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Referral and Evaluation Process

Referral and Evaluation Process


What is a referral?

A referral is a written request for an evaluation that is given to the school district when a child is suspected of having a disability and might need special education services.


Who can make a referral?

  • Parents

  • School personnel

  • Agencies concerned with the welfare of students


If you believe that your child may have a disability, you may refer your child for an evaluation by submitting a written and signed request to the child study team of the school your child attends. If your child is a preschooler, please submit the letter to the child study team of the school your child would attend if of school age.


Please be sure to include the following information when requesting a child study team evaluation:


  • Your child’s full name and date of birth

  • State your concerns and reason for request

  • Include copies of any reports that were conducted previously

  • Contact information - your name, address, phone and email

  • Letter must have an original signature


What happens when a referral is made?

Within 20 calendar days of receiving a referral, the school district must hold a meeting to decide whether an evaluation will be conducted. If an evaluation will be conducted, another decision is made about the types of testing and other procedures that will be used to determine if your child needs special education services. With written consent,  the team will complete all evaluations and hold an eligibility conference within 90 days. If determined eligible for special education and related services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) can be developed. If an evaluation will not be conducted, recommendations may be made with respect to interventions or services to be provided the student in general education. Additional information regarding special education regulations can be found at the following links:

Parental Rights In Special Education: http://www.state.nj.us/education/specialed/form/prise/prise.pdf

NJ Special Education Code: http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap14.pdf