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Florence City Schools Special Education
Common Questions & Answers
Special Education Referral
Who can make a special education
- Any person who has knowledge
of or interest in the student may refer him or her.
What information must be on the
- Date of referral
- Student's name and demographic
- Information about the
- Documentation of pre-referral
interventions and their effectiveness
- Completion of environmental,
economic, cultural concerns checklist
- IEP Team member's signatures
How long does it take to
complete the referral to placement process?
A referral begins with the date
that the parent signs the Consent for Evaluation. The process
from referral to IEP development must be completed in ninety (90)
calendar days regardless of any scheduled interruptions in the
scholastic year or the scheduled summer vacation.
- Evaluations must be completed
no later than sixty (60) calendar days from the Consent of
- Eligibility must be determined
no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the
completion of all evaluations.
- An IEP must be held and
placement made within thirty (30) calendar days after the
student is determined eligible.
What is an IEP Team?
- The IEP team is a team of
people who meet to make decisions about evaluation, eligibility,
and programming for students.
Who is a member of the IEP
- At least one regular education
teacher of the student (if the student is or may be
participating in the regular education environment);
- At least one special education
teacher or special education provider of the student;
- The parent, guardian, or
surrogate parent of the student;
- A Local Education Agency (LEA)
representative who is qualified to provide or supervise
specially designed instruction, is knowledgeable about general
education curriculum and knowledgeable of available resources;
- Someone who can interpret
- Other person knowledgeable
about the student, including related services personnel; and
- Whenever appropriate, the
What are the functions of the
- Reviews the initial referral;
- Reviews existing data and
determines the need for evaluation;
- If the student is to be
evaluated, determines what areas and what evaluations will be
- Obtains parental written
informed consent for evaluations to be conducted;
- If the student is not to be
evaluated, provides written notice to the parent of the intent
not to evaluate;
- Review the existing data and
determines what, if any, additional date is needed for
- Reviews data and determines
whether the student is a student with a disability and
determines the educational needs of the student;
- Provides a copy of the
evaluation report and the documentation of determination of
eligibility to parent.
- Develops a narrative statement
of the student's present levels of educational performance,
including how the student's disability affects the student's
involvement in the general curriculum
- Develops measurable annual
goals and benchmarks related to meeting needs to enable the
student to be involved in and progress in the general
The Florence City School System
ensures that the educational records of all children referred for
evaluation and/or identified as disabled will be stored, retrieved,
and utilized in a manner that will insure confidentiality and
- Education agencies must appoint one person to assume the
overall responsibility for ensuring that personally identifiable
information will be safeguarded and confidential.
- The educational records of all children referred for
evaluation and/or identified as disabled will be maintained in a
limited access location that will ensure confidentiality
- Parents may inspect and review all educational records
relating to identification, evaluation, and educational
placement for their child.
- Parents must be given the opportunity to review their
child's records without necessary delay (within forty-five days)
and before any meeting regarding an IEP or before a due process
hearing is conducted.
- Parents must be provided copies of their child's records,
when failure to do so would effectively prevent the parents from
exercising their right to access.
- Parents must be given explanations and interpretations
regarding their child's records
- Parents may have a representative review their child's
records under the same access rights afforded to them.
- The educational agency may presume that the parents have the
authority to review the records unless the agency has been
advised that authority has been removed unless laws governing
guardianship, separation, and divorce.
- When a record contains information on more than one child,
the parents may review only the data regarding their child.
- The parents must be provided with a list of the types and
locations of educational records collected, maintained, or used
by the agency pertaining to their child.
- The educational agency may charge the parents a reasonable
fee for copies of educational records, but not an amount that
would prevent them from exercising their rights to access the
- The educational agency must maintain for inspection a
current listing of the names and postings of those employees
within the agency who have access to personally identifiable
- Parental consent must be obtained before personally
identifiable information is disclosed to anyone other than the
officials of federal, state, or local educational agencies
collecting or using information in conjunction with the child's
special education program.
- Parental consent is not required as a condition of
disclosure of records to:
- Educational employees who have
a legitimate interest.
- Educational employees of other schools, school systems,
or other state agencies to
which the child has enrolled.
- Authorized state or
federal officials in conjunction with monitoring
- Authorities in response to
a judicial order or pursuant to a legal subpoena.
- Appropriate parties in
connection with an emergency.
- Law enforcement and
judicial authorities when the child has committed a crime.
- Upon request from the parent, an educational agency must
transfer a copy of all special education records no later than
thirty calendar days from receipt of request.
- Parental consent is not required as a condition for a
transfer of special education records from one educational
agency to another, however, the parents must be given prior
notice of the transfer, receive a copy of the records (if
requested), and have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge
the content of the records.
- Except when the transfer of records has been initiated by
the Parents, the educational agency must make a reasonable
attempt to notify the parents prior to the transfer, i.e.
written notice to the last known address or by other notice
procedures normally utilized by the education agency.
- A parent who believes that the special education records are
inaccurate or misleading or violate the privacy or other rights
of the child may request that the educational agency amend the
records. (Within 15 days of receipt of request)
- If the educational agency decides to amend the records in
accordance with the request, the parent must be notified in
writing of the decision.
- If the educational agency decides not to amend the records,
written notices musts be provided to the parent. The
notice must advise the parent of their right to a local hearing
before the educational agency within fifteen calendar days from
receipt of request.
- If, as a result of the hearing, the educational agency
decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or
otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the
child, it must amend the information accordingly and inform the
parent in writing.
- If, as a result of the hearing, the educational agency
decides that the information should not be amended, the
educational agency must inform the parent of the right to place
in the records a statement commenting on the information or
setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
- If the records on the contested portion are disclosed by the
education agency to any party, then the explanation must also be
- The hearing must be conducted according to the procedures in
the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act. (34 CFR 99.22)
- The educational agency must retain a copy of the education
records containing personally identifiable information for a
period of 5 years after the termination of the special education
program for which they were used.
- A permanent education record that contains the child's name,
address, telephone number, his/her grades, record of attendance,
for special education services, classes attended, grade level
completed, and year completed may be maintained without a time
limitation. At the end of the five-year retention period,
the education agency must provide written notice to parents that
informs them that the special education records are no longer
needed. The educational agency is not prohibited from
retaining special education records indefinitely as long as
confidentiality is ensured. Confidentiality of the
information to be destroyed must be maintained.