Date Approved

5-19-2003

Embargo Period

5-9-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Learning Disabilities

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Urban, Stanley

Subject(s)

Learning disabled children--Education

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education

Abstract

Literature related to Pupil Assistance Committees indicates they were established to increase the capacity of regular education to serve pupils with learning and behavior problems without labeling them as handicapped. New Jersey mandates the establishment of Intervention and Referral Services which are "a coordinated system in each building for the planning and delivery of intervention and referral services designed to assist students who are experiencing learning, behavior and health difficulties and to assist staff who have difficulties in addressing students' learning, behavior or health needs." (N.J.A.C. 6A: 16-7.1)

The purpose of this study was to identify an effective model of a Pupil Assistance Committee/Intervention and Referral Service, and to determine what types of interventions are most successful and what are the most important benefits of an effective Pupil Assistance Committee (PAC). A specific district, with two Kindergarten through Fourth Grade PAC's in effect was examined to determine types of referrals made to the PAC, as well as the interventions recommended. Subsequent Referrals to Child Study Team were also tracked to determine effectiveness and appropriateness of the interventions. The teachers' perceptions of their building's PAC services were surveyed and a list of recommendations created based on the information gathered.

The results of the survey noted inconsistency between the two schools of teachers' perceptions of the usefulness and effectiveness of PAC's. Teachers' perceptions were found to be positive if referral to the Child Study Team was expedited. There was also inconsistency between the two schools as to the team's practices related to parental contact and types of interventions implemented. Tutoring was found to be the most often recommended and easily documented intervention, as well as the intervention that achieved the most positive results. Based on the literature review and the results of this study, a coordinated PAC reform is warranted for the district involved in this study.

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