What happens at the beginning of the process that determines whether my child needs special education or related services?

Before any decisions are made about whether a child needs special education services, a teacher or group of teachers at your child's school will work with parents in a process called "collaborative problem solving," or CPS. This process promotes the success of all students in the general education setting. Depending on your child's needs, the teacher or teachers will develop an intervention plan to assist the student and document the impact of that intervention.
 
If your student's outcome does not improve, the case may be referred to a team based in the school, know as the Educational Management Team, or EMT. This team is made up of CSPS educators with expertise in teaching and learning, problem solving, and interventions. The team meets regularly and acts as a resource to all school staff members regarding students who are not meeting academic or behavior expectations. 
 
The purpose of the EMT process is to ensure that all general education resources are being used to benefit the student and that the interventions are targeted and coordinated to help him or her achieve. An EMT may recommend a screening or consideration of special education services. Parents are critical participants throughout these processes.