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Federal and state laws require all students (birth through age 21) with disabilities, residing within the district, who are in need of special education and related services, including children with disabilities attending private schools and children who are homeless or are a ward of the state, to be identified, located, and evaluated, which is a process referred to as CHILD FIND.
Child Find referrals may be initiated by a parent/guardian, doctor, teacher, relative or friend. The individual can call their local school district or Child Find representative. If you are concerned about a child’s learning, contact any school administrator or the Special Programs Office.
For more information about the Child Find program, contact Special Programs at (903) 885-6230.
Federal and state laws require Sulphur Springs ISD to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for students ages birth through age 21 at no cost to the parent/guardian.
A disability for Special Education services is based on the Full Individual and Initial Evaluation and may include any of the following disability conditions: Auditory Impairment (from birth), Autism, Deaf-Blindness (from birth), Emotional Disturbance, Intellectual Disabilities, Noncategorical Early Childhood (ages three through five), Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Visual Impairment (including blindness from birth). The parent/guardian of a child with a disability who is enrolled in the private school/homeschool setting may contact the Special Services office for consultation regarding continuum of services and a Full Individual and Initial Evaluation.
All determinations pertaining to educational planning/programming, services to be provided, and placements remain the responsibility of the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee. For additional information, contact the Special Programs Office at (903) 885-6230.
A private or home school student who has been identified with a disability based on a Full Individual and Initial Evaluation and meets the Legal Framework guidelines for Special Education services will be offered a Proportionate Shared Services Plan at the time of the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting. The Proportionate Shared Services Plan is updated annually. Refer to the Legal Framework or contact the Special Programs Office at (903) 885-6230 for more information.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and state law require that Individual Education Programs (IEPs) for older students address transition services. Transition services are a coordinated set of activities designed to help the child move from school to post-school activities. State transition planning must begin by age 14. Federal law requires that beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee. Your child must be invited to the ARD committee meeting when transition services will be discussed.
At least a year before your child reaches the age of majority (age 18 under Texas law), the IEP must include a statement that your child has been informed of his or her rights under IDEA, if any, that will transfer to him or her on reaching the age of majority. Unless your child is determined to be incompetent under state law and you are appointed by a court as the legal guardian, your rights under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will transfer to your adult child at age 18 except that all notices required by IDEA must be given to both you and your adult child. However, these notices are not an invitation for you to attend meetings. You may only attend meetings if your child invites you or gives the school permission to invite you.
Texas Transition website:
The Texas Transition and Employment Guide provides youth, young adults, parents and professionals with secondary transition resources to facilitate a young person’s progress towards post-secondary goals to education, employment, and community living. This guide will continually be updated.
A school has a duty to make a referral for an initial evaluation for special education services any time it suspects that a child has a disability and a need for special education services under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). You may also initiate a referral for an initial evaluation of your child at any time.
If a parent makes a written request for an initial evaluation for special education services to the director of special education services or an administrative employee of the school district or open enrollment charter school, the district or charter school must respond no later than 15 school days after receiving the request. At that time, the district or charter school must give the parent a prior written notice of whether it agrees to or refuses to evaluate the student, along with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards. If the school district or charter school agrees to evaluate the student, it must also give the parent the opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation.
Please note that a request for a special education evaluation may be made verbally and does not need to be in writing. Districts and charter schools must still comply with all federal prior written notice and procedural safeguard requirements and the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal request does not require the district or charter school to respond within the 15-school-day timeline.
The initial evaluation and the resulting report must be completed no later than 45 school days from the day the school receives your written consent, except that if your child has been absent from school during the evaluation period on three or more school days, the evaluation period must be extended by a number of school days equal to the number of school days that your child has been absent. The school must give you a copy of the evaluation report at no cost.
If your child is under five years of age by September 1 of the school year and not enrolled in public school, or is enrolled in a private or home school setting regardless of age, the initial evaluation and the resulting report must be completed no later than 45 school days from the day the school receives your written consent.
There is an exception to the 45 school day timeline if the school receives your consent for the initial evaluation at least 35 but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year. In this case, the written report must be completed and provided to you by June 30 of that year. However, if your child is absent from school on three or more days during the evaluation period, the June 30th due date no longer applies. Instead, the general timeline of 45 school days plus extensions for absences of three or more days will apply. Click Button below to continue reading.
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Special Education Staff
The mission of the Sulphur Springs Independent School District is to provide students with the skills that will prepare them to adapt and excel in a fast-changing world, enabling them to lead productive lives. The district shares with parents and the community the responsibility of promoting high standards and expectations as we provide opportunities for all students within our diverse community to attain personal growth and to become lifelong learners.
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