Pre-referral Intervention | Policy 7251

The School District shall establish a plan for implementing school-wide approaches and pre-referral interventions in order to remediate a student’s performance prior to referral for special education.

The provision of programs and/or services for students starts with consideration/implementation of instruction in the general education curriculum, with appropriate supports and/or modifications as may be necessary. In implementing pre-referral intervention strategies, the District may utilize resources/ strategies already in place for qualified students including, but not limited to, services available through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Educationally Related Support Services and Academic intervention Services as defined in Education Law and/or Commissioner’s Regulations. All of these programs may be considered as possible components of Pre-referral/Intervention Instructional Support Plans. The District will ensure that they have a system in place, with appropriate personnel, for developing, implementing and evaluating pre-referral intervention strategies.

The District will provide general education support services, instructional modifications, alternative instructional approaches, or alternative program options to address a student’s performance prior to a referral to a Committee on Special Education (CSE). Formal Instructional Support Services Teams (ISST) or other school-based teams (e.g., Direct Student Support Teams or Child Study Teams), will be formed in accordance with law and/or regulations as may be applicable as well as District guidelines. The ISST will include representatives from general and special education as well as other disciplines and include individuals with classroom experience. Parents/persons in parental relation to students will be involved in developing pre-referral strategies to address the educational needs of their 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.
Administration shall ensure that appropriate 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/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.

The determination of prevention and pre-referral intervention strategies/services shall consider the student’s strengths, environment, social history, language and cultural diversity in addition to the teacher’s concerns. The building administrator will further ensure that all staff are familiar with intervention procedures and procedures for operating an ISST.

Pre-referral/Intervention Instructional Support Plans shall be proactive in their strategies to meet the broad range of student needs and to improve student performance. Pre-referral/Intervention strategies and/or Instructional Support Plans are to be reviewed and evaluated to determine their effectiveness, and modified as may be appropriate. Appropriate documentation of the prevention and/or intervention strategies implemented shall be maintained.

However, should a referral be made to the CSE during the course of implementing pre-referral/intervention instructional support services, the CSE is obligated in accordance with law to continue 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, if applicable.

Educational Related Support Services

Educational related support services (ERSS) means curriculum and instructional modification services; direct student support team services; assessment and non-career counseling services; special instruction to eligible students with disabilities as defined in Education Law Section 4401, which does not generate excess cost aid including related services but excluding transportation and transition services; and to eligible, qualified students pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These services are provided to eligible students, individually or in groups, and may include those related consultation services provided to their families and related school personnel in order to enhance the academic achievement and attendance of such students. Educational related support services shall also meet speech and language improvement services as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations.

ERRS Services may be utilized as a component of any Pre-referral/Intervention Instructional Support Plan.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

For students who are qualified for services pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, but are not classified as students with disabilities as defined in Education Law Section 4401, Section 504 Accommodation Plans may address instructional support services that can be utilized as components of any pre-referral /intervention strategies as deemed necessary and/or appropriate.

Academic Intervention Services

Academic intervention services means additional instruction which supplements the instruction provided in the general curriculum and assists students in meeting the Stare 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.

However, such services shall not include services provided to students with limited English proficiency pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations or special education services and programs as defined in Education Law Section 4401. Academic intervention services are intended to assist students who are at risk of not achieving the State learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, social studies and/or science, or who are at risk of not gaining the knowledge and skills needed to meet or exceed designated performance levels on State assessments.

In implementing prevention and/or pre-referral intervention support strategies in order to remediate a student’s performance prior to referral for special education, the utilization of academic intervention services, as enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations, may be included as a component of any such Pre-referral/Intervention Instructional Support Plan.

Education Law Sections 3602(32), 4401 and 4401-a
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Sections 100.l(g),(p),(r),(s), and (t); 100.2(v); 100.2(dd)(4); 200.2(b)(7);
200.4(a)(2) and (9); 200.4(c); and Part 154
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
29 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 794 et seq.

Adopted 06/19/00
Renewed 02/23/04

Prevention and Pre-referral Strategies in General Education: Approaches to Instruction and Behavioral Support

General Education Support Services, Instructional Modifications, Alternative Instructional Approaches, or Alternative Program Options are: Developed to Address the Student’s Performance Prior to a Referral to Special Education.

1) A system is established to support the delivery of prevention and pre-referral supports, services and modifications.
2) Appropriate opportunities exist for collaboration between general educators and special educators (e.g., time is set aside for this purpose).
3) It is based on a collaborative model and provides consultation and support to teachers and other school personnel, to assist parents/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. The student’s strengths, environment, social history, language, and cultural diversity are considered in addition to the teacher’s concerns.
4) Innovative ways to utilize existing resources to implement prevention and pre-referral supports and services are used.

Classroom Instructional Approach

1) Set standards are consistent with school-wide proactive approach (positive behavioral supports/discipline, curriculum, and instruction).
2) Teach and reinforce positive pro-social behaviors and skills.
3) Provide immediate feedback, academically and socially.
4) Be proactive to prevent discipline problems.
5) Provide engaging instruction and positive behavioral supports to prevent academic and discipline problems before they can escalate.
6) Increase home-school communication.

Formal Instructional Support Services Teams or Other School Based Teams are Formed and Operational.

1) Criteria is established for the selection of Instructional Support Services Team members. Staff have been involved and agree to the selection process.
2) Instructional Support Services Teams include representatives from general and special education as well as other disciplines and include individuals with classroom experience.
3) Meetings of the Instructional Support Services Team establish a statement of purpose.
4) Instructional Support Services Teams establish goals for meetings and progress is assessed.
5) Members of the Instructional Support Services Team are knowledgeable about students who are in need of educational supports/intervention and/or remediation, and students with disabilities.

Instructional Support Team Approach

1) Define the problem
2) Collect academic, achievement, and behavioral data.
3) Develop a hypothesis concerning the function of the academic or behavioral difficulty.
4) Design a plan using research-validated interventions.
5) Implement the plan.
6) Evaluate the interventions.
7) Modify the support plan as needed.

Administration Facilitates the Process as Necessary.

1) A mentoring and consultative system is in place and supported by administration.
2) There is accountability to ensure that the recommendations of the Instructional Support Services Teams are implemented in a timely and quality manner.
3) District-wide training for general and special educators is provided.

Parents/Persons in Parental Relation to Students are Involved in the Development of Pre-referral Strategies.

1) Parents/persons in parental relation to students are informed of their rights regarding special education.
2) Parents/persons in parental relation to students are notified regarding the purpose of the meeting.
3) Meetings are convenient and language is appropriate so that parents/persons in parental relation to students can contribute.

General and Special Education Staff have Knowledge and Skills in Understanding the Distinction between Students Who Require General Education Support Services versus Students with Disabilities.

1) Staff have a competent understanding of the Least Restrictive Environment.
2) Staff have a competent understanding of the referral process.
There is Collaboration between Outside Agencies and the School.
1) Provide wrap-around services.
2) Take advantage of agency cooperation.
3) Increase the use of specialized and individualized approaches in special education.