What is Intervention & Referral Services (I&RS)?
The New Jersey State Board of Education has established that the primary mission of schools is to enhance student achievement of high academic standards in safe and disciplined learning environments. The effectiveness of public education in fulfilling this mission depends largely upon the capacity of school systems to respond to the diverse educational needs of students. Constantly evolving social conditions and the changing educational needs that tend to emerge with these changes can pose dramatic barriers to student achievement.
In response to these circumstances and the needs of students, the New Jersey Department of Education continues to provide leadership to schools for educational improvement. One such effort is to help a school institute an Intervention and Referral Service Committee. At Hillsdale, this committee has been in place for over ten years. The main purpose of the team is to assist staff members who have difficulties in addressing students' learning, behavior, or health needs. The multidisciplinary I&RS team is fundamental. Bringing together representatives from all professional areas in a school to support staff in helping students grow is essential for effective problem-solving.
What are some of the functions of the I&RS Committee?
Identify learning, behavior, and health difficulties of students
Collect thorough information on the identified learning, behavior, or health difficulties
Develop and implement an action plan which provides for appropriate school or community interventions based on the collected data
Provide support, guidance, and professional development to school staff who identify learning, behavior, and health difficulties
Actively involve parents or guardians in the development and implementation of intervention and referral services plans
Maintain records of all requests for assistance and all action plans
Review and assess the effectiveness of the provisions of each intervention and referral services action plan in achieving the outcomes identified in each action plan and modify them if necessary
Mr. Dante Casolaro