Eligibility Services

A child with dyslexia reading a book with her hands on her head.
  • Eligibility Services coordinates the implementation of special education in all schools related to child study, referral, evaluation, eligibility, and reevaluation to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations and local procedures.  

     

    As a resource, parents may access the Parent's Guide to Special Education developed by the Virginia Department of Education and LCPS's Special Education Procedure manual.  This guide helps parents understand their rights and responsibilities, their child's rights, and the school's responsibilities to meet the special needs of your child and includes a description of the special education process and what is required during each step of the process. 

Child Find Notice for Special Education Services

  • Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) offers a free, appropriate public education to all children with disabilities who need special education and related services, aged two to 21, inclusive.  LCPS implements on-going strategies to actively and continuously identify, locate, and evaluate those children, birth to age 21, inclusive, residing or parentally placed in private schools (including those that are home-schooled or home-tutored) within Loudoun County who are in need special education and related services.

     

    Referrals will be accepted in written, electronic, or oral form by each school’s principal or designee for children aged two to 21, suspected of having a disability, regardless of whether the child is enrolled in Loudoun County Public Schools.  Referrals may be made by any source including school staff, a parent(s), the Virginia Department of Education, any other state agency, other individuals, or a school-based team. 

     

    Within ten (10) business days of receipt, the referral will be reviewed by the Child Study Team (CST) at the student’s school of location.  The Child Study Team will review records and other performance evidence of the child in order to make recommendations to meet the child's educational and behavioral needs.  The team shall refer the child to the special education administrator or designee within 3 business days if the team determines the child should be referred for an evaluation for special education and related services. 

     

    Under the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, children who are evaluated and found eligible for special education and related services have one or more of the following disabilities: Autism, Deaf/Blindness, Developmental Delay, Emotional Disability, Hearing Impairment including Deafness, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairment including Blindness. 

     

    LCPS provides a wide variety, or continuum, of alternative placements so that each child with a disability will have an appropriate individualized education program. This continuum includes

    • general education classes;
    • special education classes;
    • special education schools;
    • home-based instruction, if required by the IEP, or homebound instruction when instruction is made available to children who are confined for periods that would prevent normal school attendance and based on certification of need by a licensed physician or clinical psychologist; and
    • instruction in hospitals and institutions, including state facilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the LCPS's responsibility in identifying children who have disabilities?

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    LCPS must actively and continuously locate, identify, and evaluate children residing in Loudoun County, who are birth to age 21 inclusive, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, who need special education and related services, including children who:
    - Are highly mobile, such as migrant and homeless children;
    - Are wards of the state;
    - Attend private schools, including children who are home-instructed or home-tutored;
    - Are suspected of being children with disabilities and in need of special education, even though they are advancing from grade to grade; and
    - Are under age 18, who are suspected of having a disability who need special education and related services, and who are incarcerated in a regional or local jail in its jurisdiction for 10 or more days.

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  • Who may refer a child for special education services?

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    Referrals will be accepted in written, electronic, or oral form by each school’s principal or designee for children aged two to 21, suspected of having a disability, regardless of whether the child is enrolled in public school.  Referrals may be made by any source including school staff, a parent(s), the Virginia Department of Education, any other state agency, other individuals, or a school-based team.  

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  • What happens after a referral is made?

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    Within 10 business days, the principal or designee will schedule a Child Study Team meeting and invite the parents.  The referral will be reviewed by the Child Study Team (CST) which includes the referring source, as appropriate, the principal or designee, at least one teacher, at least one specialist, and one member who is knowledgeable about alternative interventions and about procedures required to access programs and services that are available to assist with children’s educational needs.  The team will review records and other performance evidence of the child in order to make recommendations to meet the child's educational and behavioral needs and determine whether to refer the child for an evaluation for special education and related services. 

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  • What happens during the evaluation process prior to the eligibility meeting?

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    Evaluations are conducted by qualified professionals in all areas requested by the Child Study Team.  Following completion of the psychological and educational assessments and prior to the eligibility meeting, parents are invited to a conference to discuss the assessment results.  All written evaluation reports will be made available at your child's school no later than two business days before the eligibility meeting.  Evaluation reports for preschool aged children referred by the Child Find Center are available at the Administration Building (21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148).  Approximately three weeks before the eligibility meeting, you will receive an official meeting notice stating the date, time, and location of the meeting.

     

    The evaluation process for determing eligibility for special education and related services must be completed within 65 business days from the date the referral was made by the Child Study Team.

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  • What if my child has a medical diagnosis of a condition?

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    The existence of a medical condition alone does not automatically qualify a child for special education and related services.  The team must also determine whether or not the medical condition results in an adverse impact on child's educational performance and requires specially designed instruction.

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  • What will happen in the eligibility meeting?

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    Eligibility meetings are generally 45 to 60 minutes in length and follow this process:   
    • Meeting participants are introduced and the eligibility process is explained
    • The referral concerns are reviewed
    • Each evaluation requested is summarized
    • Other relevant information including parental input and private evaluation reports are discussed
    • Disability categories are discussed for consideration
    • Eligibility criteria is carefully considered and documented based on the available information
    • An eligibility determination is made based on the consensus of the committee
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  • What happens if my child is not found eligible for special education services?

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    The Special Education designee, usually the assistant principal of the school, will provide information relevant to instruction to the child's teachers or any appropriate committee, such as the Child Study Team.  

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  • What if I disagree with the eligibility decision?

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    If you disagree, you, as the parent, have the following options:
    • You may write a dissenting opinion stating your disagreement with the eligibility decision.
    • You may request an Administrative Review of the eligibility decision within 10 business days of the eligibility meeting by contacting the Supervisor of Special Education Procedural Support.
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Last Modified on July 5, 2018