• What is an IEP

    What is an IEP?


    IEP stands for Individualized Education Program and is a written document designed for children with a specific disability, as defined by the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).  An IEP will describe a child's special education program.  It describes how a child currently is performing and any specific instructional needs.  It includes detailed and measurable annual goals as well as short-term objectives for the child to meet.  

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  • How is Special Services Determined?

    How is Special Services Determined?

    In order to qualify for special services, a student must be found to have one of the following 13 categories of disability as defined by the IDEA AND the disability must be proven to adversely affect the students educational performance.

    The qualifying disabilities are:

    ♦  Autism

    ♦  Blindness

    ♦  Deafness

    ♦  Emotional Disturbance

    ♦  Hearing Impairment

    ♦  Intellectual Disability

    ♦  Multiple Disabilities

    ♦  Orthopedic Impairment

    ♦  Other Health Impaired

    ♦  Specific Learning Disability

    ♦  Speech or Language Impairment

    ♦  Traumatic Brain Injury

    ♦  Visual Impairment

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  • Referral Process

    Referral Process

    A referral is a written request for an evaluation that is submitted when a child is suspected of having a disability and might need special education services.  A referral can be submitted by a parent or by a school staff member. 


    In most cases, the student should first be referred to the Intervention and Referral Services Team (I&RS).  If as a result of the interventions recommended by I&RS the student continues to experience difficulties, the team will determine the next course of action, which could include amending the action plan, determining 504 eligibility or referring the student to the Child Study Team for an evaluation.


    To request your child be evaluated, you would need to submit a written request (not email).  Please be sure to sign the bottom of your letter.  Your request should be address to Dr. Tanya McDonald and contain the following information:


    ♦   Your child's full name and date of birth

    ♦   Your full name and contact information

    ♦   Your concerns for your child you would like addressed


    You can either drop your signed letter off at your child's school, or mail it to 51 West Cliff Street Somerville NJ 08876.  Once received a member of the Child Study Team will reach out to you within 20 days to set up a meeting and discuss further steps to be taken.

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  • Resources

    Please see the links below for helpful information

    For copies of PRISE (Parental Rights in Special Education):



    For the NJ Department of Education:



    For an explanation of I&RS:


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