The special education department serves approximately 300 students who have been identified as having disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA 2004). Services are provided in accordance with Ohio’s Operating Standards for Children with Disabilities and the Special Education Model Policies and Procedures.
School-age students, ages 5-21, who qualify for special education services, under IDEIA, are identified as having disabilities in the following areas: Autism, Deaf-Blind, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Intellectually Disabled, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Handicapped, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disabilities, Speech/Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, Visually Impaired. Preschool students can be identified with these same disabilities and the additional category of Developmental Delay can also be considered.
Special education services for each student with disabilities are written into each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Services may be provided in a variety of settings, with the goal being to educate each student in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE); which means providing services in the regular classroom environment to the maximum extent possible.
Preschool children with disabilities, beginning on their third birthday, are entitled to the same type of services as are school age students. Preschool students can be served in a center based delivery model or an itinerant delivery model with a visiting teacher. Questions concerning this program should be addressed to Denise Kovacs at (937) 855-6581 ext 3018.
Each building operates under an Intervention Model to help determine if a disability exists. Our high school primarily utilizes an Intervention Assistance Team to help teachers design and document the use of interventions in their classrooms. Our K-8 buildings are using the Response to Intervention model to help provide individual learning experiences in the form of classroom and small group interventions. These interventions are designed by the building RTI team to positively impact the student’s educational program by enhancing his/her chances to make progress in the general curriculum. Screeners are in place to look at all children to determine the need for tiered intervention. However, parents who have concerns about their child’s educational progress should contact their child’s principal or classroom teacher to discuss those concerns.
Sometimes the interventions designed by the IAT/RTI team are not enough to meet the needs of an individual student. Based upon the student’s response to the interventions or the student’s apparent need for special instruction, the student may be referred for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education. In such cases, the school psychologist will become involved and relevant data will be collected including the various interventions tried and the results of those interventions. If the information seems to warrant it, a meeting is held and a building team, including the student’s parents, meets to determine if the student is suspected of having a disability. If that is the case, parent permission is received and the process for a multi-factored evaluation is started. After completion of this evaluation, the team (including the parent) reconvenes to determine if the child meets legal criteria for eligibility for a specific disability. If the child meets eligibility criteria, the team (including the parent) will develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with specific goals and objectives, specialized services, accommodations as needed, and a determination of where the services will be provided for the child.