Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS)

What is I&RS?

In April 2001, the State Board of Education adopted new rules to provide district boards of education with standards for the delivery of intervention and referral services (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7, Intervention and Referral Services*). Pursuant to these regulations, district boards of education are required to: "… 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…" [N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(a)]; and which are designed to: "…assist staff who have difficulties in addressing students' learning, behavior, or health needs." [N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1(a)]

Is I&RS the same as special education, an individualized education program, or the child study team? 

No, the I&RS process is separate from the special education process.

How does a student become part of the I&RS process?

The overall process begins when a staff member or parent concludes that he or she needs assistance with a learning, behavior, or health problem encountered in the general education program. The involvement of the I&RS team only begins when a staff member completes and delivers the appropriate request for assistance form to the designated location; verbal requests are not accepted. We ask individuals making verbal requests to complete the initial request for assistance form. The form should elicit the reasons for the request, observed behaviors, and all prior interventions for the behavior(s) of concern. Delivery of the form should be to a designated, safe place. Parents or concerned community members are also encouraged to request assistance from the I&RS team. We make it clear that requestors are partners with the team in the resolution of the identified concern(s).

When will the I&RS team contact a parent or guardian?

A team member or representative notifies parents or guardians about the situation. The purposes for contacting the parent or guardian could be to:

  • Provide support to the parents and develop a personal relationship.
  • Provide and obtain specific, descriptive, observable and factual academic, behavior, or health information.
  • Provide specific and meaningful opportunities for participation in the I&RS process.

How is a parent or guardian involved in the I&RS process?

Per N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2(a)6, parents must be actively involved in the development and implementation of I&RS action plans. Provisions must be made to provide meaningful opportunities for parent involvement throughout the process. Some teams choose to invite parents to the school prior to the meeting for an interview and to review I&RS team purposes and practices, as well as after the meeting to review the status of the case. Parents may be re-contacted either before or after the meeting or before or after the first contact with them to discuss appropriate actions. Parents should be included as implementers of selected strategies contained in the I&RS action plan.

What is an I&RS action plan?

The team develops a written plan for implementing the consensus strategies identified in the problem-solving phase of the process. The plan should include, at a minimum, the following information:

  • Student’s name (if appropriate to the issue) or anonymous ID.
  • Baseline data on the target behavior(s) for comparison purposes.
  • The date the request for assistance was made.
  • Selected strategies for achieving the behavioral objective.
  • The date of the meeting.
  • The persons responsible for each strategy.
  • Names of all participants in the meeting.
  • Timelines for completion of each strategy.
  • Anticipated behavioral outcome (measurable and achievable).
  • Beginning, follow-up, and ending dates for the plan.
  • Target behavior(s).
  • Plans for supporting implementers and evaluating progress.

Who should I contact if I have further questions about I&RS?

You can contact the assistant principal or the school counselor at your child’s school.