Team Approach to Referral

The classroom teacher is responsible for planning and carrying out instruction for each student in his or her classroom based on the individual's present level of functioning, strengths and needs.

Assistance for the classroom teacher in determining what needs to be done and how to do it, is provided through a variety of supports at the school and system levels. Recognizing that meeting individual needs is a complex task, we recommend that a collaborative problem-solving approach be taken by all those engaged in planning and carrying out the individual educational plans. Students, parents, teachers, principals and support staff must all work toward common goals. Open, on-going and frequent communication is critical to the process of planning and carrying out personalized educational plans for students.

The following is an example of how the process could take place. Naturally, there will be some variation in individual cases.

Special Education Referral Process:

Step 1

The classroom teacher has concerns about a student's progress. This could be academic, social, emotional or behavioural. After attempting to deal with the concern him/herself, the teacher decides to talk to the resource teacher. The classroom teacher fills out the School Team Meeting Request Form indicating the concern, what has been tried and the student's general performance and gives it to the resource teacher.

Step 2

The classroom teacher, principal, and resource teacher meet, as planned, and discuss the concern. The meeting focuses on strategies which could be tried. They agree on one or two strategies which they will attempt to implement. Each agrees what he/she will do and for how long (e.g. 6 weeks). The information is recorded on the Record of School/System Team Meeting form.

Step 3

The classroom teacher implements the strategies agreed upon and keeps the resource teacher informed regarding outcomes. The resource teacher checks with the classroom teacher once or twice regarding progress.

Step 4

At the end of the trial period, classroom teacher, principal, and resource teacher meet again to asses the situation. At this time they may decide:

  1. the situation has improved and end the process or;
  2. try further strategies and continue the process at this level

An Individual Education Plan (IEP) may be implemented at this time.

Step 5

If the concern appears to be ongoing or the student is making little progress, a decision to obtain an individual assessment might be made. Consent for Service and Access to the Ontario School Record (OSR) would be sent home for a signature before proceeding. After testing is completed another school team meeting is held to discuss results.

Step 6

The IEP is updated with assessment results and a referral for psycho-educational assessment may occur. If a medical diagnosis is present an Identification, Placement & Review Committee (IPRC) meeting may be held. If an IPRC referral is made, the Teamwork Handbook must be sent to parents a minimum of 15 days prior to the IPRC meeting date.