Referral for a Child Suspected of a Disability
LCPS maintains an active and continuing Child Find program designed to locate, identify, and evaluate children ages 2 through 21 who live in Loudoun County and are in need of special education and related services. This child find requirement includes parents who enroll their child in a private elementary or secondary school within Loudoun County regardless of the parents' location of residence.
Screening is part of the identification process. Screenings must be done in the areas of vision, hearing, scoliosis, speech, voice, language, and fine and gross motor functions. Parents will receive a general notice about the screening and will be notified if a child fails the screening. Children may be rescreened if the results of the original screening are considered invalid. The LCPS screening schedule is as follows:
Vision and hearing
of all children within 60 business days of initial enrollment
in grades 3, 7, and 10 within 60 business days of the opening of school
Scoliosis educational information in grades 5 through 10 within 60 business days of the opening of school
Speech, voice, language, and fine and gross motor functions of all children within 60 business days of initial enrollment
The purpose of these screenings is to determine if a referral for an evaluation for special education and related services is indicated. In some cases when a child fails a screening, the school may not suspect a disability.
The screening of a student by a teacher or specialist to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation is NOT considered an evaluation for eligibility for special education and related services and does not require parental consent.
Referrals for Initial Evaluation
A Child Study Team (CST) is established in each school to review records and other performance evidence of children being referred in order to make recommendations to meet the child's educational and behavioral needs. Children may be referred to the CST through a screening process or by school staff, parent(s), or other individuals. The referral may be in written, electronic, or oral form to the principal or designee of the school the child attends.
Members of the Child Study Team
Within 10 business days following receipt of the initial referral, the Child Study Team must meet. The team includes the following individuals:
- The referral source, as appropriate
- Principal or trained administrative designee
- At least one teacher of the child
- At least one specialist (e.g., educational diagnostician, school psychologist)
- Parent (if able to attend)
Other individuals with specialized training or specific knowledge as appropriate (e.g., school counselor, speech language therapist, reading specialist, school social worker, occupational therapist, teachers of the visually impaired, teachers of the hearing impaired)
The Child Study Process
In reviewing the child's performance, the Child Study Team may use a process based on a child’s response to scientific, research-based interventions or procedures. The team will ensure that these interventions are documented and that the use of these interventions do not unnecessarily delay a child’s evaluation for special education.
The following outlines the typical process during a Child Study Team meeting:
The team identifies and analyzes problems that are affecting the child's school performance by reviewing existing information and by collecting additional screening data if needed
A plan is developed and implemented to reasonably meet the needs of the child that outlines the interventions/accommodations, goals, and method of data collection
- The team periodically reconvenes to review the child's progress and modify the plan as needed
If the school-based team suspects a disability, the team shall forward the referral to the Office of Diagnostic and Prevention Services within 3 business days.