What is Intervention & Referral Services (I&RS)?
I&RS is a New Jersey Department of Education mandated system of clearly defined steps that are taken to assist a struggling student. These steps are taken by a multidisciplinary team that meets regularly to track the success of students identified through the I&RS process, as needing specific academic, health and or behavioral “interventions” to be successful. It is the focus of I&RS teams to work with staff and parents by recommending actions intended to help resolve the challenges faced by the struggling student and help prevent inappropriate referrals to district Child Study Teams.
An I&RS team has been organized in each school in the district to help teachers and parents in assisting students who are having difficulty in school. While teachers routinely differentiate instruction to address a child’s needs in the classroom and reach out to collaboratively work with parents to help the struggling student, sometimes students still have difficulties. It is at this point a teacher or parent might request support from I&RS. The process begins after a formal request for assistance is made. I&RS will support the teacher and student by developing an action plan that may provide alternative strategies, interventions or programs. The interventions are designed to support the student in achieving success within the general education program.
After all pre-intervention requirements are met the teacher and parent are invited to discuss the problem at an initial meeting which takes place during the school day. After identifying both successful and unsuccessful strategies used as well as current efforts, alternative means of intervention and new approaches will be suggested. A plan of action is developed specifying the goals, interventions to be used and the individuals responsible for each action. A time line is established for implementing the plan and assessing its effectiveness. A follow-up meeting will take place to report on progress and to adjust the plan accordingly until all goals are met.