The New Jersey State Board of Education has established that the primary mission of schools is to enhance student achievement of high academic standards in safe and disciplined learning environments. The effectiveness of public education in fulfilling this mission depends largely upon the capacity of school systems to respond to the diverse educational needs of students. Constantly evolving social conditions and the changing educational needs that tend to emerge with these changes can pose dramatic barriers to student achievement.
The educational mission is made more complex by the increased incidence, prevalence and intensity of problems students bring to schools. These problems include high risk behaviors, such as alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, violence, vandalism, child abuse and neglect, early sexual involvement, youth pregnancies and parenting, suicide attempts and suicides, eating disorders, low self-regard, poor socialization skills, lack of readiness for school, as well as chronic medical conditions and physical disabilities.
The types of at-risk behaviors students manifest while in school include not concentrating or focusing on learning, not completing assignments, not achieving to demonstrated skill level or tested potential, declining or failing grades, cheating, absenteeism, tardiness, falling asleep, inability to stay in seat or work within structure, decreased participation, self defeating responses to peer pressure, deteriorating personal appearance and hygiene, erratic behavior, loss of affect, acting out, fighting, defying authority, violating rules and dropping out of school. These and other problems place students at risk for school failure and other problems, leaving parents and teachers frustrated and in need of assistance.
In response to these circumstances and the attendant needs of students, the New Jersey Department of Education continues to provide leadership to schools for educational improvement and whole-school reform. One such effort is the schools program of intervention and referral services (I&RS).
The purposes of an Intervention and Referral Services Program are:
The I&RS team is made up of a variety of teachers and staff members from diverse backgrounds who can offer expertise to the team. The team is made up of the members listed above as well as the teachers of the student being presented. When a staff member makes a request for assistance they agreeing to be a member of the team for the length of that case. All teachers who have a student that is referred will be asked to fill out information on the student and to join the team in coming up with an action plan.
Parents/guardians may refer their son or
daughter to the I&RS team. They would contact the team leader, Tariq Muhammad, and
start the process through him. Regardless of who requests assistance for a
student, the parent/guardian is asked to be involved in the process. There is a
questionnaire and/or interview that the parents will partake in with a team
member. Parental involvement in this process is important since parents play a
major role in a child's developmental and learning process. Contact Tariq Muhammad
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-266-7321
After a teacher has attempted to address the problem in the classroom by contacting the parent/guardian and enlisting the help of other school personnel, he/she may seek the assistance of I&RS.
Behavior and Academic Team