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 may request a Child Study Team Evaluation by sending the request in writing to the Assistant Superintendent of Special Services & Programs.
- Intervention and Referral Services (IR&S) is a building based inter-disciplinary group that meets regularly to provide intervention strategies for students experiencing difficulty in the classroom. Once the team determines that additional information may be necessary or feels that the student may have a potential disability, the student may be recommended for a CST evaluation.
What is the procedure after a referral has been 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 ages 3-5) and certainly the parent/guardian.
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.
What is the procedure if a student is going to be evaluated?
Once it is determined that testing is necessary, the district then has 90 days to complete the necessary evaluations. Within the 90 days an Eligibility Meeting 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 found eligible, does that mean s/he will be in a special education class?
No. Student placements are a joint decision with the parents. By law, school districts must place students in an educational setting to be the least restrictive and most appropriate. The student will have all the necessary support and services to enable him or her to learn and fully participate as a valued member of the school community. The Least Restrictive Environment will look different for each child.
Does eligibility differ for preschoolers (ages 3-5)?
Yes. Students must have a significant delay (33%) in one area, a 25% delay in two or more developmental areas such as physical (gross motor, fine motor, sensory) intellectual, communication, social & emotional, and/or adaptive, or has an identified disabling condition, including vision or hearing, that adversely affects learning or development and who requires special education and related services. If a preschool child with significantly delayed articulation/communication only needs speech therapy as a related service, and not special education (e.g., curricular modifications, specialized instructional strategies, supplementary aids), that child would not qualify under "Preschool child with a disability" as all requirements for eligibility in State regulations N.J.A.C. 6A:14 were not met. To the maximum extent appropriate, preschoolers and students with disabilities will receive their education with their non-disabled peers.