Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) 2004 that requires States and Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter schools) to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities residing in the State, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services (34 CFR§ 300.111). Child Find is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screening and evaluation designed to locate, identify, and evaluate children with disabilities who are in need of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Programs (Part C) or Special Education and Related Services (Part B).
What does "child with disability" mean?
The term "child with a disability" means a child with intellectual disability, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance (referred to as "emotional disturbance"), orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services (34 CFR§ 300.8).
Aiding Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Who Need Special Education or Section 504 Services
For those students who are having difficulty in the regular classroom, all Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter schools) must consider tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students, including a process based on Response to Intervention (RTI). The implementation of RTI has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of districts to meet the needs of all struggling students.
If a student is experiencing learning difficulties, his or her parents may contact the individuals listed below to learn about the school's overall general education referral or screening system for support services. The system links students to a variety of support options, including making a referral for a special education evaluation or for a Section 504 evaluation to determine if the student needs specific aids, accommodations, or services. A parent may request an evaluation for special education or Section 504 services at any time.
Special Education Referrals
If a parent makes a written request for an initial evaluation for special education services to the campus administrator or the special education services designee of the school district, the district must respond no later than 15 school days after receiving the request. At that time, the district must give the parent prior written notice of whether it agrees or refuses to evaluate the student, along with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards. If the district agrees to evaluate the student, it must also give the parent the opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation.
Note: A request for a special education evaluation may be made verbally; it does not need to be made in writing. Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter schools) must comply with all federal prior written notices and procedural safeguard requirements as well as the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of having a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal request does not require the district to respond within the 15 school day timeline.
If the Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter schools) decides to evaluate the student, it must complete the student's initial evaluation and evaluation report no later than 45 school days from the day it receives a parent's written consent to evaluate the student. However, if the student is absent from school during the evaluation period for three or more school days the evaluation period will be extended by the number of school days equal to the number of school days that the student is absent.
There is an exception to the 45-school day timeline. If the district receives a parent's consent for the initial evaluation at least 35 but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year, it must complete the written report and provide a copy of the report to the parent by June 30 of that year. However, if the student is absent from school for three or more days during the evaluation period, the June 30 due date no longer applies. Instead, the general timeline of 45 school days plus extensions for absences of three or more days will apply.
Upon completing the evaluation, the district must give the parent a copy of the evaluation report at no cost.
Additional information regarding special education is available from the school district and a companion document entitled Parent's Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.
How much do services cost?
All services provided by Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter schools) through IDEA 2004 (Part B) Special Education and Related Services (Part B) are at no cost to the individual or parents.
Contact Person for Special Education Referrals
The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for special education services is the East Campus Administrator, at (915) 590-8589 or the West Campus Administrator, at (915) 845-7997.