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Determining if Your Child Needs Special Education Services
Determining if Your Child Needs Special Education Service
 
 
Special education services and supports are provided to students who cannot access their Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) because of the impact of their identified disability.  All students are general education students first. Special education provides supports and services so that students can access the general education curriculum.  The federal law that regulates this is called The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which was reauthorized in 2004. It ensures that children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education with special education and related services designed to meet their particular needs. 
 
BVSD provides screenings, assessments and services for eligible students in the following ways:

• Early stages (ages 0-5)
• School age (K-12 or up to age 21)
• Children attending private schools
 
Early Stages (ages 0-5)
The Child Find program is provided without charge to families who live within the Boulder Valley School District. The purpose of the program is to identify young children who are having difficulty in their development. Child Find provides developmental screening and, when appropriate, a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluation for children from birth to age 5.

Parents who contact Child Find may have concerns about their child's development in the areas of vision, hearing, speech/language skills, motor skills, thinking skills or emotional/social skills.

To learn more or set up an appointment, call 720-561-5078.
 
School Age (K-12)
Parents who suspect their child may have a disability which impacts their ability to access their education, the first thing to do is to request a Problem Solving Team meeting (PST). The purpose of this meeting is to bring together a school based team to gather information, review records and discuss concerns. The team then may create a plan to provide additional strategies in the area of concern along with a way to monitor progress.  This process is referred to as Response to Intervention (RtI) or Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS).
 
The team can also suggest an assessment to determine if the student is eligible for special education services. Parents have a right to make a direct request for a special education referral at any time. The school team then has to consider if they data they have also suggests continuing with a special education assessment.
 
Once the team and parents agree to do an assessment for the suspected area of disability, there is a formal process that includes parent permission, conducting assessments, and meeting to determine if the student meets the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) criteria for a specific disability.

If the criteria is met and the student is identified with a disability that impacts their access to their education, then an Individual Education Plan will be created with the IEP team which includes parents. More information about this process is described on these videos from the CDE:

IEP DVD
This DVD (Overview of the Special Education Process / Un Repaso al Proceso de Education Especial), summarizes the IEP process and supplements the information with tips and comments by parents and professionals.

IEP Video- 47 minutes (English)
IEP Video- 47 minutos (Español)

The following forms provide the literal transcript of the DVD: 

See more at: CDE Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Child Attending Private School

Child Find is the process for any contact for any child birth through age 21 who resides in or attends a private school in BVSD and who is suspected of having a disability.
 
Parents who are concerned their child may have a disability or is exhibiting delays in his/her development and who reside with BVSD, can contact BVSD Child Find. School age children are assessed by the IEP team from what would be their home school.

 
CDE provides more information here