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59 Halsted Street
Halsted Middle School
Newton, NJ 07860
Jennifer Pasquali, Director
A New Statewide Toll Free Referral Number
Effective July 1, 2008 the NJEIS is regionalizing the system point of entry(SPOE) for referral of children, birth to age three, with developmental delays and disabilities. This toll free number replaces the direct referral for early intervention through 21 county numbers. Familie and primary referral sources will now only need to call 1-888-653-4463 to refer a child to the NJEIS.
For children, birth to age 21 with special health care needs referrals continue to be made through the 21 county Special Child Health Case Management Units (SCHS-CMUs).
The Early Intervention System (EIS), under the Department of Helath & Senior Services, implements New Jersey's statewide system of services for infants and toddlers, birth to age three, with developmental delay or disabilities, and their families.
Child Study Team services are available to children ages three to 21, through the Newton School District. Children experiencing physical, sensory, emotional, communication, cognitive and/or social difficulties may be eligible for special education and related services. Students who have been in an accident causing temporary or permanent disability may also be eligible for services. Parents should contact the district Office of Special Services for further information.
Babies from birth to three, who are thought to have a developmental delay, may receive assistance from the Early Intervention Program. To access this service, parents should contact the Special Child Health Services at (973) 948-5400, extension 48 or 62.
The Newton School District supports and promotes an inclusive philosophy in regards to educating students with disabilities. All students who meet the eligibility criteria for special education and related services are educated in the least restrictive environment with their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate. This setting is typically the general education classroom and removal from this setting occurs only when the nature or severity of the educational disability is such that education in the student's general education class with the use of appropriate supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
In accordance with Federal law and State regulations, the Newton School District makes available a full continuum of alternative placements to meet the needs of students with disabilities ages three (3) through 21 for special education and related services. Within the district the educational program options include regular education with supplementary aids and services; resource programs, including pullout and in-class services; special class programs, including preschool disabilities, multiple disabilities, behavioral disabilities and mild cognitive disabilities and team-teaching models. Related services are provided to students with disabilities when it is determined that the service is required for the student to benefit from their education. These services may include, but not be limited to, speech/language services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling and/or transportation.
Before a student can receive special education and related services, he or she must be evaluated by at least two (2) members of the Child Study Team. The Child Study Team consists of a School Psychologist, School Social Worker, and a Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant. For children ages three (3) to five (5), a Speech/Language Specialist is also considered a Child Study Team member.
Prior to the student being referred to the Child Study Team, however, interventions in the general education program to alleviate educational problems shall be provided to the student unless the student's educational problem is such that direct referral to the Child Study Team is required. In most instances it is required that documented educational interventions in the general education setting to address educational problems be provided to the student. Each school has an Intervention and Referral Services Team (I&RS), consisting of school personnel, to develop strategies to assist students who are experiencing difficulty in the classroom. The general education staff shall make written documentation of the interventions and their effect. Parents should be informed of the interventions attempted and that they receive a copy of the written documentation.
If it is determined that interventions in the general education program have not adequately addressed the educational difficulties and it is believed that the student may be disabled, the student shall then be referred for evaluation to the Child Study Team.
When the Office of Special Services receives a referral, a meeting is held within 20 calendar days to determine if an evaluation is warranted. The Child Study Team, classroom teacher and parents attend this meeting. All existing data is considered and if warranted, an evaluation plan to gather additional information is written. The Child Study Team evaluation consists of a multidisciplinary assessment in all areas of suspected disability. Along with standardized assessments, other required assessments include: functional assessment of academic performance, and where appropriate, functional behavioral assessment; a minimum of one structured observation by one evaluator in a non-testing situation; interview with the child's parents, an interview with the child's teachers, a review of the student's developmental/educational history, including records and interviews, a review of interventions documented by the classroom teacher, other informal measures as needed (trial teacher, student work samples, curriculum based assessment and informal rating scales, for example).
At the conclusion of the evaluation, all reports are sent to the parent 10 days prior to a meeting that occurs with the parents, Child Study Team members involved in the evaluation and the classroom teacher meet again to review the evaluation results and determine if the student is eligible to receive special education and related services in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A: 14. If the student is found eligible, an Individualized Education program (IEP) will be developed explaining the child's special education and related services.
Parental consent is required prior to conducting any assessment as part of an initial evaluation and prior to the implementation of the initial IEP. Parents receive a copy of the procedural safeguards available to them upon referral for an initial evaluation, upon notification of an IEP meeting, and when a request for a due process hearing is submitted to the Department of Education and upon reevaluation. Students at age five (5) may be eligible to receive speech and language services for disorders of articulation, voice or fluency. The same process is followed as described above, but the Speech/Language Specialist is the only evaluator and the IEP team consists of the Speech/Language Specialist, the teacher and the parent.
For further information please call the Office of Special Services at the above number.