Special Education Process
What are the LCPS procedures for referring a child suspected of having an educational disability?
Anyone, including parents, teachers, and administrators may refer a child to the Child Study Team.
The referral is made to the principal or designee at the child's school.
- A Multi-Disciplinary Referral Form is submitted to the principal or designee.
- The Child Study Team meeting takes place within ten (10) business days for initial referrals.
- The principal or designee will notify the parent(s) of the Child Study Team meeting date and time.
In most cases, prior to a recommendation for an evaluation, the Child Study Team will develop and implement interventions to address the child's educational concerns. If, after a period of time, interventions are not successful and the team suspects a disability, the Child Study Team may make a referral for evaluation to the special education administrator within 3 business days to determine eligibility for special education services or Section 504 accommodations.
What happens during the evaluation process?
Evaluations are completed by a team comprised of a social worker, school psychologist, educational diagnostician, and related services providers as appropriate, such as a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, and/or physical therapist.
Review of evaluation results with individual evaluators is held at parent's request.
All evaluation reports are made available at the child's school two business days prior to the Eligibility Meeting and provided, at no cost, no later than 10 days after the meeting. For preschool-aged children referred by Child Find, evaluation reports will be available at the LCPS Administration Building (21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148).
Invitation to the Eligibility Meeting is sent to parent(s) approximately two weeks prior to the meeting date.
Eligibility Meeting is held within 65 business days from the date the Child Study Team refers the child.
Who is the Eligibility Team?
The Eligibility Team includes: the school administrator, the child's general education teacher, a member of the assessment team, the eligibility coordinator, certified special education teacher (except for Section 504-only eligibilities), parent(s), and other knowledgeable individuals at the parent or school discretion.
What will happen during the Eligibility Team Meeting?
Referral concerns and prior intervention results are discussed;
Each requested evaluation is summarized;
Additional pertinent information is reviewed, including parental input;
Eligibility criteria, as they relate to the referral concerns and presented information, are carefully considered and discussed to determine whether your child has a disability and to consider his or her educational needs;
Based on a general agreement (consensus) of the eligibility team, an eligibility decision is made.
How is a child eligibile?
A child would be eligible for services under IDEA if (1) the child has a disability, (2) there is documentation of the adverse educational impact, and (3) there is a need for specially designed instruction.
A child would be eligible under Section 504 if the child has a documented physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
What if my child has a medical diagnosis?
The existence of a medical condition alone is not sufficient to qualify a child for special education or Section 504 services. For IDEA eligibility, evidence of adverse educational impact also must be present and must result in a requirement for specially designed instruction to access the general education curriculum. For Section 504 eligibility, substantial limitation in a major life activity is required.
What disability categories may be considered for eligibility?
The Virginia regulations define 14 different categories under which a child may be identified to receive special education services. These catgories include: Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness, Developmental Delay, Emotional Disability, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopeic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairment (including blindness).