Franklin Lakes School District

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Special Services » Referral and Evaluation Process

Referral and Evaluation Process

Child Study Team Philosophy Statement:
The Child Study Team is committed to the design and implementation of educational programs considering the 'whole' child in order to help students succeed in the classroom setting.  The multi-disciplinary team considers the child's functioning in academic, behavioral and social domains as we collaborate with general and special education teachers, specialists, consultants and parents to organize support systems to identify student's strengths that promote learning and address challenges that compromise potential academic growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a referral?
A referral is a written request for an evaluation that is given to the school district when a child is suspected of having a disability and might need special education services.
Who can make a referral?
Parents, teachers, administrators, agencies concerned with the welfare of a student including NJDOE.  
How do I make a referral?
If you believe your child may have a disability, you may refer your child for an evaluation by submitting a written request to the Office of Special Services.
What happens when a referral is made?
Within 20 calendar days of receiving a referral, an Identification meeting will be held to decide whether an evaluation will be conducted. If an evaluation will be conducted, another decision is made about the types of testing and other procedures that will be used to determine if your child needs special education services. If an evaluation will not be conducted, recommendations may be made with respect to interventions or services to be provided the student in general education.
What constitutes an evaluation?
An evaluation is the process used to determine whether your child has a disability. This process includes a review of any relevant data, and the individual administration of any tests, assessments and observations of your child. For an initial evaluation, at least two child study team members and other specialists, as required or as determined necessary, must participate. A minimum of two assessments of your child are needed to determine eligibility for special education and related services. Each assessment must be conducted by a person who has appropriate training, or who is qualified to conduct the assessment through his or her professional license or certification.
How is eligibility determined?
When the evaluation is completed, eligibility is determined collaboratively at a meeting according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14­2.3(k)1.8.  To be eligible for special education and related services:
     - a student must have a disability according to one of the eligibility categories
     - the disability must adversely affect the student’s educational performance
     - the student must be in need of special education and related services
What is an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
If your child is determined to be eligible for special education and related services, a meeting will be held to develop your child’s IEP. The IEP is a written plan that describes in detail your child’s special education program. The IEP will describe how your child currently performs and your child’s specific instructional needs, including annual goals and short term objectives.
How often is the IEP reviewed?
The IEP is reviewed on an annual basis based on when your child is initially found eligible.  However, the IEP team can determine to review the document before that date if the team, including the parent feels it is appropriate.