An Investigation of the Implementation of the Child Study Committee Initiative in a Rural County in Virginia
Reed, Donald R.
MetadataShow full item record
The referral of a student for a psycho-educational evaluation is one of the most important responsibilities of school-based personnel, in particular for the general education classroom teacher (Abidin & Robinson, 2002; Artiles & Trent, 1994; Hosp & Reschly, 2003). A referral for evaluation or intervention is also one of the most important predictors of future special education eligibility. The Commonwealth of Virginia has traditionally used Child-Study Committees (CSC) to address the provision of supportive interventions within regular classroom settings to students prior to referral for special education eligibility. The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of the support given by CSCs to those students who were referred for academic and/or behavioral concerns. Effectiveness was measured by the alignment of the referral concern(s) with the assigned intervention to address this concern(s) as well as the notion that a referral was not delayed which would have delayed needed services for students. This inquiry addressed the intervention assistance given to elementary grade students who were referred in order: (a) to determine the outcomes of the CSC process by grade level, and by race and gender of students; and (b) to determine if the CSC process facilitated or delayed appropriate referral for special education services prior to the implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) approaches in the state. Methods of quantitative descriptive content analysis were utilized. The findings of this study indicated that of the students (n=136) referred to the CSC, 62.5% were recommended for a complete evaluation and determined eligible for special education services. In addition, 77.2% of referrals were related to academic concerns, and 17.6% were for behavioral concerns; only 5.1% of the referrals were made for both academic and behavioral concerns. The percentage of students who recycled through the process was insignificant and there was not a delay in the referral for special education services, suggesting that the initial interventions were appropriate for the given student. Results further indicated that the retention and promotion status of the referred students was not affected by the process. As it relates to implications for practice, the CSC provided a systematic approach that school divisions may be able to utilize to determine the efficacy of interventions that address the current academic and/or behavioral needs of students in the classroom. It is recommended that future research in this area be conducted with a larger sample of the country, thus allowing more generalizability to other populations. In addition, as the CSC process develops, it would be interesting to examine the evolution of the process and the modifications made.
- Doctoral Dissertations