Helpful links for Parents:
How to Request a Special Education Evaluation...
If your child is enrolled in the Cumberland County School System, and you are concerned about his or her academic progress, first contact the regular classroom teacher. The teacher will listen to your concerns and review your child's records. Together, you may develop an intervention plan or behavioral strategies to help your child improve classroom performance. Modifications and adaptations will be attempted in an effort to overcome any academic difficulties.
Interventions Prior to Referral...
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (reauthorization of IDEA 1997) mandated that states adopt additional requirements regarding eligibility determination. These requirements include a determination that the child's educational difficulties are not due to a lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction as defined by NCLB, lack of appropriate instruction in math, or Limited English proficiency. Appropriate instruction is now defined as instructional programs and techniques that have scientific research based (RTI) and are delivered by appropriately trained personnel.
Your child's school has adopted an organized, systematic early intervention approach to solving educational difficulties in the general education setting. A student is considered for special education eligibility when the student continues to demonstrate a clear educational need after the school has implemented high quality instruction and behavior management in the general education curriculum.
If an Evaluation is Recommended for your Child...
An evaluation is recommended for your child if he or she has significant difficulty accessing appropriate educational services due to a possible disability, at which time you will be contacted to discuss the evaluation recommendation. You will be asked to complete some referral paperwork and sign a Consent for Evaluation form. A school psychologist, or other certified school personnel, may administer several different standardized tests or inventories, depending on the suspected disability of your child. A speech-language screening may also be completed if the school team suspects possible speech or language impairments.
The Evaluation is Complete...now what?
The school will contact you to schedule a meeting. During this meeting, school personnel will discuss the test results and describe your child's academic strengths and educational needs. Your input is very important during this meeting. As a member of the team, you will have an opportunity to discuss your concerns about your child's academic difficulties. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the evaluations or test results. Together, you and the school staff will consider all the options for your child and will determine if special education and related services are needed.
Special Education Services...
If you and the school team decide that special education and related services are needed for your child, then an Individualized Education Plan, also known as and IEP, will be developed. An IEP is a written plan for the special education and related services of a student with a disability. It describes your child's present levels of performance, strengths and weaknesses, and what you and the school will do to address his or her educational needs. It also indicates the amount of service that your child will receive. Any related services needed for your child, such as speech-language therapy, will also be indicated on the IEP.
Services are also offered to students who attend private schools and/or are home schooled and live in Cumberland County. If the student qualifies and is eligible for speech/language, OT, and/or PT services then the parent can bring the child to the school to receive the therapy. For more information regarding homeschool services, contact the Office of Special Education at (931) 484-3301.