Academy District 20 is responsible for the assessment and identification of children birth to age 21 who may have developmental or educational disabilities. Parents who suspect their school-age child (between the ages 6–21) is experiencing learning difficulties may initiate a special education referral through their child’s school. For children 5 years of age and younger, parents may make a referral to the Academy District 20 Child Find Coordinator by calling 234-1750. When children between the ages of birth to 3 years old are determined eligible to receive special education services, the district coordinates with community agencies in the development of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). If the student is 3 years or older and is eligible for special education services, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed by Academy District 20.
Timeline for the Special Education Process
In most cases the process begins at the school level and follows the timeline below. If you believe that your child may require Special Education services, please contact your child's school to start the process.
Special Education services begin on the date specified in the IEP. Another IEP meeting will occur no more than one year from the date of the initial IEP meeting to review services. A new evaluation and IEP review is required every three years to determine continued eligibility.
- Parent makes a request for special education evaluation, in writing or verbally, to the school’s special education team, school counselor, principal, or special education director.
- Team meeting is scheduled to discuss the evaluation request.
- Procedural Safeguards are given to parents.
- Special education team (including parents) meets and determines whether an evaluation is warranted.
- If so, Consent for Evaluation must be signed by parents and process continues with Step 5 below.
- If not, Prior Written Notice is generated to document the district’s refusal to evaluate and the process concludes.
- School personnel have 60 calendar days to administer formal assessments to assist in determining if student meets eligibility requirements for Special Education. All assessments and reports must be completed by this time.
- If student is found eligible, school personnel have another 30 days to schedule a meeting to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Parents must sign a Consent for Initial Provision of Services allowing an IEP to be developed. Parents will receive Notice of IEP meeting to confirm date/time to meet and review/discuss information obtained.
- IEP meeting convenes within 30 calendar days of completion of assessments.