Intervention & Referral Services (I&RS)

  • I&RS Mission Statement

    The Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) Team of MCST uses a proactive approach to assist teachers in the creation of resources and implementation of action plans for students struggling with academic, personal, social, emotional, and occupational challenges.

    What is I&RS?

    I&RS are school-based teams to support teacher and student needs in the general education environment. I&RS is not intended to replace traditional methods or resources for helping students to function effectively in school. Its primary focus is to align students' needs with available resources in the general education environment. The I&RS Team:

    • Identifies the responsibilities of building staff who participate in the planning and provision of intervention and referral services.
    • Actively involves parents/guardians in the development and implementation of the I&RS plans.
    • Identifies students in need and then plans and provides appropriate interventions for those students within the general education community.
    • Reviews and assesses the effectiveness of the services provided in achieving the outcomes identified in the intervention and referral plan.

    I&RS Process

    The I&RS process is a collaborative effort between school personnel and families targeting identified needs of students who are making minimal academic and/or emotional progress in the general education setting. The team collects and evaluates relevant data in order to determine or identify specific barriers to student performance. Once these barriers have been identified, individualized interventions are determined, implemented, and documented. The I&RS process is ongoing and continues to monitor student progress within the student’s academic setting. By nature, interventions are a process, not a procedure; therefore, plans may be revisited and modified. A successful intervention plan, which is created and shaped over a period of time, can prove to be a powerful tool for the student at risk. If the I&RS process exhausts all of the available school-based general education interventions with minimal success over an extended period of time, other options may be explored.  

    Who is referred for I&RS?

    A student may be referred to I&RS if they are experiencing academic, emotional, and/ or behavioral difficulties. There is an array of data that can alert school personnel that a student is experiencing problems and should be considered for assistance from the I&RS team, such as:

    • Academic problems marked by failing subjects; grade level retention; &/or current achievement below proficiency in language arts literacy &/or mathematics on district wide &/or statewide assessments.
    • Behavioral problems marked by discipline incidents, suspensions, truancy, unexcused absences, and involvement with police authorities because of behavior(s), etc.
    • Health problems marked by poor attendance, a health record that includes chronic illness, suicidal ideations, threats &/or attempts; or other physical and/or mental health conditions that affect school performance. 

    *Please note that interventions in the general education setting 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 [N.J.A.C. 6A-14-3.3(b)]. 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 is such that evaluation to determine eligibility for special education is warranted without delay [N.J.A.C. 6A-14-3.3(b)]. The parent may make a written request for an evaluation to determine eligibility for services under this chapter. Such a request shall be considered a referral and shall be forwarded without delay to the child study team for consideration. [N.J.A.C.6A-14- 3.3(d)1]. The team may also determine that an evaluation is not warranted and, if so, determine other appropriate actions. [N.J.A.C. 6A-14-3.3(e)].

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