Special Services

Special Education Services

Child Study Team

Our Mission Statement - The mission of Camden’s Charter School Network is to expand educational opportunity in Camden City through continuing the work started with Camden’s Promise, Camden Academy, Camden’s Pride, and Katz Dalsey. The goal is to give all youth and their families in Camden an equal opportunity to achieve their greatest potential, to raise awareness of education policy, to expand resources from preschool to post-secondary experience, to build leadership, and support program capacity for the City of Camden.


As the parent of a special education student, you are a key part of the process that provides an appropriate and caring educational experience for your child. You are the advocate who remains a constant in your child’s life as he or she progresses through the school system. This webpage is an effort to provide you with clear and accurate information that will help you work effectively with district personnel. It does not replace state laws and guidelines, which are detailed in separate handbooks that you will receive throughout your child’s education. This page is a resource in tandem with your personal communication with district professionals.

Camden’s Charter School Network Mission Statement applies to every child in our district. We welcome you in sharing the responsibility, and privilege, of educating your child.

About Special Education Services

Evaluation and intervention services are provided to students by the Child Study Team, special education instructional staff, and related services specialists. A referral to the Child Study Team may be initiated by a parent/guardian, teacher, school nurse, school administrator, special services staff, medical specialist and other professionals or agencies concerned with the welfare of students when an educational disability may be suspected.

Public schools are required by law to develop a process for identifying potentially educationally disabled students. An educationally disabled student is one who may be experiencing difficulties of a physical, emotional, academic, intellectual, or social nature to the extent that the student is not able to function effectively in a regular education program. A Child Study Team evaluation is necessary to determine the basis of the difficulties and whether the student is eligible for special services. If the student is determined eligible for special education and related services an individualized educational program (IEP) is developed.

With federal passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) in December 2004, parents/guardians are an integral part of the IEP Team that plans an appropriate school program and an IEP for the educationally disabled child. Parents and school personnel work together throughout this process in developing an appropriate program to meet the unique student needs. The district provides the full continuum of programs options as outlined in the New Jersey Administrative code (NJAC 6A: 14). The complete rules and regulations pertaining to Child Study Team procedures and students with disabilities are contained in the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A, Chapter 14, Special Education. Parents/Guardians may obtain this document by contacting the Child Study Team Office at http://www.state.nj.us/education/specialed/

About the Child Study Team

The Child Study Team is a multi-disciplinary educational team that is responsible to locate, identify, evaluate, and to determine eligibility, and, if eligible, develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students having educational disabilities. This group of specialists is employed by the CPCS district to provide consultative, evaluative and prescriptive services to teachers and parents. The team provides diagnostic services to children from age 3 to 21 that have been identified as having a potential disabling condition. Counseling and consultative services are available for any school-aged student experiencing difficulty in learning or behavior. The Child Study Team (CST) makes recommendations for programs and placements which will best address the needs of students who are experiencing school-related programs.

Who is on the Child Study Team

The First Step in the Referral Process

The Intervention and Referral Service (I&RS)

The I&RS team serves as a resource for teachers and is an integral part of the pre-referral process. The purpose of the I&RS for general education students is intended as a primary way in which general education teachers or specialists can assist a student who is at risk for school problems within the general education environment. I&RS programs are not intended to replace traditional methods or resources for helping students to function effectively in school. Rather, they exist primarily to focus on individual student problems using available resources within the general education environment.

The primary purposes of the I&RS team are to:

  • Identify students in need and then plan and provide appropriate intervention for those students within the general education community;

  • Identify the responsibilities of building staff who participate in the planning and provision of intervention and referral services;

  • Actively involve parents/guardians in the development and implementation of the I&RS plans;

  • Review and assess the effectiveness of the services provided in achieving the outcomes identified in the intervention and referral plan;

  • Provide professional development to general education staff members who either refer students to the I&RS or who assist in providing the intervention and referral services; and, finally,

  • Coordinate the services of community based social and health agencies.

If the strategies are not effective, they may be revised or, if it is suspected that the student is potentially educationally disabled, a referral will be made to the Child Study Team.

Parents can request their child be brought before the I&RS team. They would do this by contacting the child’s teacher or principal. Parents are always notified if their child is referred to I&RS. Parents can always request a CST evaluation before, during, or after the I&RS process. Written requests for CST evaluations should be directed to the Director of the Child Study Team.

The Evaluation Process

Evaluation Process

The Identification and Placement Process

Procedural Safeguards

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) & Components

Once a student has been found eligible for special education and related services or speech/language services, an IEP meeting must be held. This meeting is required before any special education services can commence. The purpose of the meeting is to determine the child’s current educational status and develop a program designed to meet the child’s unique needs. This meeting may be held immediately after the eligibility meeting with parent consent or within 30 days of the eligibility meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, all participants will be asked to sign and date an attendance sheet. This signature does not indicate consent or approval of the IEP. The IEP team works from a blank or draft version of the IEP to allow parents and other stakeholders to provide input at the meeting.

Parental consent is required to implement the initial IEP. The program and services will not begin prior to signed consent.

Related Services

Related Services may be provided to students ages 3 through twelfth grade who are eligible for special education and related services. Related services include speech/language therapy, occupational and physical therapies, counseling, nursing, and special transportation.

Community Resources

Government Agencies

Partnership for Children

Youth & Family Support Services

Services for Individuals with Disabilities

Social Services

Glossary of Terms/Explanation of Common Acronyms

Accommodations: Techniques and materials that allow individuals with disabilities to complete school or work with greater ease and effectiveness. Examples include spell checkers, tape recorders, and expanded time for completing assignments.

ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act

Adaptive Physical Education - A diversified program of physical education having the same goals and objectives as general physical education, but modified when necessary to meet the unique needs of each student.

ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

AI - Auditory Impairment

Alternative Assessment - An alternative to conventional means of assessing achievement; usually using something other than a paper and pencil test, such as oral testing or work sample review.

AT - Assistive Technology - Any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

AU - Autism

Auditory Discrimination - The ability to recognize, compare, and differentiate the discrete sounds in words.

Auditory Memory - The ability to remember something heard some time in the past (long-term auditory memory); the ability to recall something heard very recently (short-term auditory memory).

BD - Behavioral Disabilities

BIP - Behavioral Intervention Plan - The term can be generally defined as a component of a child's IEP that describes positive behavioral interventions and other strategies that the district must implement to prevent and control unacceptable behaviors.

Behavior Modification - A technique intended to alter behavior by positive reinforcement (rewarding desirable actions) and extinguishing undesirable actions.

CAPD - Central Auditory Processing Disorders - The inability to attend to, discriminate, recognize or comprehend what is heard, even though hearing and intelligence are normal.

Cognitive Ability - Cognitive, intellectual or innate ability tests measure identifiable skills related to learning or potential. Cognitive ability is often broken down into components such as verbal skills, nonverbal skills, processing speed and/or working memory.

CI - Communication Impaired

Compensatory Strategies - Ways in which a student is taught to manage his or her learning problems, by manipulating and emphasizing strengths as a way to work around skills and/or abilities which may be limited.

CMO - Care Management Organizations - Agencies that provide a full range of treatment and support services to children with the most complex needs.

CST - Child Study Team - Consists of a school psychologist, a learning disabilities teacher/ consultant, school social worker, and when needed, a speech-language specialist, responsible for conducting evaluations to determine eligibility for special education and related services for students with disabilities.

DB - Deaf-Blindness

DCP&P – Division of Child Protection and Permanency

DDD - Division of Developmental Disabilities

Decoding - The process of acquiring meaning from spoken, written, or printed symbols used in receptive language.

Developmental Delay - Failure to meet expected developmental milestones in one or more of the following areas: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, speech and language and/or adaptive development. Developmental delay is usually a diagnosis made by a doctor based on strict guidelines.

Direct Instruction - A method for teaching that provides consistent interaction between students and the teacher.

Due Process - A defined procedure to settle a dispute between the parent and the school.

Dyslexia - A language processing disorder characterized by a difficulty in reading experienced by students who otherwise possess the intelligence and motivation considered necessary for accurate and fluent reading.

DOE - Department of Education

DVR - Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

ED - Emotionally Disturbed

Educational Evaluation - An assessment of a student based on multiple tests, analysis of class work, classroom observation, and teacher input intended to determine levels of achievement in certain academic areas, as well as the student’s learning style and perceptual abilities.

Encoding - spelling

Expressive Language - Communication through speech, writing, and/or gestures.

Extended School Year - services during the summer months is considered and discussed at the annual IEP review meeting. Special education and related services that are provided to a student with disabilities beyond the typical school year in accordance with the student’s IEP.

Executive Functioning - comprises those skills that allow an individual to interact with the environment effectively and efficiently. They include assessing the overall situation, setting goals, devising a plan to reach those goals, staying on track, and monitoring one's own performance. They also include regulating one's actions and responses.

ESERS - Eligible for Special Education and Related Services

ESY - Extended School Year

FAPE - Free and Appropriate Public Education - An educational right of children with disabilities in the United States that is guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

FBA - Functional Behavior Assessment - A process to determine which behaviors are limiting educational progress; to design interventions that decrease target behaviors; and to promote appropriate behavior(s) through positive behavioral supports.

Fine Motor Skills - The use of small muscles to complete precise tasks such as writing, drawing, buttoning, opening jars, and assembling puzzles

General Education - An educational program which follows the regular education programs which follow the core curriculum content standards.

Gross Motor Skills - The use of large muscles for activities involving strength and balance, such as walking, running and climbing.

HI - Hearing Impaired

ID - Mildly, Moderately, or Severely Intellectually Disabled

IDEA - Individual with Disabilities Education Act

IEP - Individualized Education Plan - The written educational program designed for each classified student, incorporating certain information such as educational goals (long-term and short-term), the duration of the program, and provisions for evaluating the program’s effectiveness and the student’s performance

IEP Team - The group of individuals who are responsible for the development, review and revision of the student’s individualized education program.

In Class Support/In Class Resource - Programs taught with the general education classroom teacher and the special education teacher; generally, there are modifications to the instructional strategies and/or testing procedures which should be listed in the student’s IEP.

In Class Supplemented - Programs taught with two general education classroom teachers. Supplementary instruction is provided to students in addition to the primary instruction for the subject being taught.

Inclusion - The practice of placing a student who has special education needs into general education classrooms for a least part of the student’s educational program.

I&RS - Intervention and Referral Services - A procedure in which staff members and parents develop intervention strategies to assist a student who is having difficulty in learning, behavior or socialization to function in the general education classroom.

LD - Learning and/or Language Disabilities

LDTC - Learning Disabilities Teacher/Consultant

LEA - Local Education Agency (School District)

Learning Styles - The ways in which a student best understands and retains learning, (e.g., vision, hearing, movement, kinesthetic, or a combination). Learning style specific approaches to assessment or instruction emphasize the variations in temperament, attitude, and preferred reflective/impulsive or verbal/spatial dimensions.

LRE - Least Restrictive Environment - To the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are educated with students who are not disabled and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature and severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

Manifestation Determination - In connection with the discipline of students with disabilities, a determination whether the misconduct at issue was either a manifestation of the disability or the result of an inappropriate placement.

MD - Multiple Disabilities

NJAC 6A:14 - New Jersey Administrative Code, Special Education Code

OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder

OHI - Other Health Impaired

OI - Orthopedically Impaired

OT - Occupational Therapy

PARCC - Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers - K–12 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy that provide teachers, schools, students, and parents information on whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and provide tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs. PARCC replaced the NJASK and HSPA testing in New Jersey.

PLAAFP - Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance - The present level of academic achievement and functional performance is the first written statement in the IEP plan documentation of the child's ability and current achievement at the time the IEP is written.

Psychiatric Evaluation - An evaluation designed to diagnose any number of emotional, behavioral, or developmental disorders. An evaluation of a child or adolescent is made based on behaviors present and in relation to physical, genetic, environmental, social, cognitive (thinking), emotional, and educational components that may be affected as a result of the behaviors presented.

Psychological Evaluation - The evaluation of a student’s intellectual, behavioral, social, and emotional characteristics by a certified school psychologist.

Related Services - Services that are provided to help classified students benefit from special education. The services are specified in the student’s IEP and are provided in conjunction with the special education program. Some examples of related services include: counseling services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing services, speech/language services, and transportation.

RTI - Response to Intervention - The Response to Intervention (RTI) model for school-age children who are at-risk for learning disabilities emphasizes pre-referral prevention and intervention. RTI can be distinguished from traditional methods of identifying learning disabilities in that it allows early and intensive interventions based on learning characteristics and does not wait for children to fail before providing necessary services and supports. The major premise of RTI is that early intervening services can both prevent academic problems for many students who experience learning difficulties and determine which students actually have learning disabilities, as distinct from those whose underachievement can be attributed to other factors such as inadequate instruction. Although several variations of the model have been proposed, in general RTI is based upon three components: a. the use of multiple tiers of increasingly intense interventions; b. a problem-solving approach to identify and evaluate instructional strategies; and c. an integrated data collection and assessment system to monitor student progress and guide decisions at every level.

Section 504 - A federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . .”

SI – Supplemental Instruction - taught by a general education teacher.

SLD - Specific Learning Disabilities

SM - Socially Maladjusted

SPANNJ - Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey

Standardized (Norm Referenced) Test - designed to give a common measure of the student’s performance. Since the same test is given to large numbers of students throughout the country, a common yardstick or “standard” of measure can be derived to give evaluators a picture of the skills and abilities of students.

TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury - The physical damage to brain tissue or structure that occurs before, during, or after birth that is verified by EEG, MRI, CAT, or a similar examination rather than by observation or performance.

Transition - A coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.


The following sources were used to develop and guide the creation of the Camden’s Charter Network Special Education Reference Webpage:

• N.J.A.C. 6A:14, New Jersey Administrative Code: SPECIAL EDUCATION
Retrieved From: http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap14.pdf

• Moorestown Special Education Services Parent/Staff Special Education Reference Manual Retrieved From: http://www.moorestownspeac.com/images/docs/spedresourcemanual.pdf

• Trenton Public Schools Special Education Reference Guide
Retrieved From: http://www.trenton.k12.nj.us/Downloads/Special%20Education%20Reference%20Guide.pdf

*Should any of this guidance webpage conflict with any state or federal regulation due to changes or misprints, state and/or federal regulations shall prevail. This webpage is solely for informational purposes.