Welcome to the Department of Special Services
What are special services?
Special services are governed by the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A, Chapter 14, Special Education (NJAC 6A:14). These services are designed to meet the special needs of students who may be experiencing difficulty in accessing the general education curriculum or experiencing difficulty in adjusting fully to the daily requirements of the general classroom environment. Emphasis is placed upon offering services that are responsive to a student’s individual learning style and educational disability.
- There are many professionals who provide services for students identified with special needs. These professionals include special education teachers and the Child Study Team. The Child Study Team (CST) is composed of a learning disabilities teacher consultant (LDTC), a school psychologist, and a school social worker. Speech/Language Specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and behavior specialists are related service providers that target specific needs of students as well.
Who is eligible for special services?
Any child between the ages of three and 21, whose parent(s)/guardian(s) is/are legal residents of Bedminster Township is a potential candidate for services if they have a disability or are suspected of having a disability as outlined in the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A, Chapter 14, Special Education.
How does a child become eligible to receive services?
A child may be referred for a Child Study Team evaluation based on a written request from a parent, teacher, counselor, school administrator, or the Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) committee. A referral is recommended when a student displays severe difficulty in the general education classroom due to potential learning disabilities, behavioral/social difficulties, chronic illness, or other emotional, neurological, intellectual, or communication difficulties.
- After a referral is received, an initial planning meeting is held to establish whether an evaluation is warranted. Parent(s)/guardian(s) participate in this initial meeting with the Child Study Team, other specialists, if needed, and the child’s classroom teacher. If there is an agreement to conduct an evaluation, the parent(s)/guardian(s) provide written consent regarding the nature and scope of the evaluation before it is conducted.
- The evaluation may include the review of relevant data, standardized testing, an observation, and interviews with parent(s)/guardian(s) and classroom teachers to determine whether the child meets the eligibility requirements of a disability as defined by the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A, Chapter 14, Special Education. If the evaluation determines that a child does have a disability, another meeting is scheduled to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to address the child’s needs. A full continuum of programs and services are available in the Bedminster TownshipSchool District to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
What is an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?
An IEP is a written plan that describes the student’s current performance, a specific course of action appropriate for the student, and measurable goals or benchmarks. Parent(s)/guardian(s) are invited to attend all IEP meetings and provide written approval for the initial IEP before it is implemented.
- A member of the Child Study Team serves as case manager and monitors the child’s progress. The IEP is reviewed and updated annually or more often, if needed.