Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) is a state mandated system of clearly defined steps that are taken to assist a struggling student in improving educational outcomes. These steps are taken by a multi-disciplinary team which meets regularly to monitor the success of students identified through the referral process as needing specific academic and/or behavior “interventions” in order to be successful. These interventions are monitored over a period of time and may be modified, enhanced or discontinued as indicated by the needs of the student involved. The I&RS team aids students in the general education program, but also provides support for students determined to be in need of special education programs.
Comprehensive and well-coordinated prevention and early intervention approaches have proved to be effective in enabling school communities to decrease the frequency and intensity of youth behavior problems. However, approximately five to twenty percent of students will need more intensive interventions to decrease their high-risk behaviors. Many of these students can be detected and helped through the I&RS process.
Intervention is a proactive process that interrupts, alters or prevents the progression of a condition. The intervention process is comprised of all of the actions and steps a team takes to intercede with a problem. An intervention event is only one step in the process of intervening with and ameliorating an identified concern.
One of the keys to success for both I&RS team interventions and operations is the maintenance of an emphasis on the dynamics of the intervention process. The I&RS model is specifically referred to as a process because it is a continuous operation.