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Frequently Asked Questions

 1.  Who are the members of the Child Study Team?

Supervisor/Director/Coordinator of Special Services

    Organizes the Child Study Team procedures and oversees team member's schedules.
    Compiles records in Special Education for students and submits required reports to county, state, and federal offices.
    Initiates contacts with teaching staff members of other districts concerning transfer of records, student placement, and special education programs.
    Acts as an official liaison of the Child Study Team.
    Develops special education programs to meet the needs of special education students.
    Secures funding for special education services and teacher training.
    Monitors compliance with Special Education Laws and Codes.
    Monitors compliance of all IEP's across the district.

Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant

    Assesses learning abilities of students through observation, review of educational history, and formal assessment of academic performance and learning characteristics. Prepares a written report following assessment.
    Serves as a resource person to teachers and other school personnel regarding children with learning problems.
    Assists in developing curricula and programming of special education students.
    Serves as a case manager for special education students.

School Psychologist  

    Assess intellectual, social, adaptive, and emotional development of identified students.
    Consults with teachers and other staff members as to the social, emotional, and instructional needs of students.
    Collaborates with personnel of community health and social welfare agencies.
    Conducts functional behavior assessments and develops behavior management programs for selected students.
    Serves as case manager for special education students.

School Social Worker  

    Interviews parents and students for the purpose of developing medical, developmental, family, and social history of the student.
    Assesses the student's social development by observation and communication with the student, evaluation of family, school, and community factors contributing to the student's adjustment.
    Serves as a liaison between parents/students and the school as well as outside community resources.
    Engages in counseling with parents and students as needed.
    Serves as case manager for special education students.


2.  What is the role of the Parent?

    Participate in the determination/identification conference.
    Must give consent before CST assessment may begin.
    Share valuable information about the student that may be incorporated into the assessment process.
    Participate in the Determination of Eligibility conference and development of the Individualized Education Plan.
    Must provide initial consent for the special education program to be implemented.
    May withdraw consent at any time.
    Have the right to review their child's records.

If the parent(s) disagree with the school's plan for their child, they may request mediation or a due process hearing.

Procedure for mediation and due process are provided in the Parents Rights in Special Education (PRISE) booklet.

3.  How and when are students referred to the Child Study Team?

Before a student is referred for Child Study Team evaluation, reasonable attempts are made to alleviate his/her educational difficulties by interventions in the general education program.

Students in grades K-8 are assessed through the Response to Intervention team (RTI team). Interventions are implemented based on recommendations from the RTI team.

A direct referral to the Child Study Team may be made if the student exhibits severe disabilities.

Students who are not yet school age may be referred through the Early Intervention program, a doctor’s recommendation, or a parent request.

4.  What happens once a student is referred to the Child Study Team?

A referral is initiated after the RTI team, teacher, or parent recommends a Child Study Team assessment and a “Written Request for Evaluation” is made to the Child Study Team office. A determination/identification meeting will be arranged within 20 days of the date the referral was received by the Child Study Team.

A written invitation to the determination/identification meeting is mailed to the parent. This notice includes the purpose, time, location, and participants of the meeting in addition to a copy of the Parental Rights in Special Education (PRISE).

Present at the determination/identification meeting are parents, teacher(s), child study team members, and other professionals having knowledge of the student. If appropriate, an Evaluation Plan is completed at that time, and a “Consent to Evaluate” form is signed by the parent which starts the evaluation process.

The Evaluation Plan may include any of the following: social history, learning assessment, and/or psychological assessment. This plan may also include evaluations from various specialists such as a speech/language specialist, occupational therapist, psychiatrist, neurologist, medical doctor, etc.

The parent gives consent for testing.

5.  What happens when a formal evaluation is completed?

A Determination of Eligibility Conference is held once all the assessments are completed to review these assessments and to determine eligibility for special education and related services. The process is completed within the 90 day time line as required by N.J.A.C.6A:14. If appropriate, the student is classified as being able to receive special education and related services, and an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed. Parental Consent is required for implementation of the IEP.

Classification Criteria

    Auditorially Impaired (AI)
    Autistic (AUT)
    Cognitive Impairment – Mild, Moderate, Severe
    Communication Impaired (CI)
    Emotionally Disturbed (ED)
    Multiply Disabled (MD)
    Other Health Impaired (OHI)
    Orthopedically Impaired (OI)
    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
    Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
    Visually Impaired (VI)
    Preschool Child with a Disability (PSD)
    Eligible to receive Speech and/or Language Services (ESLS)

Definitions for these classifications are provided in the New Jersey Special Education Administrative Code, Chapter 6 (N.J.A.C. 6A:14).

The Individual Education Plan

The Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a written document which describes the classified student’s special needs and what services will be provided. An IEP must be written for each classified student, and must be reviewed and updated annually.

The IEP is prepared by the IEP team which includes general and special education teachers, parents, CST case manager, additional specialists and the student, if appropriate.

The IEP includes:

    Current educational levels
    Goals and Objectives
    Specific related services as needed
    When the services will begin and end
    The extent to which the student will participate in the general education programs
    A plan for evaluating the student’s progress


6.  If eligible, will my child need special education forever?

Every year an annual review meeting is held with the case manager, special education teacher, general education teacher, and parent to review the student’s progress and make recommendations for the upcoming school year. Every three years, a re-evaluation planning meeting is held to determine whether the student continues to be a student with a disability. If the student is no longer eligible, they return to general education. If the student continues to need services, they continue receiving the special education support necessary for academic success.

7.  What if my child has a speech concern?

A child may still be eligible for speech and language services even if they are not eligible for special education services. Age appropriate speech and language aptitude is essential to the success of a student. Speech effects many areas of a child’s social and emotional development. Berlin Township recognizes the need for our students to comprehend and understand language, be able to express their thoughts and feelings, ask for help or advice, and to be able to speak so that others can properly understand. We are dedicated to the proper development of language.

8.  How can I learn more?

Ask, ask, ask!! Please contact any member of the Berlin Township Child Study Team with any questions or concerns you may have with your child.

Berlin Township Office of Special Services 856-767-9480 extension 1116.