Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8.3(a)1&2,
school districts must identify the roles
and responsibilities of the building and district staff who participate in
planning and providing intervention and referral services. It is advised
that the leadership roles described below should rotate on a predetermined
basis to avert domination by one person or point of view, in
particular the team leader, to fully use or develop team resources and role diversity and to avoid burnout.
Each of the following roles
should be assigned to a different member of the “core” I&RS team:
The responsibilities undertaken by
the team leader are essential for team operations both
during and outside of meetings. The team leader is sometimes, but not
necessarily, the building principal. Since the demands on building
principals can cause frequent interruptions of team meetings (e.g., phone
calls, requests from the central office, medical emergencies with students
or staff, policy violations, transportation problems, concerned parents,
law enforcement operations, student disruptions), having the principal as
team leader can unduly disrupt the process, which could result in poor
use of I&RS staff resources. For the purposes of program start-up,
however, where the team is developing plans for full implementation of
the program, it can be appropriate for the principal to serve as team
The school should consider whether or
to what degree the participation
of principals and assistant principals pose irreconcilable conflicts of
interest, which can interfere with team operations or performance of
other duties. For example, certain information obtained about students
during the I&RS team process may not be used by school administrators
in disciplinary proceedings, per applicable confidentiality regulations or other standards of privacy.
Particularly in circumstances where
the principal’s duties either
periodically or regularly interrupt the process or pose significant conflicts
of interest, he or she may choose to delegate the role of team leader to an
assistant principal or to a general education staff member. Whichever
position is assigned the responsibilities of the team leader, the leader
should have the authority of the principal to formalize I&RS action plans
during meetings. In other words, when the team agrees on a plan of
action for an individual case, it becomes the school’s formal operating
strategy for that case, until it is revised or discontinued.
The team leader coordinates the general activities of the program, initiates, facilitates, shares responsibility and leads, rather than “rules” or dictates to the team. The team leader, as is the case with other roles on the team, performs specific tasks and functions, which are described below:
Logging in requests for assistance.
Determining the appropriateness of cases for review by the team.
Assigning case coordinators and simultaneously scheduling each case for the first problem-solving meeting and the first follow-up meeting.
Preparing meeting agendas.
Serving either as the facilitator for the steps of the problem-solving model and the development of I&RS action plans or
assigning the role of facilitator for either the problem-solving process and/or action planning to another team member.
Clarifying and enforcing building-level operating procedures and rules.
Maintaining an educational focus for resolving I&RS cases.
Serving as the liaison to school administrators and case coordinators.
The record keeper is responsible for the following tasks and functions:
Registering and maintaining
accurate, written accounts of all
Maintaining all program files in a locking file cabinet.
Retaining a supply of forms.
Keeping a current calendar for the I&RS team.
This role is particularly important when teams are engaged in the steps of the problem-solving model, since each step of the model is time-limited. The timekeeper helps maintain efficiency in team proceedings by being responsible for the following tasks and functions:
Making sure that the team adheres
to all time limits.
Assisting the facilitator in keeping members on task during meetings to complete tasks in their allotted time periods.
Since all team members serve turns as case coordinators or case monitors, the team should establish a pre-determined procedure for having the team leader evenly assign case coordinator responsibilities on a rotating basis. Case coordinators are perhaps in the most pivotal position for ensuring the success of the I&RS process on a case-by-case basis. When team members serve as case coordinators, they are the primary contact with the staff member requesting assistance. Their job is to lead the requesting staff member through the process, provide support, help them feel at ease and furnish technical assistance to all individuals responsible for implementing the I&RS action plan for the identified educational problem.
Case coordinators perform the following tasks and functions:
Distributing all information collection forms.
Overseeing the completion of all information collection forms.
Collecting all completed information collection forms.
Compiling and summarizing all of the behaviorally-specific information on the problem.
Conducting observations of the problem, where possible, for information collection, remediation and follow-up purposes.
Analyzing trends and patterns of documented behavior.
Presenting the compiled information and perceived trends at the pre-scheduled meeting.
Overseeing implementation of each component of the I&RS action plan for the identified problem(s).
Providing technical support to those responsible for carrying out the I&RS action plan.
Coordinating communications and plans for actively involving parents in the development and implementation of I&RS action plans (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8.2(a)6).
Providing insight (due to their close involvement with assigned cases) into decisions for either maintaining the current I&RS action plan, developing a new plan, terminating the existing plan or referring the case to the Child Study Team for further evaluation.