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The Referral Process

THE REFERRAL PROCESS

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 by a variety of sources, but they generally come from one of the following:

  • Parents: Parents may request a Child Study Team Evaluation by contacting the Case Manager at their child’s school and forwarding the request in writing.
  • Intervention and Referral Services: Intervention and Referral Services (IR&S) is a building based inter-disciplinary group that meets regularly to provide intervention for students experiencing difficulty in the classroom. Once the PAC/IR&S has utilized its resources and determines that additional information may be necessary, or feels that the student may be potentially educationally disabled, the student may be recommended for a CST evaluation.
  • Administrators or Outside Agencies: The Principal or other building administrator or an individual from an outside agency (doctor, social worker etc.) may refer a student for a Child Study Team Evaluation.

    Who are the members of the Child Study Team?

    The New Jersey Department of Education requires that the Child Study Team include a school psychologist, a learning disabilities teacher consultant, and a school social worker. These professionals are all certified and employed directly by the Delran Township Board of Education.

    What is the procedure after the referral is made?

    Once the referral has been made, the Case Manager has 20 days 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 and language specialist (if the suspected disability included that area or the child was age 3-5) and certainly the parent.

    Are students automatically tested if the request is made?

    No. Once a request for a Child Study Team evaluation is made an 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.

    What is the procedure if the student is going to be tested?

    Once it is determined that testing is necessary, an assessment plan is developed and the parent/guardian gives written permission. The district then has 90 days to complete the necessary evaluations. Within the 90 days an Eligibility Conference is scheduled where the evaluations are interpreted and it is determined if the student is eligible for special education and/or related services.

    If a student is eligible does that mean he or she will be in a special education class?

    Absolutely not.  Before a student receives services, an Individual Education Program must be developed and agreed to.  In Delran, the majority of students eligible for special education services receive those services within general education classroom and programs.

    Project Child Find

    Project Child Find is a component of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, age birth to 21, who are in need of special education services. To receive Special Education, children must meet eligibility guidelines according to the IDEA.

    In addition to special education services for children with disabilities, The State of New Jersey provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers who are at risk of developmental delay through Project Child Find. Project Child Find includes: assisting families of infants, birth through two who require early intervention due to concerns of a child’s development; assisting families of preschoolers 3-5 with possible developmental concerns by directing concerns to LEA; assisting families’ access community resources; providing information to the community about children with disabilities; assisting local school districts to identify children ages 3-21 who may be in need of special services.

    The Delran Township School District conducts specific activities for the purposes of locating, evaluating and identifying students ages birth to twenty-one with suspected disabilities and who reside within the district's boundaries. This includes students attending private schools. Early identification of disabilities assists parents, students and schools in the design of appropriate educational services.

    If your child is a preschooler and you have concerns about his or her development, you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service, especially if you have questions and concerns regarding your child’s development. If your child will be entering a kindergarten program next year, and you have particular concerns in any of these areas, the screening is especially advised.

    If your child is in school and you believe a disability may impair his or her educational performance, please contact your child's teacher for more information about getting your child evaluated.

    Child Find Process

    Preschool children: If you are aware of a preschooler, from 3-5 years old, who has or may have a developmental disability, please call Valerie Bowers, Supervisor of Special Education at 856-461-6800 to arrange for an appointment and screening.

    After the screening, one of two things will happen:

  • For some children, their screenings will indicate that a full developmental assessment to determine eligibility for special education services is not necessary. In this case, parents will be provided with community resources and home program suggestions to strengthen any areas of minor weakness.
  • Other children, for which the screening determines that future assessment is required, will then be referred on to a formal more in-depth evaluation. This evaluation will determine if a child is eligible to attend Delran Township’s preschool program for children with special needs.

Who May Refer a Child?
Most referrals are made directly by a child’s parents. Referrals (with parental consent) are made by health care providers, social workers, child care providers, and other individuals familiar with the child’s development.


What is the Cost?
Screening services are available at no charge to children who reside within Delran Township. If necessary, assessments, evaluations, and all special education services, including transportation, which are determined to be necessary are provided free of charge.