All public school districts in Marin County provide interventions to support students that are demonstrating delays in academic and/or behavioral skills. These interventions often referred to as “pre-referral” interventions are designed to enhance student growth and support positive student outcomes. The pre-referral intervention process works to ensure that general education resources have been utilized to the maximum extent possible to address presenting needs prior to initiating a referral for a special education evaluation. Below is a Q&A concerning the pre-referral intervention process in Marin County public schools:
What school wide strategies are in place in school districts within Marin County to identify students that are demonstrating deficits in academic and/or behavioral skills?
School districts identify students in a variety of ways. Some strategies in place may include the following:
- Conduct assessments of ALL students several times a year to determine progress towards expected benchmarks;
- Collect data from informal and formal assessments to review on a scheduled basis by grade level, multi-disciplinary, department, or Student Study/Success Teams;
- Formally review student information/academic history including but not limited to attendance data; office referrals/discipline data; performance on statewide assessment information; and/or
- Communicate with the previous school district (i.e., middle school to high school) as appropriate to further examine/discuss patterns in behavior.
What strategies/interventions are school districts in Marin County utilizing to address a student’s identified needs?
School districts support students that require specific general education interventions to address presenting needs in a variety of ways. Some strategies in place include the following:
- Notify parents of identified concerns;
- Provide differentiated instructional strategies in the general education classroom to match area(s) of concern including targeted instruction and supplemental materials;
- Use evidence-based academic and behavioral interventions; and/or
- Provide additional academic, social, and behavioral supports based upon presenting needs and team input.
How does a school district know if the strategies/interventions are working?
School districts monitor student progress and present levels of educational performance. Through data collection the school district will establish a “baseline” or a starting point prior to the implementation of the intervention(s). Following the implementation of the intervention(s), the school district will collect and record student progress at different intervals. The student’s response to the intervention will be monitored, analyzed, and discussed with the student’s team in order to determine appropriate next steps related to intervention delivery and educational programming.
What does a school district do when the strategies/interventions are working?
School districts strive to have all students performing within expected benchmarks both academically and behaviorally. When students reach the expected benchmark following the provision of an intervention, the school district may do the following:
- Provide the intervention until the student has demonstrated the ability to reach the expected benchmark over multiple trials;
- Systematically fade the frequency of the application of the intervention while collecting data to ensure continued performance within expected benchmarks; and
- Monitor student performance and provide the necessary level of support based upon data to support the student toward their obtainment of expected benchmarks.
What does a school district do when the strategies/interventions are NOT working?
As noted above, school districts strive to have all students performing within expected benchmarks both academically and behaviorally. When targeted interventions have been applied and monitored and the student does not respond the school district may do the following:
- Review intervention(s) and student response to examine patterns and future intervention needs;
- Consider alternative strategies, including but not limited to increasing the frequency, intensity, and duration of the intervention(s);
- Hold follow-up meeting(s) with parent(s) to discuss the student’s response to intervention(s) and appropriate next steps – such as a Student Success Team/Student Study Team (SST) meeting;
- Consider Section 504 Plan; and/or
- Consider a referral for a special education assessment.
Where can I find more information about specific school districts in Marin County?
More information about the public schools in Marin County can be found by using the links below:
- Larkspur-Corte Madera
- Mill Valley
- Novato Unified
- Reed Union
- Ross Valley
- San Rafael City Schools
- Sausalito Marin City
 Student Success/Study Team meetings provide a forum for school staff, family members, community agencies, and other important people to collectively discuss concerns about an individual student. Through discussion and study the team plans a positive course of action, assign responsibilities, and monitors results.