Pre-referral Intervention Strategies
The District will implement school-wide approaches and pre-referral interventions in order to remediate a student’s performance within the general education setting prior to referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for special education. The determination of prevention and pre-referral intervention strategies or services will take into consideration the student’s strengths, environment, social history, language, and cultural diversity, in addition to the teacher’s concerns. The District may also provide a Response to Intervention (RtI) program to eligible students that is developed in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations as part of its school-wide approach to improve a student’s academic performance prior to a referral for special education.
The provision of programs and/or services for students starts with consideration and implementation of instruction in the general education curriculum, with appropriate supports, or modifications as may be necessary. In implementing pre-referral intervention strategies, the District may utilize resources or strategies already in place for qualified students including, but not limited to, services available through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Academic Intervention Services (AIS) as defined in Education Law and/or Commissioner’s regulations. The District will ensure that there is a system in place, with qualified, appropriately certified personnel, for developing, implementing, and evaluating pre-referral intervention strategies.
If a student is identified as needing additional instructional support, the District will establish formal Instructional Support Teams (ISTs) in accordance with law, regulations, and District guidelines, as may be applicable, to review information from the student’s work, screenings, and assessments. The IST will include representatives from general and special education as well as other disciplines and include individuals with classroom experience, who may then recommend which type of instructional support the student requires and the frequency with which he or she should receive these services or supports. The building administrator will further ensure that all staff are familiar with intervention procedures and procedures for operating an IST. Parents or persons in parental relation to students will be involved in developing pre-referral strategies to address the educational needs of the child. Additionally, the District will seek collaboration between outside agencies and the school prior to a referral of the student to the CSE in order to address necessary student support services.
District administration will also ensure that opportunities exist for collaboration between general educators and special educators, and that consultation and support are available to teachers and other school personnel to assist parents or persons in parental relation to students and teachers in exploring alternative approaches for meeting the individual needs of any student prior to formal referral for special education.
Pre-referral/Intervention Instructional Support Plans will be designed so as to set forth proactive strategies to meet the broad range of individual student needs and to improve student performance. Pre-referral/Intervention strategies and/or Instructional Support Plans will be reviewed and evaluated to determine their effectiveness and modified as appropriate. Appropriate documentation of the prevention and/or intervention strategies implemented will be maintained.
If a referral is made to the CSE during the course of implementing pre-referral/intervention instructional support services, the CSE is obligated to fulfill its duties and functions, and must meet mandatory time lines in evaluating the student for special education services and implementation of an individualized education program (IEP), if applicable.
Academic Intervention Services
The Board will provide to students at risk of not achieving state standards with AIS. AIS means additional instruction which supplements the instruction provided in the general education curriculum and assists students in meeting those state learning standards as defined in Commissioner’s regulations and/or student support services which may include guidance, counseling, attendance, and study skills which are needed to support improved academic performance. The District will identify students to receive AIS through a two-step identification process set forth in Commissioner’s regulations.
The District will provide AIS to students who are limited English proficient (LEP) and are determined, through uniformly applied District-developed procedures, to be at risk of not achieving state learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, social studies and/or science, through English or the student’s native language.
The District has developed a description of the AIS offered to grades K through 12 students in need of these services. The description includes any variations in services in schools within the District and specifically sets forth:
- a) The District-wide procedure(s) used to determine the need for AIS;
- b) Academic intervention instructional and/or student support services to be provided;
- c) Whether instructional services and/or student support services are offered during the regular school day or during an extended school day or year; and
- d) The criteria for ending services, including, if appropriate, performance levels that students must obtain on District-selected assessments.
The District will review and revise this description every two years based on student performance results.
- a) Commencement of Services: Parents or persons in parental relation to a student who has been determined to need AIS will be notified in writing by the building principal. This notice will be provided in English and translated into the parent’s native language or mode of communication, as necessary. The notice will also include a summary of the AIS to be provided to the student, why the student requires these services, and the consequences of not achieving expected performance levels.
- b) Ending of AIS: Parents or persons in parental relation will be notified in writing when AIS is no longer needed. This notice will be provided in English and translated to the parent’s native language or mode of communication, as necessary.
Parents will be provided with ongoing opportunities to consult with the student’s teachers and other professional staff providing AIS, receive reports on the student’s progress, and information on ways to work with their child to improve achievement.