Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS)
New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:16-8.1 requires all school districts to establish and implement a coordinated system in each school building, in which general education students are served, for the planning and delivery of intervention and referral services (I&RS) that are designed to:
1) Assist students who are experiencing learning, behavior or health difficulties; and
2) Assist staff who have difficulties in addressing students’ learning, behavior or health needs.
The Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) is an adult-centered, multi-disciplinary team in each school that is composed of building administrators, school counselors, classroom teachers, and support staff. They welcome requests for assistance from school staff or parents that are experiencing educational difficulties with their student(s), in which traditional attempts to ameliorate the situation have not been met with success.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of needs are reviewed by the I&RS Team?
When a child experiences difficulties that affect his or her academic progress, or has exhibited behavior that interferes with learning, the teacher may request support from I&RS. Student difficulties may include problems responding to written or verbal information, a pattern of inconsistent work completion, excessive absence and/or tardiness, and consistent challenges maintaining positive relationships with peers.
How does I&RS help both teachers and students?
I&RS supports the teachers and students by developing an intervention plan that may provide alternative strategies, programs, and/or assessments. The interventions are designed to support the student in achieving success within the regular education program.
When is an appropriate time to request an I&RS review?
A classroom teacher routinely differentiates instruction to address a child’s needs in the classroom. A classroom teacher may request services of the I&RS team when a particular child continues to have difficulties despite these efforts. The referrer must complete and submit a Request for Assistance Form to start the process.
How does the I&RS Team differ from the Child Study Team?
I&RS recommends actions intended to help resolve the challenge identified to prevent referral to the Child Study Team. If the actions taken and resources used are not adequate and the problem still remains, the child’s needs may suggest a referral to the Child Study Team.
What steps are involved in the I&RS process?
1.) A Request for Assistance Form can be submitted to the school counselor. Copies are available through the school website.
2.) The school counselor contacts the parent/guardian to discuss the function of the I&RS team. A parent questionnaire with a cover letter is sent to the family to gather background information.
3.) The I&RS team discusses the referral and delineates clear, concise, and measurable objectives on an Intervention Action Plan. Time frames and the persons who are responsible for supervising the achievement of each objective are to be noted at this meeting.
4.) The counselor and referring teacher collects useful data and share information consistently with the I&RS team.
5.) A follow-up meeting with the I&RS team and parent will be convened according to the time-frame specified within the action plan. Success of plan will be decided if the intervention is deemed successful or deemed not satisfactory.
6.) If the intervention action plan is successful, the student will continue to be included on the caseload of the counselor and teacher, whose responsibility it will be to continue to monitor student progress for the time deemed necessary by the team. Cases shall be monitored for the academic year on a monthly basis. If continued success is demonstrated, the case may be closed and the file archived.
7.) If the intervention action plan is deemed not satisfactory by the I&RS team, the decision will be made to either continue or revise the intervention, refer the child to outside agencies, or refer to the Child Study Team to be considered for evaluations for Special Education and/or related services.
Are parents/guardians partners in this process?
It is our goal to actively engage parents/guardians in the development and implementation of the I&RS Action Plan and throughout the I&RS process. It is strongly recommended that the teacher discuss his or her concerns with the child’s parents/guardians prior to requesting an I&RS review. Ongoing effective parent/guardian participation might include: recommendation of interventions, participating in I&RS meetings, and/or providing background information about their child.
What are the responsibilities of I&RS Team Members?
The I&RS team designates a team leader, advocate(s), I&RS team members, and referring teacher. The roles of the team directly impact the success of the process. Teachers and support staff participate on a consultative basis. Classroom observations, student interviews, and peer dialogue are regular means of ensuring notable achievement gains. Collaboration, creativity, and care are key!
How can I get additional information about Intervention and Referral Services?
Please contact Karen Russo, I&RS Team Leader and Assistant Principal, at 856-429-5851 x2225.
The corresponding e-mail address is: [email protected]