The Medford Lakes School District provides the services of its Child Study Team to evaluate and design appropriate programs for students who are experiencing learning, health and/or behavioral difficulties. The Child Study Team consists of a school psychologist, a learning disabilities teacher-consultant, a school social worker, and in some cases a speech & language specialist. The Child Study Team also provides preventative and support services to non-disabled students. Team members act as consultants to the general education staff regarding techniques, materials, and programs for students experiencing difficulties in learning.
A Child Study Team member is designated and serves as the case manager for each student with a disability. The case manager is knowledgeable regarding the student’s educational needs and program. He/She coordinates the development, monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the Individualized Education Program. The case manager helps facilitate communication between home and school and coordinates the annual review and reevaluation process.
What is the Referral Process?
Students who are having difficulty in school may first be referred to the school-based Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) Team to find solutions to those difficulties. If the school-based, general education efforts do not resolve the difficulty, the I&RS Team may make a referral to the Child Study Team. The parent/guardian may also make a signed written request for an evaluation. Such a request shall be considered a referral and should be sent to the Supervisor of Special Services.
Each step of the way, parents are a part of the process. When a referral is made, a meeting is arranged to review all available information with the parents/guardians, the Child Study Team, the child’s teacher, and others who might have knowledge of the child and his or her difficulty in school. A decision is then made whether or not the child potentially has an educational disability. If there is agreement, the nature and scope of the evaluation is discussed. Written parent consent is required for the Child Study Team to complete a multidisciplinary evaluation in order to determine eligibility for special education and related services.
A Child Study Team evaluation typically consists of a social history reported by the parent/guardian to the school social worker, an evaluation of the child’s potential for learning and their learning characteristics by the school psychologist, an assessment of the student’s academic achievement by the learning disabilities teacher – consultant, and if needed, an assessment of a student’s expressive and receptive language skills by the speech and language specialist. Other specialists, such as physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, neurologists, and school nurses may be called upon to provide input. A written report is prepared and sent to the parents in advance of an Eligibility meeting, which is held to discuss all of the evaluations and to receive the recommendations of the Child Study Team. If a student is determined to be eligible for special education and related services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed.
If you have concerns about your child’s performance and progress, you are encouraged to first contact your student’s teacher(s). To contact the Child Study Team, call our office at (609) 654-5155 x 101.