CST-Referral Services

What is the Child Study Team?

A child study team (CST) is an interdisciplinary group, consisting of a psychologist, a social worker, a learning disabilities teacher consultant and a speech therapist, who:

  • evaluate and participate in determining a student's eligibility for special education and/or related services;
  • coordinate the development, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the student's individual education plan;
  • may deliver the appropriate related services to students with educational disabilities;
  • may provide preventive and support services to non disabled students
  • may provide services to the general education staff regarding techniques, materials, and programs for students experiencing difficulties in learning

The CST works together to place students with educational disabilities in the most appropriate educational program, in the least restrictive environment, closest to their home. The team works to provide students with educational disabilities the same opportunities as students in regular education.

How does a child get referred to the CST?

There are three ways a child can be referred to the CST:

  • a teacher refers the child to the Intervention and Referral Service Committee for grades K - 8 or to the preschool intervention and referral team (PIRT) committee for Preschool students at his/her school. The student is reviewed by the I&RS/PIRT committee and strategies and interventions are developed for the teacher and other staff members to implement for 6 to 8 weeks with the child.  Data is collected during this time and then the committee reviews the data at the end of the 6 weeks.   If the child is not showing progress additional strategies and higher-level interventions are recommended or they may be referred to the CST to discuss if evaluations are warranted.   
  • a parent who suspects their child has an educational disability can write a letter to the CST requesting an Evaluation Plan meeting.  At this meeting, all CST members will be present along with the child's teacher.  Based on the data, it will be determined if testing is warranted and if so what type of testing.
  • any student under the age of three who is receiving early intervention could possibly be referred to the CST by early intervention services.

Can a child be tested without a parent(s) knowledge?

A child CANNOT be tested without parental consent. If a child is referred to the CST the parent(s) will be contacted and an appointment will be made to discuss the child's education. A decision to test the child for a learning disability will be determined at this meeting.

An initial evaluation by the CST usually consist of:

  • assessment by the school psychologist;
  • assessment by the learning consultant;
  • assessment  by the social worker ;
  • assessment by the Speech Therapist (if warranted)

The evaluation will include an appraisal of the student's current functioning and an analysis of instructional implications based on the child's functioning level.

For more information please call the CST at (856) 931 6305. ext 1307

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