Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Polly Peterson


Assessment Process, Child Study Team, Consultation, In-School Staffing Team, Informal Team Membership, Interdisciplinary Process, Interventions, Multidisciplinary Team Member’s Roles, Prereferral Interventions, Referral Forms, Referral Process, Regular and Special Education Teacher’s Roles, Screening Process, Secondary Education, Special Education Referral Process, Team Member’s Participation, Transdisciplinary Model.


This practice was designed to improve the operation of the in-school staffing team at the high school level. Three adjunct aims were to increase the awareness and role responsibilities of multidisciplinary team members, to improve the decision making process by greater participation of team members, and to improve the referral process for students in need of special education programs. An in-service workshop was developed for the in-school staffing team members to make them more aware of their responsibilities with the team decision making process. A handbook describing their role expectations was distributed to them at the second in-service workshop. This provided an opportunity for team members to better understand the role expectations of each member and to recognize their importance regarding their particular discipline during the screening team process. The end product of the practicum was successful, although two of the five objectives were not approved for adaptation. One of the objectives that was disapproved pertained to the introduction and development of teacher training in recording observations of students in measurable terms. The second rejected objective pertained to the establishment of a timeline which would enable parents and teachers to determine the length of time it would take from the initial referral to the in-school staffing team to placement in a special education program. Traditionally, parents were not invited to attend in-school staffing meetings. This practice was changed as a result of this practicum. An invitation letter to parents was developed and is now part of the student referral process. Another unexpected accomplishment that resulted from this practicum was in moving the staffing team meetings from after-school sessions on a weekly basis to a regular school hour session once monthly. This has provided more quality time for staffing students as well as less confusion by reducing the number of teachers present at the staffing.

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