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Special Education Services

The Washington Community School District (WCSD) strives to educate all students in an environment in which they learn best. Students may require additional supports and assistance to be successful in the classroom. WCSD provides a continuum of services for all learners to ensure that they receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).

When a child is experiencing difficulty in the school setting, the child may be referred to the building’s child study team to determine the student’s needs and interventions that may be used. These interventions are tiered with the lowest level of support offered first. If additional supports are needed, the intensity and duration of the interventions can be adjusted.

Even with these interventions in place, some students may not show adequate progress, and a referral for a suspicion of a disability can be made. This referral can be initiated by teachers, school counselors, building administrators, or parents. A suspicion of a disability meeting will be held with parents, teachers, and members of the Grant Wood Area Education Agency (GWAEA) to determine if there is a need for an evaluation.

If it is determined that an evaluation is appropriate, parents will be asked to sign a consent for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services. During an evaluation, the team can review information regarding the student’s educational progress, social and behavioral concerns, along with physical, hearing, or vision concerns. Students will continue to receive tiered interventions during this time. Evaluations can last up to 60 calendar days.

At the conclusion of the evaluation, if a student has been identified as qualifying for special education services in one or more areas, parents will once again sign consent for the student to begin receiving special education services. The team will then work to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP consists of individualized goals and services for the student.

Parents are active participants in the writing of an IEP and attend meetings as equal partners in discussing their child’s programming and services. Once an IEP is in place, meetings will be held annually, or more often if needed, to make any needed adjustments. Parents will be invited to meet whenever potential changes are called for, or when clarification is needed.

WCSD works collaboratively with the GWAEA during the evaluation process and beyond, to provide direct student services, and to support and consult with teachers and parents.