The Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA) mandates that all states provide, "A free appropriate public education is available to all children with disabilities residing in the State between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive, including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school." The San Miguel Joint Union School District provides special education services for children who are found eligible and are within the appropriate age ranges for preschool to eighth grade.
Referrals for preschool aged children (3-5) can come from many different sources including the parents and community agencies (e.g. preschools, Headstart programs, etc). If you are a parent of a preschool aged child and feel your child may have a disability that will adversely impact their education, you can contact your school of residence (the school in your neighborhood) and ask to speak with the preschool psychologist or speech and language pathologist. Referrals for evaluation should be written and sent to the district. The district has 15 calendar days to respond to the request.
Early Start Referrals
Parents of children who are receiving Early Start services through Tri Counties have the option to refer their child to the school district at the 2.6 transition meeting. This is not mandatory and is the parent's choice. If you decide to refer your child to the school district at the 2.6 transition meeting, your child will be placed on an evaluation list and you will be contacted a few months prior to your child's third birthday. Once signed consent is received, your child will be evaluated a month or two prior to turning 3 to determine if he/she meets the eligibility criteria to receive special education services.
School-Aged (Grades K-8) Referrals
Referrals for students in kindergarten through 8th grade can come from many different sources including parents, teachers, community agencies and providers. If you are a parent of a school-aged child and feel your child may have a disability that is adversely impacting their education, please discuss your concerns with your child's teacher. The first step in the process is to set up a Student Study Team (SST) meeting. This meeting will include your child’s teacher, an administrator, yourself, and other school staff as appropriate (e.g., a school psychologist or speech and language pathologist). At the meeting your concerns will be discussed and the team will determine if there are supports that can be put in place in the general education classroom. If the team and parent feel a disability may be present the evaluation process to determine eligibility for special education services will be discussed. Referrals for evaluation should be written and sent to the district. The district has 15 calendar days to respond to the request.
Private or Home School Referrals
Children attending private or who are being homeschooled can be referred to the child's school of residence, the school which your child would attend based on where you live if he/she was not being homeschooled or in private school, for evaluations to determine eligibility for special education services. The referral process is the same as the process mentioned above for school-aged children in grades K-8. The parent or guardian should contact the school of residence and send a written request for evaluation to the principal. Once the request is received a Student Study Team meeting will be scheduled within 15 days of the receipt of the request. At this meeting the concerns will be discussed and if the school team and parent feel the child may have a disability the evaluation process may begin.
If your child is found eligible for special education services an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be developed and presented to you. If you decided you want your child to receive the special education services as listed in the IEP you will have to enroll and have your child attend full time at their school of residence. Private schools can offer special education, but they aren’t required to. Students do not have an individual right to get the same special education and related services as they would in public school. Instead, they’re entitled to “equitable services.” If you would prefer to keep your child in their private school or homeschool an Instructional Services Plan (ISP) is developed. A service plan spells out the special education and related services the public school will make available to a child. These services are provided at no cost to parents. But the student may not be able to receive these services at the private school. Instead, the public school can require him to go to a public school for services like speech therapy sessions.