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 generally they come from one of the following: 
  • PARENT(S): Parent(s) may initiate a Child Study Team referral for their child who may be experiencing significant academic and/or social/emotional difficulties in the classroom by contacting the Director of Special Services and forwarding the request in writing. Under normal conditions emailed referrals are not accepted; however, due to COVID, the district is allowing parents to make referrals via email. The email used to send referral MUST match the email the school has on record.
  • IR&S: The Intervention and Referral Services (IR&S) is a building-based, inter-disciplinary group that meets regularly to provide intervention(s) for students experiencing significant academic and/or social/emotional difficulties in the classroom.  Once the IR&S has exhausted its resources and determines that additional information may be necessary, or feels that the student may be educationally disabled, the I&RS forwards a Child Study Team referral to the Director of Special Services. The Director coordinates an Initial Planning Meeting with the parent(s), Child Study Team and the student’s teacher(s) to discuss the student’s academic and/or social/emotional difficulties and a possible evaluation for Special Education and Related Services.
  • 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 to the Child Study Team who is experiencing significant academic and/or social/emotional difficulties in the classroom.

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 Hackettstown Board of Education.
What is the procedure after the referral is made?
Once the referral has been made the Case Manager has twenty (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 & 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 ninety (90) days to complete the necessary evaluations.  Within the ninety (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 Hackettstown the goal is to have the majority of students eligible for special education services receive those services within general education environment and/or classroom.