The Special Education Process

Blue Process Chart

  • Referral and Student Study Team Meeting

    • Once you make a referral to the Pre-K Child Find office, a staff member will contact you to schedule a Student Support Team Meeting. You and your child will attend this meeting with Child Find team members to discuss your concerns regarding your child’s development. Our specialists will play and interact with your child as we ask you questions regarding your child’s development. If the team suspects that your child may have a significant delay in one or more areas, we will recommend conducting a series of evaluations that will occur at a later date in time.
  • Assessments

      • Assessments are completed in order to learn more about your child’s current level of performance in multiple areas of development. Information gathered through the assessments will help you and the Child Find team determine if your child has an educational disability. Evaluations can only occur when the parent or legal guardian provides written consent.
      • A team of specialists will conduct the evaluations and assess your child’s development. Team members are determined by the areas of developmental concerns and may include a special educator, speech and language pathologist, social worker, school psychologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, hearing specialist, and/or vision specialist.
      • Assessments are used for the purpose of gaining information about development in the following areas:
        • Language: How a child understands and uses verbal and nonverbal language
        • Physical: How a child uses his or her large and/or small muscles
        • Cognitive: How a child able to learn about their world and engage in problem-solving
        • Social/Emotional: How a child can control attention, behavior and emotions, how they are able to relate to others and engage with parents and peers
        • Adaptive/ Self-Help Skills: How a child can independently take care of daily needs
      • Specialists will gather information about your child’s development that may include the following:
        • Asking you questions about your child’s medical, social, and family history
        • Assessing your child’s skills, by engaging them in play based activities such as assembling puzzles
        • Observing how your child communicates, engages with and plays with others during the assessment and at school, if attending one
        • Gaining information from parent and teacher feedback through questionnaires
  • The Eligibility Meeting

    • The purpose of the eligibility meeting is to review the assessment results and evaluation data with a team of specialists. The results of the assessments will be used to help determine if your child meets the eligibility criteria under a specific educational classification. These criteria are established by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the State of Virginia. If your child is not eligible, the Child Find process will end.  You may invite anyone you wish to join you for the eligibility meeting. Reports are available for your review two days before the eligibility meeting.
  • The IEP Meeting

    • If your child is found eligible, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed within 30 calendar days at an IEP meeting. A school based team will work with you to draft educational goals to address the areas of weaknesses identified through the evaluation process. The IEP team will also determine what specific services your child will receive and where those educational services will be delivered. Services begin once the parent or legal guardian signs consent to the IEP.
      Click here for more information on the IEP meeting and how to prepare.

Additional Information: