Child Study Team/Special Education Department
WHAT IS THE CHILD STUDY TEAM?
The Child Study Team (CST) is a multidisciplinary group of professionals who are responsible for overseeing the provision of special education and related services for students ages 3-21. The CST conducts evaluations for referred students who have been experiencing academic and/or behavioral difficulties. Responsibilities of our CST also include case management, consultation and support to classroom teachers & parents, communicating with outside professionals, and student advocacy.
WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF THE CHILD STUDY TEAM?
New Jersey Department of Education regulations require that the basic team includes a school psychologist, a learning consultant, and a school social worker, all of whom must be appropriately certified. For a preschool student, the regulations require the basic team to also include a speech/language specialist.
*Mrs. Dawn Smith, MA, LPC – Supervisor of Special Services/School Social Worker – 201-567-6151 x225 / [email protected]
*Mrs. Stephanie DePiano, MS – School Psychologist – 201-567-6151 x229 / [email protected]
*Mrs. Lisa Habersaat, M.Ed. – LDT-C – 201-567-6151 x216 / [email protected]
*Mrs. Elena Danetz-Gold, MA, CCC-SLP – Speech and Language Specialist 201-567-6151 x233 / [email protected]
*Mrs. Wanda Vitellaro – Child Study Team Secretary – 201-567-6151 x213 / [email protected]
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SUPERVISOR OF SPECIAL SERVICES/SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER?
The Supervisor of Special Services oversees the special education department to ensure compliance with federal & state laws, evaluates staff members’ job performance and serves as part of the administrative team for the district.
The expertise of the school social worker lies in assessing the student in relation to the family, school and community. In this role, the school social worker gathers information concerning the student's developmental milestones and health status. Family and school histories, as they pertain to the child's current school progress, are also obtained. The school social worker also is the primary specialist who coordinates community resources on behalf of students.
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST?
The school psychologist has expertise in determining a child's level of intellectual (cognitive) development. In addition, the psychologist is concerned with the social and emotional status of school children and how these factors may affect behavior and performance in school. The school psychologist consults with regular classroom and special education teachers, parents and administrators to maximize each child's potential and to create a supportive and enriching instructional environment. The school psychologist also works with special education students in providing individual & group counseling as well as social skills groups.
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE LEARNING CONSULTANT?
The learning consultant is trained to determine the learning styles of children and to recommend specific teaching methods/materials which will best accommodate a child's needs. The learning consultant also determines whether a child who has been referred to the Child Study Team has the academic knowledge and skills necessary for school success. In addition, the learning consultant provides consultative services to the regular and special education teachers and parents to develop strategies and techniques to enhance the students' academic performance.
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SPEECH/LANGUAGE SPECIALISTS?
The development of age-appropriate speech and language skills is essential to the learning process and to a student’s social, emotional, and academic growth. Students must be able to comprehend language, express their thoughts and opinions, interact effectively and efficiently with peers and adults, and produce speech which others can easily understand. Speech and language services are provided to students who demonstrate a need to improve their speech and language skills in articulation, language, fluency, or voice disorder in order to achieve academic success.