Special Education

Our special education programs include eligibility determination and services for students with disabilities ages 3 through 21.  Special Education is defined as specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions and in other settings; and instruction in physical education.  Special education is for students who by basis of the severity of their disability and needs require specially designed instruction in order to progress and benefit from the general education curriculum. The Ohio Department of Education has a document written for parents explaining the special education process, procedures, and rights. This is called Whose IDEA Is This?  A Parent's Guide to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA). There is a link to this document on this page. Parents who suspect that their child may have a disability should contact the Liberty Special Services office or the building principal. Preschool evaluation and services are also available beginning at age 3. Parents who suspect their preschool child may have a disability should contact Special Services. These services are provided through the Trumbull County Educational Service Center (TCESC) but a preschool classroom is currently located in our elementary building.

What is Child Find?
Child Find is the process of identifying, locating and evaluating children with disabilities who may be in need of special education and related services.

Why is there Child Find?
Both state and local education agencies are given the responsibility by federal and state laws to conduct child find activities so that children who need special services have the opportunity to receive those services.

What is the purpose of Child Find?
To promote public awareness of disabilities
To alert parents, professions, and the public to children who may have special needs
To assist school districts in finding children who may have disabilities and who otherwise may not have come to their attention
To enable children and families to receive the special education and related services that are needed

What does a disability mean?
For age Birth to 3 – An established condition known to result in delay, or a documented developmental delay
For ages 3 through 5 – A documented deficit in one or more of the following developmental areas:  communication, vision, hearing, motor skills, social emotional/behavioral functioning, self-help skills, and/or cognitive skills
For ages 5 through 21 – Identification of one or more of the following conditions:  autism, deaf-blindness, hearing impairment including deafness, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and/or visual impairment including blindness

Who can help?
Parents, relatives, public and private agency employees, and concerned citizens are used to help school districts find any child, age birth-21, who may have a disability and need special education and related services.  If you are aware of a child who may have special needs, please notify his/her school district. Schools can do their job better with your help.

What happens next?
The school district will contact the parents of the child to find out if the child needs to be evaluated.  Free testing is available to families to determine whether or not a special need exists. If a need is identified, the child can begin receiving the appropriate special education and related services.  If you know a child who may have special needs, help is available.  Please call Jessica Kohler at 330.759.1733 ext. 1312 or Andrew Scarmack at 330.759.1733 ext. 1313.

Section 504
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...." A student with a disability is defined in this statute as a student who has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Major life activities include Caring for oneself, Performing Manual Tasks, Communicating with Others, Walking, Seeing, Bending, Hearing, Speaking, Standing, Breathing, Learning, Concentrating, Reading, Thinking, and Sleeping. If a parent suspects a 504 disability, please contact your building principal or guidance counselor. Once the school does an evaluation and determines eligibility, a 504 plan may need to be developed. A 504 plan is intended to provide adaptations to give the individual with a mental or physical impairment an equal or comparable opportunity (in comparison to typical peer) to benefit from the education and programs/activities offered. 504 plans are not intended to enrich, extend, or maximize the students performance, but to ensure equal opportunity with that of non-disabled peers. Liberty Schools has prepared a document that explains parental rights related to Section 504. This document can be found in on this page.

 

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