4321.2 - School-wide Pre-referral Approaches and Interventions


Adoption Date:  8/8/2019
4000 - Instruction 

School-wide Pre-referral Approaches and Interventions

The District will implement school-wide approaches and pre-referral interventions in order to remediate a student’s performance within the general education setting prior to referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for special education. The determination of prevention and pre-referral intervention strategies or services will take into consideration the student’s strengths, environment, social history, language, and cultural diversity, in addition to the teacher’s concerns. The District may also provide a Response to Intervention (RtI) program to eligible students that is developed in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations as part of its school-wide approach to improve a student’s academic performance prior to a referral for special education.

The provision of programs and/or services for students starts with consideration and implementation of instruction in the general education curriculum, with appropriate supports, or modifications as may be necessary. In implementing pre-referral intervention strategies, the District may utilize resources or strategies already in place for qualified students including, but not limited to, services available through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Academic Intervention Services (AIS) as defined in Education Law and/or Commissioner’s regulations. The District will have a system in place, with qualified, appropriately certified personnel, for developing, implementing, and evaluating pre-referral intervention strategies.

If a student is identified as needing additional instructional support, the District will establish formal Instructional Support Teams (ISTs) in accordance with law, regulations, and District guidelines, as may be applicable, to review information from the student’s work, screenings, and assessments. The IST will include representatives from general and special education as well as other disciplines and include individuals with classroom experience, who may then recommend which type of instructional support the student requires and the frequency with which he or she should receive these services or supports. The building administrator will further require that all staff are familiar with intervention procedures and procedures for operating an IST. Parents or persons in parental relation to students will be involved in developing prereferral strategies to address the educational needs of the child. Additionally, the District will seed 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.

District administration will also require that 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 or persons in parental relation to students and teacher in exploring alternative approaches for meeting the individual needs of any students prior to formal referral for special education.

Pre-referral/Intervention Instructional Support Plans will be designed so as to set forth proactive strategies to meet the broad range of individual student needs and to improve student performance. Pre-referral/Intervention strategies and/or Instructional Support Plans will be reviewed and evaluated to determine their effectiveness and modified as appropriate. Appropriate documentation of the prevention and/or intervention strategies implemented will be maintained.

If a referral is made to the CSE during the course of implementing pre-referral/intervention instructional support services, the CSE is obligated to fulfill 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 (IEP), if applicable.

Educational Related Support Services
Educational Related Support Services (ERSS) means curriculum and instructional modification services; direct students 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 proved 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 mean speech and language improvement services as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations.

ERSS 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 ad 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 (AIS)
The Board will provide to students at risk of not achieving state standards with AIS, AIS means additional instruction which supplements the instruction provided in the general education curriculum and assists students in meeting those state 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. The District will identify students to receive AIS through a two-stem identification process set forth in Commissioner’s regulations.

The New York State Education Department requires that students achieving below the NYSED determined median scale scores on the grades 3-8 ELA and mathematics assessments are eligible for and must be considered to receive Academic Intervention Services (AIS). This requirement also provides that additional data may be used in determining if AIS will be provided and the form in which the services are to be provided. In the Victor Central School District, the additional data may include, but are not limited to data from the following:

  • Universal Screening Assessments
  • Progress Monitoring Assessments
  • Benchmark Assessments
  • Common Unit Assessments
  • Classroom Formative Assessments
  • Anecdotal Teacher Observation

Results of these assessments, will be considered holistically and when indicating that a student is performing below grade level expectations, below grade level standards, and/or failing or at risk of failure, shall indicate that a student is in need of AIS via the RtI program and will be used to determine the appropriate level, type and frequency of RtI services intended to most effectively remediate identified deficiencies.

The District will provide AIS to students who are limited English proficient (LEP) and are determined, through uniformly applied District-developed procedures, to be at risk of not achieving state learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, social studies and/or science, through English or the student’s native language.

Parental notification of students who have been determined to need academic intervention services will be provided as per Commissioner’s Regulations.

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 per Board policy 4325, Response to Intervention (RtI) Processes enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations, may be included as a component of any such Pre-referral/Intervention Instructional Support Plan.

Policy Cross References:
4325 – Academic Intervention Services
5020.3 – Rights of Students with Disabilities under Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC Section 794 et. seq.
Education Law Sections 3602(32), 4401 and 4401-a
8 NYCRR §§ 100.1(g)(p)(r)(s)(t)(v); 100.2 (dd)(4)(ee); 200.2(b)(7); 200.4(a)(2)(9)(c) and Part 154