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Referral Procedures

Interventions in the general education setting, through the Intervention and Referral  Services Committee (I&RS), 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.

I&RS shall maintain written documentation, including data setting forth type of interventions utilized, the frequency and duration of each intervention, and the effectiveness of each intervention.

If the student continues to experience difficulties in the general education classroom, despite multi-tiered interventions provided through the I&RS process, the I&RS Committee will determine the next course of action which could include amending the Action Plan, determining eligibility for a 504 plan of accommodations, or referring the student to the Child Study Team for evaluation.

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 student’s educational difficulties, and it is believed the student may have a disability, the student shall be referred for evaluation to determine eligibility for Special Education and Related Services.

Referrals to the Child Study Team for determination of eligibility for special education services may be initiated by:

  • School personnel (including general education teachers, special education teachers, counselors, administrators, etc.);
  • Student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s);
  • Any other person involved in the education or care of the student.

 A direct referral to the Child Study Team may be made when it can be documented that the nature of the student’s educational problem(s) is such that evaluation to determine eligibility for special education is warranted without delay.

Referrals for a Child Study Team Evaluation should be submitted in writing to the Supervisor of Special Services. Within 20 calendar days of receiving a referral, the school district must hold a meeting to decide whether an evaluation will be conducted.

If an evaluation will be conducted, another decision is made about the types of testing and other procedures that will be used to determine if the student needs Special Education Services. If an evaluation will not be conducted, recommendations may be made with respect to interventions or services to be provided to the student in general education.

An evaluation is the process used to determine whether a student has a disability. This process includes a review of any relevant data, and the individual administration of any tests, assessments and observations. For an initial evaluation, the Child Study Team member, the parent(s) and a general education teacher, who has knowledge of the student’s educational performance, or if there is no teacher of the student, a teacher who is knowledgeable of the district’s programs, must participate. A minimum of two assessments, by at least two members of the Child Study Team, are needed to determine eligibility for special education and related services. Each assessment must be conducted by a person who has appropriate training, or who is qualified to conduct the assessment through a professional license or educational certification.

When the evaluation is completed, eligibility is determined collaboratively at a meeting according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.3(k). To be eligible for special education and related services:

  • A student must have a disability according to one of the eligibility categories;
  • The disability must adversely affect the student’s educational performances; and
  • The student must be in need of Special Education and Related Services.

The school district must provide a copy of the evaluation report(s) and documentation to be used to make a determination of eligibility to the parent (or adult student, when applicable) not less than 10 days prior to the meeting.

After a student is determined to be eligible for special education and related services, a meeting will be held to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP is a written plan that describes the special education program. The IEP should describe how the student currently performs and specific instructional needs. The IEP must include detailed and measurable annual goals and short-term objectives or benchmarks.

A meeting to develop the IEP shall be held within 30 calendar days of a determination that a student is Eligible for Special Education and Related Services or Eligible for Speech and language Services.

Except when they have been excused from attending the meeting with your consent, the following persons must attend IEP meetings:

  • Student, if appropriate;
  • Parent;
  • Not less than one general education teacher (to the extent appropriate), if the student is or will be participating in regular education;
  • Not less than one special education teacher (or special education provider where appropriate);
  • At least one Child Study Team member;
  • Case Manager;
  • School District Representative;
  • Others at the discretion of the parent or school district; and
  • If transition will be discussed at the IEP, a representative of any other agency likely to provide or pay for services.

An IEP shall be in effect before Special Education and Related Services are provided to a student with a disability and such IEP shall be implemented as soon as possible following the IEP meeting. The initial implementation of special education cannot occur until parental consent is obtained. Annually, or more often if necessary, the IEP team shall meet to review and revise the IEP and determine appropriate placement.

Please consult the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A, Chapter 14 and Parental Rights in Special Education for more details re: Special Education and student and parental rights in special education.