Some Facts about Special Education Services

  • Our District provides instructional and related services for children who have certain handicaps, as defined by the federal Individuals with disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which prevent them from successfully accessing the general education curriculum. These services are provided for mildly handicapped students on our campuses, and for children with more intensive needs, through programs operated by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS). District programs are for students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Speech services begin at age three.

    1. Children must qualify for special education services via a psycho-educational evaluation that shows that a child has one of the handicaps specified by federal (IDEA) and state law.

    2. Before a child is evaluated for eligibility for special education services, the
    school and the parent must try to remediate the academic problems, and those
    attempts must be documented. This is most often accomplished through the Student Study Team (SST) process. This involves a meeting or series of meetings with the parent for the purpose of designing solutions for the child’s problems. This may involve classroom/instructional modifications, parent involvement, etc.

    3. A child qualifies for special education services based on two criteria: (1) need,
    and (2) eligibility. A child’s “need” is determined by the degree to which the child’s educational performance is below that of his/her grade-level peers. Eli-
    gibility is determined by whether or not, via an evaluation conducted by the school district or its designee, it can be determined that a child is handicapped as defined by IDEA. Many children may “need” services, but not all children “qualify” for services under the law.

    4. “Child Find”, is a component of IDEA that requires states to identify, locate and
    evaluate all children with disabilities, age’s birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services. Our District complies with this requirement via teacher and parent referral. If your child is too young to be enrolled in our Kindergarten Program, you may initiate the “Child Find” (also called Search and Serve) by calling the Kern County Superintendent of Schools at 661/636-4884.