Prior to a referral for a special education evaluation, State law requires that your child be considered for all support services available to students. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act both focus on the importance of high quality early intervention, commonly known as Response to Intervention (RtI). This RtI model is especially important for those students experiencing learning or behavioral difficulties in order to differentiate between students whose difficulties are due to factors other than disabilities, such as a lack of prior instruction.
Parents or school personnel may refer a student for a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) if a disability is suspected. Prior to initiating the referral, it is important to gather information about the student from parents and teachers, as well as to determine if the student may have any hearing or vision loss that may be contributing to their challenges. Once written consent for the evaluation is received, the evaluation personnel will conduct the evaluation of the child in all areas of suspected disability and need within 45 school days. An Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meeting will be held within 30 days of the completion of the evaluation report.
In order to be eligible for special education services, the student must demonstrate a need for specially designed instruction as determined by the ARD committee and meet the criteria for one or more of the disability categories listed below:
- Auditory Impairment
- Emotional Disturbance
- Intellectual Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Noncategorical Early Childhood (ages 3-5)
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual Impairment