PPT - Planning and Placement Team

PPT Referral Process

Step #1:   The Child Intervention Team Meeting

A referral for a special education evaluation can be initiated by anyone who is concerned about a child's performance, such as parents, teachers, or other school staff.  Generally, the first person to be contacted about this concern should be the child's classroom teacher, since they will be the most familiar with the student's skills and level of ability.  If the teacher feels that the student may have some type of educational disability, or if they believe that there may be other issues impacting on their academic achievement, the form titled "Request for Child Intervention Team Meeting" should be completed.  (This form is available in every school and at the district office.)  A Child Intervention Team (CIT) is a multidisciplinary team made up of school staff from a variety of different backgrounds (such as special education, reading, or administration) and  the child's classroom teacher.  Parents are notified when a request for a meeting has been made.  At the CIT Meeting, the team will discuss student concerns, and review any attempts that have been made to address these concerns prior to the referral.  Sometimes, the team will develop a series of "pre-referral strategies" that can be implemented to improve the child's performance; if these have already been attempted, the team may decide to make a referral for a special education evaluation.

Step #2:   The Referral PPT

PPT stands for "Planning and Placement Team".  PPT meetings are held when a student has been referred for special education for the first time, to review and determine eligibility, and on a regular basis to review their progress.  Parents are always invited to attend PPT meetings, and the Referral PPT is the first meeting held after the child has been "referred" for special education by the Child Intervention Team.  A variety of people will be asked to attend this meeting: in addition to parents and teachers, there will also be a special education teacher, a pupil services specialist (such as the school psychologist or the social worker), and an administrator.  Other staff, such as the school nurse or a reading specialist, may also be invited.  At the meeting, staff will review written reports from the child's classroom teachers, and discuss any concerns regarding academic, behavioral, or emotional issues.  As a team, the PPT will then decide whether the child should be evaluated for special education services, and which evaluations should be conducted.  Parents will be given information about procedural safeguards, and asked to sign consent for their child to be tested.  School staff have forty-five school days, from the date of referral, to complete these evaluations.

Step #3:   Testing and Evaluations

After the Referral PPT, and with written parental permission, the next step is to complete an individualized evaluation. This means that formal tests, observations, and assessments will take place, during the child's regular school day.  These evaluation results help to determine whether the child is eligible for special education, or if factors unrelated to a disability are affecting school performance.  Each comprehensive assessment is conducted by a multidisciplinary team, to ensure that the child's needs are considered from all viewpoints.  The components of the evaluation will generally include cognitive testing (measures of general intelligence and learning strengths and weaknesses), educational/processing tests (measures of educational achievement, learning style, and information processing), psychological/behavioral measures (to assess social-emotional development, self-esteem, and social interactions),  and classroom observations (to observe performance in the educational setting, attention span, and relationships with teachers and peers).  Additional assessments, which relate specifically to the referral issue, such as a speech/language assessment, evaluation of motor abilities, or collecting medical information, may also be conducted.

Step #4:    The Eligibility PPT

The PPT will reconvene after all of the evaluations have been completed, to determine whether the child has a disability and is "eligible" to receive special education services.  Torrington Public Schools are required to follow the guidelines set forth by the State of Connecticut regarding definitions for disabilities, and to be eligible for special education, the child must meet specific criteria.  In addition, the disability must also be found to be impacting on their academic achievement.  (It is possible that while a child may have "difficulty" at school, they may not have a "disability".)  At the Eligibility PPT, the team will discuss the disability, and types of services or modifications to be put into place to help the child to be successful at school.  These might include things such as resource support or speech therapy.  An Individualized Education Program (IEP) will also be developed, based upon the child's needs.  Parents receive copies of the PPT minutes and of all testing reports, and will be asked to sign their consent before services can begin.

Step #5:   Annual and Triennial Reviews

Once a child is receiving special education services, an Annual Review PPT will be held each year, to review student progress. During these meetings, teachers, support staff, and parents work together to formulate the goals and modifications that help students with disabilities to be successful in school.  Every third year, this annual meeting is called a "Triennial Review PPT", and assessments may be repeated.  The child's special education classification, and their eligibility for special education services, will also be discussed.  The team will review the student's goals, as well as the services that they are receiving, and determine whether any program modifications should be put into place.