REACH Identification Criteria and Timeline

Identification Criteria:

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.
The identification criteria relate to the programming offered. In elementary grades, the measures considered for placement include an ability assessment, standardized achievement assessments, and teachers’ observations. In a typical year, an ability assessment (the CogAT) is administered as a universal screening measure for all students in grade 2.  In middle school grades, students exhibiting exceptional needs observed by their teachers take a verbal ability assessment as well as an achievement test in reading and writing.

Timeline for Identification:

Universal screening takes place during the second part of the year in grade 2, and parents will be informed before the test is administered. Each spring, teachers in grades 3-7 are invited to share observations about students who they believe may have exceptional needs that could be met through REACH participation. With parental permission, these students enter the screening process. New-to-district students are screened as needed in the fall, with teachers typically submitting observations after the first month of school.
If parents would like to discuss REACH screening with their child's teacher, we encourage them to do so as soon as possible and no later than March 1 each year. It is our goal that students are continually challenged through daily classroom instruction.
Please direct any questions about screening to the building REACH teacher at the elementary level and the supervisor, Dr. Cynthia Assini, at the middle school level.