What is an Intervention Assistance Team?
Historically, Intervention Assistance teams were established by a regular education initiative in order to provide immediate help to struggling students prior to referring them to special education. Recently, No Child Left Behind and the New Operating Standards for Ohio have demanded greater accountability for IAT's. So you ask what is an IAT?
The IAT is a school based problem solving team whose purpose is to assist teachers in generating intervention strategies for classroom implementation which deal with the learning, emotional and behavioral needs of students. The purpose now is to look for ways to support students and teachers in the regular classroom and not necessarily to identify a disability. The interventions may begin immediately. The team is seen as a place to problem solve and generate ideas for student success in the regular education setting. The last 10-15 years the research has demonstrated that students academically achieve more when they remain in regular education rather than going into a special education program.
Who is part of the Intervention Assistance Team and what should I expect at a meeting?
The team could include, but not be limited to, parents, teacher or teachers, principal, school psychologist, intervention specialist, and school counselor.
The first step in the IAT process is to define the problem in measurable terms. Once the problem has been defined, then solutions are brainstormed. Once the solution has been chosen then it is written in measurable terms so the effectiveness of an intervention can be monitored. The intervention is put into place and the data is collected.
A follow-up meeting is usually scheduled for 4 weeks later. The follow up is a time of sharing data and discussing if another intervention should be put into place or if the same intervention should be continued. If the student meets with success, special education testing is not needed, continue the intervention and change the criteria if needed.
What are the results?
The success of the student is the result of the team's collaboration to find ways to meet the student's needs. The process is time intensive and relies heavily on the commitment to the process. The positive outcomes for the students, their families and teacher are definitely worth the effort.