Our goal at the Office of Intervention and Prevention Services is to provide you with the resources that will support your School Based Intervention Team. The support provided will assist you in your efforts to be as effective as possible in helping students overcome challenges they face in our schools. Albemarle County Schools is committed to increasing student achievement for all students.
School Based Intervention Teams are designed to be part of Albemarle County's commitment to school improvement through the support and development of professional learning communities in each of the schools in the division. Professional learning communities promote the learning of all students in Albemarle County Schools. The term professional learning community describes a collegial group of administrators and school staff who are united in their commitment to student learning. They share a vision, work and learn collaboratively, visit and review other classrooms, and participate in decision making. The benefits to the staff and students include a reduced isolation of teachers, better informed and committed teachers, and academic gains for students. As an organizational arrangement, the professional learning community is seen as a powerful staff-development approach and a potent strategy for school change and improvement. (Hord, 1997)
In addition, Albemarle County Schools Department of Special Education and Student Services is committed to have in effect policies and procedures designed to prevent inappropriate over-identification or disproportionate representation by race or ethnicity of children with disabilities, including particular disability categories. It is not only appropriate, but the objective of each School Based Intervention Team to attempt pre-intervention strategies in the general education environment prior to a referral for a special education evaluation.
The School Based Intervention Team (SBIT) provides a school-based mechanism to enable school personnel to meet the needs of individual students within the regular education program who are having difficulty in the educational setting. The team is student-centered and facilitates a process that results in the implementation of pre-intervention strategies, accommodations, and services that will enable the student to be successful in school. Students may be referred to the SBIT through a variety of sources but the charge to the team and the process to be followed is a consistent one, regardless of the referral source. Simply stated, when a student is referred to the SBIT, the team has the responsibility to review any problems (academic/developmental, behavioral, social/emotional, environmental or cultural) interfering with the student's performance in school, to brainstorm solutions, to make recommendations to meet the student's needs, and to monitor/review the results of the recommendations.
The services provided through School Based Intervention Teams are neither Section 504 nor Special Education services. The School Based Intervention Team may meet as many times as necessary to meet the student's needs. The parent/guardian may be invited the School Based Intervention Team meetings. A copy of the minutes may be given to the parent at the SBIT meeting. If they do not attend, a copy of the minutes may be forwarded to them. Parental permission is not required to conduct the School Based Intervention Team meeting. However, every effort should be made to encourage parental attendance, particularly when the parent/guardian is the referral source.
This problem-solving process does not preclude the School Based Intervention Team from making a referral for evaluation for Section 504 or Special Education prior to implementing strategies. However, such an action should be considered an exception to procedures. It is required that a Special Education Coordinator be invited to any and all School Based Intervention Team Meetings to assist the team should such an action be considered. The SBIT project was first developed in 1994 by the Syracuse (NY) City School District. The New York State Education Department has recognized the SBIT project as an exemplary program for training schools to run effective pre-referral intervention teams.
Like Albemarle County Public Schools, a number of other school districts in New York State and around the nation have adopted the SBIT problem-solving model for their own students.
If you have any suggestions for the content of this site, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Intervention and Prevention Services at (434) 296-5885 or e-mail Kevin Kirst
or Debora Collins