Child Find/ Indentification

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Child Find is a state and local effort to find children, ages 3-21, who are not receiving a free public education and who may have disabilities that interfere with learning. Child Find also seeks to create a greater awareness of the special needs of these children.

Alexandria-Monroe Special Education Department currently provides evaluation and/or services for children with health impairments, cognitive disabilities, specific learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, visual impairments, orthopedic impairments, language/speech disorders, hearing impairments, multiple handicaps, autism, traumatic brain injuries, developmental delays, and deaf/blind impairments.

Alexandria-Monroe Special Education Department is responsible for conducting Child Find activities and evaluations necessary for private schools located in the cooperative. IDEA 2004 and USDOE Regulations require school districts to identify and provide select services to students with disabilities at private schools in the jurisdiction regardless of the student's home residence.

Preschool Referrals

If a parent, therapist, teacher, or First Steps provider suspects that a child (age 3-5) has an educational disability, then areferral request via email or phone will be sent to the Office of Academic Programs attention to the School Psychologist. The Preschool Coordinator or Director of Academic Programs will send a consent to evaluate form and Procedural Safeguards (parent's rights) to the parent to obtain consent within ten (10) instructional days.

The referral is then assigned to a multi-disciplinary team who will formally evaluate the child by the child's third birthday (if coming from First Steps) or within 50 school days (see Preschool Ages 3-5 Tab for more detailed information)

Initial Public and Nonpublic School Referrals K-12

When a parent, teacher and/or other school personnel suspect an educational disability or a related services need (the request may be made verbally or in writing), a referral via email or phone call must be sent to the Office of Academic Programs the day the evaluation request was received. The Office of Academic Programs will respond to the referral request within ten (10) instructional days.

***Note: A school corporation cannot test for dyslexia. This is medical/clinical diagnosis which must be made by a clinical psychologist at the expense of the parent. The school can test for a "specific learning disability" in the area of reading which is an educational diagnosis.

***A school corporation cannot test for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is a medical diagnosis made by a doctor. A school can however test for the likelihood of attention problems and if these are present and significant the school can provide services to the student under the educational diagnosis of "Other Health Impaired."

***A student with a medical diagnosis of Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder may or may not qualify for the educational diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This will depend upon the needs of the student and is a case conference decision. A Section 504 plan is available to students who have a medical diagnosis but do not qualify under Article 7 for special education and related services.

Data Collection Meeting: Once the referral is received, the request is assigned to an appropriate multi-disciplinary team. A data collection meeting is required prior to all initial special education referrals (including language and speech referrals); and if the referral request was initiated by the parent, then the school is legally obligated to hold the meeting and send home a written notice to the parent(s) within 10 instructional days. The purpose of a data collection meeting is to review existing academic and/or behavior data (through local and state assessment data, work samples, teacher input, etc.) and then determine if a suspected educational disability exists. Participants may include a school administrator, teacher, school psychologist/diagnostician, and any other staff member who works with the student (e.g., counselor, related services personnel). If there are speech and/or language concerns, the speech and language pathologist should also be included in the data collection meeting.

If, after reviewing the available data at the data collection meeting, there is no basis for suspecting an educational disability, the school psychologist will provide the parent with a written response explaining why The Office of Academic Programs will not proceed with an evaluation. If this is the case, the data collection team may generate a general education intervention plan that addresses parental concerns or make a referral to the building Response to Instruction (RtI) Team.

REMINDER: In response to a parent's request to have his/her child evaluated, and to ensure that the parent receives written notice within ten (10) instructional days, it is recommended that the data collection meeting be held (and the written notice be mailed home) within 8 school days of the parent's verbal or written request.

If an educational disability is suspected, the school psychologist will send home the appropriate paperwork, including consent to evaluate and a copy of the parent's Procedural Safeguards. Once signed consent is returned to the Office of Academic Programs, the school psychologist will assign a multi-disciplinary team based on the assessments needed to complete the evaluation. The following are possible multi-disciplinary team members: school psychologist, school psychology intern, speech/language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, blind/low vision teacher, deaf/hard of hearing teacher, other special education teacher, social worker, guidance counselor, Autism Team member, or school nurse, and/or general education teacher.

The multi-disciplinary team has 50 school days to complete the evaluation; unless the student has been referred through anestablished Response to Intervention program, and in that case, the multi-disciplinary team will have 20 days to complete the evaluation.

If the parent(s) request an initial evaluation during the time the student is suspended, expelled, or placed in an interim alternative educational setting, the evaluation must be completed and case conference meeting held within 20 school days rather than 50 school days.

After the evaluation is completed, and for initial evaluations only, a ‘Notice of Initial Findings and Proposed Action' lettermust be sent and received by the parent(s) at least five (5) instructional days prior to the CCC meeting. This letter is sent out by the person completing the educational evaluation report (usually the school psychologist or school psychology intern).

REMINDER: When signing consent to evaluate, a parent can choose to have a copy of the educational evaluation report prior to the CCC meeting and/or they can choose to meet with someone prior to the CCC meeting to review and discuss the results of the evaluation. When requested, the psychologist or intern is responsible for sending home a copy of the report. If the parent wishes to have a meeting with someone prior to the CCC meeting to review the report, the psychologist or intern is responsible for arranging that meeting with the parent(s).

NOTE: Assessments and other evaluation materials must be provided and administered in the (1) student's native language or other mode of communication, and (2) form most likely to yield accurate information on what the student knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. Assessments will be given by trained and knowledgeable personnel and the assessments will be selected and administered in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the assessments.

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