Welcome to the Central Regional
Special Services Department
As the parent/guardian of a special education student, you are a key part of the process that provides an appropriate and caring educational experience for your child. You are the advocate who remains a constant in your child’s life as he or she progresses through the school system. This manual is an effort to provide you with clear and accurate information that will help you work effectively with district personnel. It does not replace state laws and guidelines, which are detailed in separate handbooks that you will receive throughout your child’s education. This book is a resource in tandem with your personal communication with district professionals. Central Regional’s Mission Statement applies to every child in our district.
All About Special Education Services
Evaluation and intervention services are provided to students by the Child Study Team, special education instructional staff, and related services specialists. A referral to the Child Study Team may be initiated by a parent/guardian, teacher, school nurse, school administrator, special services staff, medical specialist and other professionals or agencies concerned with the welfare of students when an educational disability may be suspected. Public schools are required by law to develop a process for identifying potentially educationally disabled students. An educationally disabled student is one who may be experiencing difficulties of a physical, emotional, academic, intellectual, or social nature to the extent that the student is not able to function effectively in a regular education program. A Child Study Team evaluation is necessary to determine the basis of the difficulties and whether the student is eligible for special services. If the student is determined eligible for special education and related services an individualized educational program (IEP) is developed.
With federal passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) in December 2004, parents/guardians are an integral part of the IEP Team that plans an appropriate school program and an IEP for the educationally disabled child. Parents and school personnel work together throughout this process in developing an appropriate program to meet the unique student needs. The district provides the full continuum of programs options as outlined in the New Jersey Administrative code (NJAC 6A: 14). The complete rules and regulations pertaining to Child Study Team procedures and students with disabilities are contained in the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A, Chapter 14, Special Education.
Child Study Team Make-up
The Child Study Team is a multi-disciplinary educational team that is responsible to locate, identify, evaluate, determine eligibility, and develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students suspected of having educational disabilities. This group of specialists is employed by the district to provide consultative, evaluative, and prescriptive services to teachers and parents. The team provides diagnostic services to children from age 11 to 21 that have been identified as having a potentially disabling condition. Counseling and consultative services are available for any school-aged student experiencing difficulty in learning or behavior.
The Child Study Team (CST) together with district’s teachers, administrators, and I&RS committees make recommendations for programs and placements which will best address the needs of students who are experiencing school-related programs. The team consists of a school psychologist, learning disabilities teacher/consultant, and school social worker, and in some cases, a speech-language specialist.
School Social Worker
The social worker’s primary responsibility is as a member of the Child Study Team. As such, the social worker contributes to the CST evaluation process by conducting a “social history evaluation.” The social history evaluation is an assessment of bio psychosocial factors (social, emotional, physical, behavioral and cultural) that may impact a child’s adjustment to and performance in school. The school social worker also provides counseling, crisis intervention and consultation services, as well as helping families’ access community services.
Learning Disabilities Teacher/Consultant (LDT/C)
The Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant is a master teacher who functions in the school environment as an educational diagnostician, instructional programmer, Child Study Team member, educational consultant and instructional leader. The LDT/C must have the professional preparation to make assessments, analyses, and classifications of students’ learning differences; understand and implement special education law; plan and facilitate delivery of programs for children with learning differences; transfer specific and successful instructional techniques to classroom teachers through consultation, collaboration, and in-service education; and effectively communicate and consult with parents, counselors, teachers, and administrators. An educational assessment shall be the responsibility of a learning disabilities teacher/consultant employed by the district board of education. It shall include review of the student’s educational history, conferences with the student’s teacher(s), and an evaluation and analysis of the student’s academic performance and learning characteristics.
The school psychologist consults with the student’s teachers and assesses the student’s current cognitive (thinking and learning), social, adaptive, and emotional status. The activities involved in the evaluation vary at times from student to student but, in general, most children are given an intelligence test to determine a child’s likelihood for success within the academic arena. For certain students the school psychologist provides counseling, crisis intervention or consultation services.
In addition to their respective roles, the social worker, school psychologist, and learning consultant also serve as case managers for students receiving special education services. Students are assigned a case manager at the time of the referral, however, periodically there are changes in assignments. The case manager coordinates the evaluation process and IEP development, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the IEP. The case manager facilitates communication between home and school, and coordinates the annual review and reevaluation process. The case manager is knowledgeable about the student’s educational needs and program, as well as special education procedures and procedural safeguards, and is responsible for transition planning. A speech/ language specialist may also serve as a case manager.
(732) 269-1100 ext. 213