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NJ DCF Logo with reverse copy

 

New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual

 

Manual:

CP&P

Child Protection and Permanency

Effective Date:

Volume:

IV

Out of Home Placement

Chapter:

E

Residential Placement

5-9-2011

Subchapter:

2

Child Study Team

Issuance:

100

Child Study Team Classification

 

 

Collection of Supportive Materials - Child Study Team Classification

 

Law    4-9-86

 

N.J.S.A. 18A:46-1 et seq., N.J.S.A. 18A:46A-1 et seq., U.S. Public Law 94-142, and N.J.A.C. 6A:14 provide the legal authority for all existing rules and regulations pertaining to the education of the handicapped. All public or private agencies providing educational services to handicapped pupils by means of public funds are bound by these laws and the rules and regulations from which they are derived.

 

Child Study Team  4-9-86

 

All school districts are required to provide the services of a Child Study Team. It is the responsibility of the school district through the Child Study Team with parental consent to identify and, if appropriate, classify handicapped pupils between the ages of 3 and 21, and to develop an individualized educational program (IEP) for each child. A basic Child Study Team consists of a school psychologist, school social worker, and a learning disabilities teacher-consultant acting in consultation with a school physician and any other professionals deemed appropriate by the Child Study Team or by the chief school administrator.

 

A local school district may use its own Child Study Team or it may choose to use the services of an approved agency or clinic for diagnosis or evaluation. The agency or clinic staff must be qualified in accordance with the standards of the State Department of Education.

 

Legislation requires that any student for whom a local school district cannot be determined becomes the fiscal and programmatic responsibility of the State. The Department of Education is responsible for funding the costs of the child's education. The Office of Education in the Department of Children and Families will assume local school district responsibility for evaluation and, if appropriate, classification and the development of an IEP. The Office of Education also will assist with ongoing educational planning for those students who are the responsibility of the State.

 

Classification          5-18-2009

 

Once a child with a potentially disabling condition is identified by the local Child Study Team, he or she is then evaluated and, if appropriate, classified "eligible for special education and related services."  The classifications are educationally oriented and are only one of many areas to be considered in the selection of a residential facility. See CP&P-VII-A-1-200, Education of Students with Disabilities, for information related to the classification process.

 

Financing     6-30-87

 

The law provides for reimbursement by established formula from the State Department of Education's state aid funds to each school district for all approved special educational costs. These costs include identification, evaluation, classroom and other instruction, counseling, tuition to out-of-district schools, supervision by qualified special education personnel, and daily transportation.

 

No planning or arrangements for residential placement may be done without involving the child's school district. The Worker confers and works with the school district's special education personnel. There must be a written agreement from the child's responsible school district to pay for the educational costs of placement before the child may be placed.

 

Authorization of Payment for Education Costs of Residential Placement 6-30-87

A Department of Education (DOE) Form 417 authorizing the local school district to pay the cost of tuition to out-of-district schools is required for each child for whom residential placement is the plan. This form is completed by the child study team of the responsible local school district. It is signed by the chief school administrator and approved by the county supervisor of child study team. A copy of the form is to be requested by the Local Office, and filed in the child's record.

 

School District Determination    5-14-96

 

The school district responsible for the payment of education costs must be determined as early as possible in the planning process for a child's residential placement. This is especially critical in those situations where the child has had a significant number of community-based placements and the responsible school district is in question. In those situations, the child's Worker completes the CP&P Form 25-65, Department of Education School District Determination, for a child placed by a state agency in a group home, private school, or an out-of-state facility.

 

CP&P pays the educational costs associated with residential placement under exceptional conditions only. For governing policy see CP&P-IV-E-1-500.

 

Emergency Placement in Residential Treatment Center    5-14-96

 

When it is necessary, in an emergency, to place a child in a residential treatment center without the completed DOE Form 417 from the school district, contact the child study team by telephone immediately or as soon as possible after such emergency placement.

 

Immediately follow the telephone notification with a written communication confirming the date and content of the telephone contact. Since the letter serves to document notification to the school district in a timely manner, file a copy in the child's case record.

 

Annual Tuition Rates        5-14-96

 

Prior to each new school year the State Department of Education establishes a tuition rate with each residential school. This rate is specific to each residential school. Therefore, residential schools that serve clients with the same classification could have different tuition rates. A Worker can obtain the rate from the specific residential school or from the Exceptional Funding/ Placement Coordinator. The approved rates are paid by the local responsible school district to the residential school. Responsible school districts can only fund tuition to those residential schools approved by the State Department of Education.

 

CP&P Referral for Child Study Team Evaluation and Classification       5-9-2011

 

Any child requiring residential services must be referred by CP&P or the parent in writing to the designated individual in the responsible school district, requesting that the child be referred to the Child Study Team for evaluation and classification. CP&P identifies the social, emotional and other non-educational reasons for considering a residential placement when making the referral. If there is any question as to the responsible school district, such as in the case of a foster child who has had numerous placements or whose custodial parent's address at the time of placement is unclear, the Worker completes the CP&P Form 25-65, Department of Education School District Determination, to verify the responsible school district. The Department of Education determines the school district which is responsible for evaluating, classifying and providing the funding for the child's special education expenses.

 

When making a referral for a Child Study Team evaluation grade transcripts and health records shall be requested.

 

It is the school district's responsibility to obtain parental consent for the evaluation, with CP&P assistance if necessary. After parental consent has been received, the district board of education shall within 90 calendar days evaluate, determine eligibility, and develop and implement the plan section of the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) for the child. Within the 90 calendar days, no more than 30 calendar days may elapse between the development and implementation of the basic plan section of the individualized educational program. The Child Study Team is required to evaluate the child within 90 calendar days unless the time is extended by the chief school administrator when the Child Study Team presents written evidence that reasonable extenuating circumstances relating to the individual pupil preclude the completion of the evaluation.

 

If no evaluation process or other response is initiated within the 90 day time frame, notify the County Supervisor of Child Study in the Office of the County Superintendent of Schools and send a copy of the letter to the Director of Special Services in the responsible school district.

 

If there is no response from the responsible school district or the County Superintendent of Schools, notify the responsible school district of CP&P' intention to seek an evaluation outside the local Child Study Team.

 

The Child Study Team classification includes a psychological examination report, a comprehensive health appraisal, learning disabilities report, and social history. Also, audiometric screening is to be done for every child referred to the Child Study Team. Certain handicapping conditions require evaluations by other specialists.

 

Classified pupils must be evaluated at least every three years. Evaluations may be conducted more frequently if indicated.

 

In planning for any out-of-district school placement for a child, whether it is a day placement or residential placement, the school district responsible for tuition and related educational expenses must be determined and notified prior to placement. If the child has had numerous placements or there is uncertainty concerning the whereabouts of the child's parents at the time of the child's initial out-of-home placement by CP&P, the Worker uses CP&P Form 25-65, Department of Education School District Determination, to ascertain the school district responsible for educational expenses.

 

It is important that the Worker document in the record all contacts with the Child Study Team and all efforts to secure classification of a youngster. Include in the case record copies of all letters, dates, names and notes of telephone calls.

 

Procedures Related to the Child Study Team Evaluation Classification through the Public School                       9-25-87

 

Responsibility

Action Required

Worker

1.    Write letter to public school requesting child's records.

 

Supervisor

2.    Review, sign, and send letter to school.

 

Worker

3.    Review Child Study Team Classification. (Request child be classified, if applicable.)

 

4.    Complete CP&P Form 25-65, Department of Education School District Determination, if there is any question about the child's responsible school district.

 

5.    Request written statement of refusal to classify, if appropriate.

 

Supervisor

6.    Review, sign, and send letter to school requesting statement.

 

Worker

7.    Write letter to school advising of intent to obtain classification elsewhere.

 

Supervisor

8.    Review, sign, and send letter.

 

 

Child Study Team Classification Through Community Evaluation and Testing

 

Criteria          5-9-2011

 

If the public school refuses to, or cannot, classify the child in a timely manner, CP&P and the child's family must obtain testing in the community. Evaluation in the community is the least preferred method of obtaining a classification for the child as it is difficult for the evaluators to meet as a team and the evaluations are often piecemeal.

 

Resources   4-9-86

 

Resources vary from county to county. Consult the County Child Study Team Supervisor for names of agencies or clinics approved by the State Department of Education to classify children. It is advantageous to obtain all the testing by one clinic or agency rather than purchasing each evaluation separately.

 

Legislation requires that any student for whom a local school district cannot be determined becomes the fiscal and programmatic responsibility of the State. The Department of Education is responsible for funding the costs of the child's education. The Office of Education in the Department of Children and Families will assume local school district responsibility for evaluation and, if appropriate, classification and the development of an individualized education program (IEP). The Office of Education also will assist with ongoing educational planning for those students who are the responsibility of the State.

 

Payment for Testing          4-9-86

 

The parent's private medical insurance must be explored and used when available. Efforts should be made to obtain school payment for testing. If CP&P payment is required, refer to policy and procedures related to requesting and purchasing psychological, psychiatric, neurological, and medical evaluations.

 

Referral to Public School     9-25-87

 

All pertinent evaluations are reviewed by the Worker and the material is forwarded to the child's public school. The Child Study Team evaluates the material and accepts or rejects the reports. Acceptance or rejection is done in writing. If a report is rejected, the rationale for the rejection must be included in the written response.

 

When out-of-district educational placement is the plan, it is necessary to ascertain the school district responsible for educational expenses of the child. If the child has been in numerous placements or there is uncertainty as to where the parents resided at the time CP&P placed the child, the Worker uses CP&P Form 25-65, Department of Education School District Determination, to obtain a determination of the school district to be charged. No placement can be made without involving the child's responsible school district and requesting that the responsible school district complete a NJDE Form 417, Application for Approval of a Handicapped Pupil.

 

Procedures Related to Child Study Team Classification through Community Evaluation and Testing          5-9-2011

 

Responsibility

Action Required

Worker

1.    Determine that evaluation within the community is required in lieu of public school classification.

 

2.    Determine which services are to be paid by Medicaid, medical insurance, the public school, or CP&P.

 

3.    Use CP&P Form 25-65, Department of Education School District Determination, in cases where there is question concerning the child's responsible school district.

 

4.    Request responsible school district to accept outside Child Study Team reports.

 

5.    Consult Child Study Team Supervisor for names of agencies/clinics.

 

6.    Make appointments for appropriate testing in the community and inform child and family of dates.

 

7.    Review all evaluations and test results.

 

8.    Write letter to public school confirming request, attaching copies of all tests results and route to clerical unit for typing.

 

Supervisor

9.    Review and sign covering letter to public school; route letter with attachments to clerical unit for mailing.

 

Worker

10. Tickle to determine receipt of classification from public school.