Schools identify children in need of special services

ALTUS – The Altus Public School District, and surrounding districts, have an ongoing CHILD FIND system. The purpose of the Child Find System is to find any child or youth that may have a disability that requires special education services, in order to provide them with an appropriate public education. The school districts are looking for those children and youth, age birth to twenty-two years, who are not currently receiving special education and related services.

The school districts will make sure any child or youth who has a disability that requires special education and related services, is provided an appropriate public education. This education will be at no cost to the parents of the child or youth.

Children and youth with disabilities means (as defined by the Oklahoma State Policies and Procedures for Special Education in Oklahoma) those who have hearing impairments, vision impairments, an emotional disturbance, deafness, blindness (or both), specific learning disabilities, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, speech and/or language impairments, physical disabilities, autism, or traumatic brain injuries. In addition, children and youth with any disability which substantially limits a major life activity may receive modifications and accommodations to allow them access to an appropriate education (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended).

Parents, relatives, private agency employees, and concerned citizens are urged to help the Altus School District and surrounding districts find any infant, toddler, child or youth who may have a disability and need special education and related services. The school district will need to know the name, age, date of birth of the child or youth, and the name, address and telephone number of the child’s parents or guardians, the possible disability, and any other relevant information to help determine if special education is needed.

Letters and telephone calls are some of the ways the school districts collect the information needed. The information the school districts collect will be used to contact the parents or guardians of the child or youth to find out if the child or youth needs to be evaluated or referred for special education services.

For information, contact the following persons at their local schools: Altus Schools, Diane Chowning, 481-3088; Blair School, Jimmy Smith, 563-2632; Navajo School, Patricia Bryce 482-7742; Eldorado School, Traci Slippey, 633-2219; Olustee School, Gaylene Freeman, 648-2243; Duke School, Kevin Brown, 679-3019; or Hollis Schools, Jennifer McQueen, 688-3450.

As part of the child find efforts, the school districts may use screening information, student records, and basic assessment information collected on all children and youth in their districts to help locate those children and youth who have a disability and need special education.

Educational records containing personally identifiable information collected by schools in the identification, location, screening, and evaluation of children are maintained in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Oklahoma State Policies and Procedures for Special Education in Oklahoma.

School districts develop and implement local policies regarding the collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction of confidential student records. Parents may obtain a copy of the local policy from the local school administrator.

The rights of parents and children regarding personally identifiable information in accordance with FERPA are as follows: To inspect the student’s education records; To request the amendment of education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights; To consent to disclose education records, except where consent is not required to authorize disclosure; To file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, United States Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202, concerning alleged violations of the requirements of FERPA; and To obtain a copy of the FERPA policy adopted by the local school district upon request being made to the local school administrator.

Before any major identification, location, or evaluation, schools shall provide notice to parents. Accommodations for other languages or means of communication may be provided upon request. Such notice shall occur at least annually and shall include the rights of parents under FERPA.

The school districts do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran status.

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