A:14.

    Systematically focuses all school and community resources on the resolution of individuals’ educational problems, in particular, and school-wide problems, in general.

    Focuses special education, general education and other pupil services on the needs of students with educational disabilities.

    An adult-centered program, where direct assistance primarily is provided to adults who request assistance for problems encountered in the general education program.

    A student-centered program, where direct assistance primarily is provided to students with educational disabilities, and support is provided to school staff and parents.

    Schools are required to actively involve parents in the development and implementation of I&RS action plans.

    Parents are required to participate in each step of the special education decision-making process.

    I&RS teams write Action Plans based on teacher requests and specific observable information. These plans are implemented in the general education setting and must be monitored and reviewed. Follow-up meetings happen around 4 to 6 weeks after the initial meeting. At the follow-up meeting, the team will decided to continue the plan, modify the plan or if no further action is needed.

    Child Study Teams use various tests to place students into different programs, such as resource centers, in-class support, self-contained, or alternative educational placements. Child Study Teams write Individualized Education Plans, or IEP's which are reviewed annually, at a minimum. Re-evaluation of IEP’s must take place every three years or sooner.

    Typically, an I&RS Team is comprised of the principal, counselor, teachers, and the coordinator. Other specialized members, such as a reading specialist, occupational/physical/speech therapists, or the nurse may also participate.

    Typically a Child Study Team is comprised of a school psychologist, a learning disabilities teacher consultant, and a social worker. Therapists, teachers, the nurse and counselors may also participate