I&RS is a state-mandated system of clearly defined steps that are taken to assist a struggling student in improving educational outcomes. Steps are taken by a multi-disciplinary team, which meets regularly to monitor the success of students identified through the referral process. Interventions are monitored over a period of time and may be modified, enhanced or discontinued as indicated by the needs of the student involved. The I&RS team aids students in the general education program, but also provides support for students determined to be in need of special education programs.
o Identify learning, behavior and health difficulties of students
o Collect data thorough information of the identified difficulties
o Develop and implement action plans which provide for appropriate interventions based on the information collected and the desired results
o Provide support, guidance and professional development to school staff to properly identify and implement interventions designed to address student difficulties
o Actively involve parents and guardians in the development and implementation of I&RS action plans
o Coordinate the services of community-based social and health provider agencies and other community resources
o Maintain accurate records of all requests for assistance and all I&RS action plans
o Review and assess the effectiveness of the I&RS action plans in achieving the outcomes identified and make modifications as necessary
o Make recommendations to the school principal for improving school programs and services
How can we determine if a student needs to be referred to the I&RS Team?
If a student exhibits specific observable behaviors that indicate that he or she is experiencing learning, behavior or health difficulties, he or she may benefit from a referral to the I&RS Team.
What are some of the specific observable behaviors to look for?
Any of the following may indicate that a student is experiencing difficulties:
o Failing grades
o Not completing assignments
o Falling asleep in class
o Chronic absenteeism
o Poor participation
o Erratic behavior
o Defiance of authority
o Bullying behaviors
o Eating disorders
o Alcohol, tobacco or other drug use
o Poor personal appearance and hygiene
o Early sexual activity
o Suicide attempts
o Anything out of the ordinary for that student
What are the steps that are taken in the I&RS process?
1) Request for I&RS intervention
2) I&RS meeting is held
3) Action Plan is designed and implemented
4) Action Plan is monitored and reviewed; plan is revised, expanded, or discontinued depending on need.
Making a Referral:
A student is generally referred for evaluation by teachers, counselors or administrators through the I&RS team. A referral may also by requested by the child’s parent/guardian. The referral should be made in writing and using the “Pupil I&RS Request for Assistance Form”, addressing the presenting concerns specifically highlighting the child’s current strengths and needs. The referral should be presented to the Assistant Principal(s) who will schedule a meeting and assign it to a school counselor.
Who participates in the I&RS process?
The regulations requiring I&RS allows the building I&RS teams to be as flexible as necessary in order to perform the necessary functions. Typically, the following individuals participate:
o Principal (or his delegate) and Teacher
o Support staff: School Counselor, Nurse, Learning Disabilities Consultant; Psychologist; Social Worker
o Other: Parent; Community Agency Representative
What happens if the I&RS Action Plan succeeds or does not succeed?
If the I&RS Plan is successful in meeting the needs of the student, then the Plan may continue to be maintained and monitored or the Plan may be discontinued. If the I&RS Plan is not successful, then additional information is collected, additional professional advice is secured and additional resources are identified. In some instances, referral to a basic skills or a special education program may be necessary.
What if I need more information?
Any of these district employees will be able to give you more information:
Building Intervention & Referral Services Coordinators:
Dr. Matthew Certo, Principal firstname.lastname@example.org
Rita Mazza, Dean of Students email@example.com
Your primary resource should be your child’s school counselor! Counselors are assigned by a student’s last name. If you are unsure as to which school counselor your child is assigned, please reference the Lakeland website at www.lakeland.k12.nj.us and look under the “Counseling” tab for “Staff/Contact Information”.
Ms. Margaret Ann Danza X 120 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Lisa Manicone X 121 email@example.com
Mrs. Diana Matlosz X 151 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Brian Mulhern X 117 email@example.com
Mrs. Tara Ross X 122 firstname.lastname@example.org
School Counseling Department (973) 835-1900