To provide qualified students, as well as their teachers and families, with support in the form of direct intervention, collaborative instruction, classroom accommodations, and parental education.

Services Offered

Students who are identified through professional assessment (to include both educational and psychological testing) as possessing either a learning disability and/or a speech/language impairment qualify for a variety of support to include direct intervention, collaborative instruction, and classroom accommodations. Students who are medically diagnosed with ADD or ADHD may qualify for classroom accommodations and/or modifications as appropriate.

 Policies and Procedures

When an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) has been developed by the local public school and the Catholic school personnel (in accordance with Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guidelines), the Catholic school must retain a copy of the plan in the student’s confidential file.

The school must also retain copies of child study, eligibility, and dismissal paperwork completed by the public school.


  1. Local public schools provide minimal services to students with disabilities whose parents place them in a private school. The public school is responsible for reviewing the ISP or IEP yearly and re-evaluating the student at least every three years.
  2.  Individualized Service Plan (ISP) or IEP development should be done with representation from the student’s Catholic school. 
  3.  When a student, eligible for IDEA services, enrolls in Catholic school, the principal should review the current ISP or IEP and notify the parents of accommodations/modifications that can be made in the Catholic school. A Student Accommodation Plan or an Individualized Catholic Education Plan should be developed to document accommodations and/or modifications that will be made.
  4. When a student has a disability but does not qualify for an ISP or IEP through the public school, the Catholic school personnel may develop a Student Accommodation Plan to document accommodations required for the student to have access to the Diocesan Consensus Curriculum
  5. When a student is having difficulty but has not yet been identified as a student with special needs, the school should convene a Teachers Assisting Teachers (TAT) Team meeting to develop proactive strategies to intervene with the difficulties. If, after two Follow-Up TAT Team meetings, the student continues to have difficulties, the school and parents may want to consider referring the student for an evaluation. If an evaluation is recommended, parents are obligated to have the evaluation(s) conducted either through public school or privately at parent expense and to share the results of that information with the Catholic school. If parents refuse to have the evaluation(s) conducted, the school reserves the right to negate enrollment of the student.  
  6.  In accordance with Diocesan Policies and Procedures, a student may be admitted on a probationary basis with dates and criteria of evaluation clearly established in writing. 
  7. Students with disabilities are expected to follow the school’s policies.

A. Teachers Assisting Teachers (TAT) Team

 The TAT is composed of school personnel whose purpose is to:

 1) clarify the nature of the difficulties the student presents

 2) develop corrective consequences

 3) develop proactive and positive strategies in order to prevent future difficulties.

  • A meeting of the TAT team takes place before any referral for evaluation occurs.
  • The TAT minutes provide documentation of interventions implemented and the student’s response to the interventions to present to a child study team or private evaluator.
  • The team will meet at least one time before a student is referred for an evaluation. Poor grades, behavioral difficulties, difficulties resulting in continuous office referrals, or detentions, academic, social or behavior difficulties may be reasons for a Teachers Assisting Teachers Team meeting to be held.

B. Referral Procedures

  • Before a student is referred for an evaluation to diagnose a disability affecting school achievement, the TAT process should be completed.
  • If interventions do not produce positive changes or if there are suspicions of a disability, the referring teacher should begin the referral process to the parent.
  • In addition to teachers, parents can also refer their child to the teacher for the Pre-Referral Process.
  •  If a teacher receives a referral from a parent, he/she is responsible for initiating a TAT meeting.
  • The disability must have a direct impact on the student’s educational performance.
  •  School administrators may refer a student for evaluation without going through the pre-referral process, if the administrator deems that it is appropriate and in the student’s best interest to be evaluated more expediently. The school administrator must meet with the parents to discuss the concerns and the need for an expeditious evaluation.
  • At the referral meeting, the TAT team will discuss the reason for referral, student data, strengths and weaknesses, prior interventions and parent input.
  •  Possible outcomes include further observation and follow up, in house screenings, or recommendation for private or public school evaluation.
  •  If the TAT team determines that an educational or psychological evaluation is needed for a student, the parent will be informed of the testing options available; a private evaluation or public evaluation.

C. Private Evaluation

  • If the parents choose to have their child tested by a private evaluator at their expense, the parent will sign an Authorization for Release of Information giving consent for the school to release information about the student to the evaluator.
  • The evaluator may ask for information regarding the student’s classroom work, grades, behaviors, and standardized test scores. The evaluator should also be given information regarding the classroom teacher’s intervention and strategies that have been tried and the result of those interventions.
  •  Upon receipt of the evaluator’s report, the resource teacher, counselor and teacher staff will meet as a team to consider the report and discuss the findings as they relate to student performance in the classroom. If a disability is noted and the committee feels the disability is impacting the student’s ability to learn, the committee must write a Student Accommodation Plan (SAP)/Learning Plan to document modifications and/or accommodations needed to assist the student in accessing the SMCS Curriculum.


D. Public School Evaluation

  • In Virginia, anyone can make a referral to the public schools for evaluation. A request for a Child Study Meeting (Child Find in some localities) is made to the public school the student would attend if enrolled in public school. For those students who live outside the school district boundaries, follow the procedures set up by the local public school district.
  • For public school referral, the classroom teacher will provide copies of work samples, standardized test scores, and current grades. The referral will contain specific information about difficulties the student is experiencing, accommodations and/or modifications implemented and the result of those interventions.
  • Public schools have 10 business days following the receipt of the referral to convene a Child Study Committee to determine if evaluation is necessary. The parents must be invited and a Catholic school representative would also be invited to this meeting. The Virginia public schools have 65 business days from the date of referral to the special education administrator to complete the testing and hold the eligibility meeting.
  • The parents must be invited and a Catholic school representative will be invited to the eligibility meeting. If a student is found eligible for services, the public school will offer the student an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  •  If the student remains at St. Mary’s Catholic School, he/she will decline the IEP and request a Student Accommodation Plan (SAP) be written. SMCS will then meet with the parent and inform them of what accommodations on the SAP can be administered.

E. Student Accommodation Plan (SAP)

Accommodations permit students to be assessed on the same curriculum at the same grade level as the rest of the students. They do not change the validity of the curriculum/assessment. Accommodations can be made in setting/environment, presentation, response, timing/scheduling, instruction, and behavior.

  • A Student Accommodation Plan (SAP) may be written if the Catholic school will NOT provide direct services, however the student’s learning needs can be met with accommodations within the Catholic school setting.
  • The SAP identifies the diagnosis and justification for accommodations that the student needs in order to have the opportunity for maximum success in the SMCS Curriculum.
  •  If the student is found to have a qualifying diagnosis, a Student Accommodation Plan (SAP) may be written to document accommodations to be carried out in the Catholic school and support provided by the student’s parent(s)/guardian.
  • Accommodations permit students to be assessed on the same curriculum at the same grade level as the rest of the students. They do not change the validity of the curriculum/assessment.
  • Parental Support is vital to any student’s success. Parent Supports are specifically outlined in the Student Accommodation Plan.

F. Standardized Testing Accommodations

  • Standardized tests provide valuable information to parents, teachers, and administrators about individual student progress.  Our current standardized testing tool (Scantron) is untimed. The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has requested the Math section of this test that no calculators be accessible as an accommodation.
  • Students who have a Student Accommodation Plan (SAP) which specifies testing accommodations, will be permitted to have those specific accommodations for any standardized test.
  •  Accommodations made for standardized testing, must be accommodations used daily within the classroom setting. No accommodations may be made for standardized tests purposes only.
  • If upon registering a student, the parent discloses that a 504 or IEP plan exists from the previous school,SMCS will review the plan to determine if the accommodations can be reasonably implemented. If theaccommodations cannot be made at the Catholic school, a Student Accommodation Plan should bedeveloped to document what accommodations can be reasonably implemented.

Maintenance of Confidential Records

  • Records related to students with special needs are kept in the student’s confidential file. A student confidential file is kept if information in addition to the student’s cumulative fileis maintained.
  •  A confidential file contains special education records, psychological reports, disciplinary records, anecdotal information, or reports by the guidance counselor and is kept within the cumulative record.
  • Records from a special education program are retained indefinitely. Information contained in the confidential file may not be released without a signed Authorization for Release of Information.

 Summary- International Baccalaureate MYP- SMCS

  • Services at Saint Mary’s Catholic School are provided based upon the individual needs of the student as outlined in their Student Accommodation Plan (SAP) or testing or recommendation from a teacher through the TAT process.
  • To qualify for an SAP, a student must have documentation of an educational need and/or other health impairment, including attention deficit.
  •  Documentation must be provided to Saint Mary’s Catholic School by a credentialed medical, psychological, or educational professional.
  • All students within the International Baccalaureate (IB) program that have documentation or an SAP will receive accommodations based on their individual needs.

Timelines and procedure for review of policy/who developed the policy

This Assessment policy was developed by Carole Forkey (IB MYP Coordinator) and the IB Middle school teachers who teach in the IB MYP at Saint Mary’s Catholic School, in Richmond, Virginia. The policy will be reviewed annually for updates to policy and procedures.

Last updated January 2023.