By Colleen Stump, Ph.D.
If your child is struggling to learn, take time to find out about how the pre-referral process works at your school. When you become involved in planning with her educational team, your child will benefit.
The purpose of the pre-referral process is to ensure your child tries reasonable accommodations and modifications before she's referred for special education assessment. Sometimes, a change in the classroom can turn her performance around and make it unnecessary to consider special education services. Using strategies that draw on your child's strengths and meet her educational needs may be all it takes to put her back on the road to academic progress. The pre-referral team goes by different names in different places. In some schools, it's called the Student Study Team (SST) while in others, it's the Student Intervention Team, Child Study Team, Teacher Support Team, and Student Success Team. Regardless of its name, the purpose of the team is to:
There are no rules for membership on a pre-referral team. Generally, the team includes general education teachers, who are most familiar with the general education classroom and curriculum, and a counselor or administrator. The team may also include a school psychologist, special education teachers, and related service personnel, such as speech and language pathologists. Each school selects team members depending on what works best for them.
As a parent, you're a key member of this team. Although law doesn't require a pre-referral meeting and parent participation isn't guaranteed, most schools include parents in this process. You're the one most familiar with your child's health and development, family environment, academic history, special skills and talents, and learning and behavioral needs.
Although the steps may vary by school, here's what often occurs:
Your child is referred to the pre-referral team because there's a concern about his academic skills or behavior. Although anyone who knows your child can refer him, usually it's you or the classroom teacher who makes the referral. You'll be asked to identify specific area(s) of concern, such as not turning in assignments, earning poor grades in a subject area, not paying attention, having trouble understanding homework assignments.
The team meeting follows these steps:
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.