Referral Process

“The referral process is undertaken when there is a recognition that there may be issues surrounding a child’s learning that require the collective attention of a group of educators (specialists and generalists alike). It is not “a transfer of responsibility from the classroom teacher to the Learning Support teacher”.  (A Practical Guide for School Leaders: K. Pelletier, K. Bartlett, W. Powell, O. Kusuma-Powell). 

  • When a classroom teacher has ongoing concerns about a student’s learning, language, literacy, math, or social-emotional needs, they begin by following the pre-referral process specific to their division.  The SST and the teacher will review the case.

  • The SST will meet with the teacher.  Together they will set up in-class interventions and documentation. This step will be documented through ManageBac to inform parents. 

  • After four to six weeks, the SST and classroom teacher will examine the data and either continue the intervention if there has been progress or try a new intervention. The Managebac notes will be updated and a meeting with parents is required to let them know of concerns. 

  • After six to eight weeks of Tier 2 intervention, the SST and teacher meet again to review progress. If progress has been made, the child will begin a new round of Tier 2 interventions or return to receiving classroom interventions. If little or no progress has been made, the SST will meet to discuss the need for external expertise to gauge whether the child needs learning support for a diagnosed condition. The team will review the data and request that the parents seek support from external expertise if necessary. 

  • A request for external testing will be made via a formal letter of referral on school letterhead for the parent to take to the external agency. The letter should be signed by the Head of Student Support, principal or administrator, and the parent(s). A copy of the letter of referral is placed in the student’s file. Only members of the Student Support Team can recommend external testing. 

  • After this meeting, the SST will provide intensive and long-term interventions while waiting for the external assessment. After the meeting with parents requesting the external assessment, the school will follow up within 6 weeks to track whether it has occurred. If the family fails to schedule and follow through on the assessment, there is a risk the child will be required to leave the school. 

The decision for a student to receive support is made in collaboration with and consent from the parents. Discussions concerning medication should only occur based upon recommendations from a professional, for example, a clinical psychologist in an evaluation recommends that the family consider pharmaceutical intervention. Only relevant specialists such as medical practitioners or psychiatrists can recommend medication.