Intervention and Referral Services

What is I&RS?

I&RS is required by NJ Administrative Code 6A:16-8.1. District boards of education shall establish and implement a coordinated system in each school building for the planning and delivery of intervention and referral services that are designed to assist students who are experiencing learning, behavior or health difficulties and to assist staff in addressing student learning, behavior or health needs.

The primary focus of the I&RS is to align student needs with available resources in the general education environment.

The I&RS Team is comprised of school-based education professionals who offer diverse perspectives regarding best-practice instruction, interventions and accommodations that support student achievement.

The I&RS Team

The I&RS  process is a collaborative effort between school personnel and families targeting the identified needs of students who are making minimal academic and/or emotional progress in the regular education setting.

Using a team approach we carefully consider the needs of students who are at risk for learning, behavior, and/or health problems.

Referrals to the I&RS team may be created by a child’s teacher or counselor. After review of the referral form and prior interventions, the I&RS chair will assign the case to the team.

The team collects and evaluates relevant quantitative and qualitative data in order to determine or identify specific barriers to student performance.  Once the barriers have been identified the team will develop an intervention plan which will be implemented and evaluated during a defined period of time. This plan may include interventions and strategies for the student, parent, and teachers to implement. The plan may also include recommendations for community support services.

The I&RS process is ongoing. The development and implementation of interventions is a process. Plans are often revisited and modified. If the I&RS process exhausts all of the available school-based regular education interventions with minimal success over an extended period of time, other options may be explored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies for I&RS?

I&RS is designed to assist staff and parents of regular education students who are having academic, behavior or health difficulties. Special Education students who are classified with an IEP receive assistance from the Child Study Team.

Who sits on the I&RS Team?

Team members vary depending upon need but typically include a school counselor, teachers, administrator, school nurse and members of support services. 

How long will I&RS work with my child?

There is not a defined timeline for I&RS interventions. The implementation and evaluation of interventions is a process. Each case is unique and will require a varied approach in order to provide the student with the supports needed. 

Will I have input regarding the I&RS plan for my child?

Yes. The development of a plan is a collaborative process. Case managers will collaborate with parents/guardians throughout the process

The I&RS Process Overview

Pre– Referral

  • School faculty assist students through a variety of instructional approaches.

Referral to I&RS from school staff

Collect and review all available information and data 

Identify specific academic, behavior or health-related barriers impacting academic performance.

Identify and implement an intervention plan

Evaluate effectiveness

Continue or modify the plan as needed