Frequently Asked Questions

Some Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the REACH Program

Q: What is the process the district uses to determine whether a child should be placed in the REACH program?
A: Hillsborough Township Public Schools follows the New Jersey Department of Education guidelines to consider “multiple measures, including but not limited to, achievement test scores, grades, student performance or products, intelligence testing, parent, student and/or teacher recommendation, and other appropriate measures” to determine whether a student needs to be placed in a special education program in order to achieve in accordance with his or her capabilities.

Q: When will my child be screened for placement in REACH?
A: In a typical year, an ability assessment (the CogAT) is administered as a universal screening measure for all students in the second half of the grade 2 year.  Parents will be informed before the test is administered.  Placement in REACH will be determined by the score on this assessment, classroom assessments, and teacher observations.
Q: How can my child be reevaluated for REACH if he or she was not placed in REACH at the end of second grade?
A: Each spring teachers in grades 3-7 are invited to nominate students who they believe should be considered for REACH enrollment. With parental permission, these students enter the screening process.

Q: How often can my child be tested?
A: Students may only be screened once per academic year.
Q: How many times may my child be considered for the program?
A: We do not place a limit other than those already outlined above. However, we do not advocate testing a child on a yearly basis as we worry about the child’s self-esteem should he/she not qualify for the program repeatedly.

Q: How does the REACH program change in grades 5-8?

A: In grades 5-8 REACH replaces social studies in the schedule. Teachers deliver the grade-level social studies curriculum with resources and methods adapted to meet the needs of REACH students.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of children who can be accepted into REACH?
A: No. Each child is considered on his or her merits against the criteria established in accordance with district and state policies.

Q: Is REACH an academic acceleration program?

A: No. REACH is an enrichment program. This means that students extend their learning on grade level standards.  Please review the program’s goals and objectives here

Q: What do students miss while at REACH in grades 3-4?
A: Students miss core curricular content (literacy, math, science, social studies) to attend REACH in grades 3-4.

Q: What is the CogAT?
A: The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) assesses students’ abilities in reasoning and problem solving using verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal (spatial) symbols.

Q: What is the process to address questions or concerns?
A: The process begins with the classroom teacher. At the elementary schools, the next point of contact is the building REACH teacher. After contacting teachers, a parent can contact the district supervisor for further information and next steps. 

Disclaimer:  It is possible that the data available to use for placement purposes will change based on requirements received from the state or other seen or unforeseen circumstances.   The district may adjust placement criteria as necessary at any time.