Children with Special Needs/Disabilities     

If your child is not learning the way you think they should, it may be because they have special education needs. It is normal to feel overwhelmed or frightened, but it is also important to know that you are not alone. About 1 of every 8 schoolchildren in New Hampshire receives some special education services. Identifying the fact that your child may need special help is an important first step toward providing them with a successful school experience.

      Listed below are the basic steps required to be sure your child receives any special attention that they need. These needs are often referred to as “a disability,” but don’t be alarmed. You will have the support of a talented, supportive group of people who will work together with you, as members of your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team. This “team” includes teachers, school administrators and other specialists.


No 1WRITE A LETTER to the school and explain why you believe that your child may need special education. Ask them to evaluate your child for possible special education needs. If your child’s teacher or someone else makes a referral, you will be notified in writing immediately. [A sample to help you write your referral letter may be found at www.picnh.org.]
  No 2ATTEND A TEAM MEETING WITHIN 15 DAYS of receiving a letter from either you or your child’s teacher. If necessary, you can participate in the meeting via a telephone conference call.
You may bring someone with you if believe it will be helpful and you may request an interpreter if you need one.
  No 3THE MEETING’s GOAL is to determine whether “early intervention services” will be an acceptable first step to solving your child’s educational issues or if it is appropriate to set up further evaluative testing. If further evaluation/testing is needed, they must get your written consent for the testing. NOTE: These “early intervening services” cannot deny or delay your right to have your child evaluated if there is reason to suspect your child may have a disability and need special education.

No 4EVALUATION/TESTING must be completed within 45 days of signed consent unless you & the school district both agree to extend it. The IEP team will review information from all sources to decide which tests need to be conducted. Specific requirements must be followed to ensure that the testing is nondiscriminatory, sufficiently comprehen­sive and appropriate. You are entitled to a copy of the report of the results. You can request an independent evaluation, at public expense, if you disagree. If the school district disagrees they must file for a due process hearing to show the school’s evaluation was appropriate.   TESTING AREA'S may include:
academicNo 5
communication
developmental
language
motor
self help
social/behavioral
vocational, and others
 

No 63 FACTORS DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY:

  1. Child is between the ages of 3 and 21
  2. Child has not yet achieved a high school diploma,
  3. Child has a disability that requires special education and/or related services. If these factors exist, the IEP team will identify the category or categories that best describe your child’s disability.
  CategoriesNo 7Autism
Developmental delay [for children ages 3-9]
Emotional disturbance
Hearing impairment, (including deafness,
speech or language impairment)
Mental retardation
Multiple disabilities
Other health impairment
(includes ADD/ADHD & chronic health)
Orthopedic impairment
Specific learning disability
Tourette’s syndrome
Traumatic brain injury
Visual impairment (including blindness)

No 8WITHIN 30 days a meeting must be held to work with the other members of your child’s IEP team. This meeting’s goal is to develop an Individualized Education Pro­gram (IEP) that meets your child’s needs.   No 9 IEP Contents:
1) A list of special education and related services to be provided to your child;
2) current aca­demic achieve­ment/ functional performance;
3) annual measurable goals and objectives;
4) how to measure progress and when you will be informed.

No 10IEP RULES: The IEP includes transition services to prepare your child for life after high
school [if they are over age14]. IEPs must be in place by the
beginning of each school year and require yearly review and revision.
Your child has a right to be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Most children with disabilities are educated in regular classrooms in their neighborhood schools, but your child may receive services in a resource room, special classroom or special school. The costs of this placement are the responsibility of the school district.
  No 11MONITOR YOUR CHILD'S SUCCESS by reviewing schoolwork, tracking pro­gress towards the goals in the IEP, sharing information at parent/teacher conferences and maintaining an open line of com­munication with the school.
Anytime you have concerns, you may request an IEP meeting to discuss those concerns and make any needed changes in the IEP or placement.

TITLE I

      This is a program that provides federal funds to schools with high percentages of children who are socio-economically disadvantaged. When Title 1 schools do not make AYP for two consecutive years they are identified as School In Need of Improvement (SINI). At that time parents are to be given the opportunity to transfer their child to another school which is not a School In Need of Improvement. If the school does not make AYP for a third consecutive year parents may request Supplemental Services (tutoring) for their children from an independent provider. Parents of students in Schools in Need of Improvement are notified in writing prior to the start of the school year if their children are eligible for school choice or supplemental services.
Under the law, decisions governing the Title 1 program at schools and in districts need to be made with “meaningful consultation” with parents of students receiving Title 1 services. A district-wide Title 1 Parent Advisory Council meets quarterly to discuss the Title 1 program and policies governing it. If you are interested in serving on the council contact your school’s title 1 Social Worker.
      Manchester Schools with Title1 programs are: Bakersville School, Beech Street School, Gossler School, Hallsville School, McDonough School, Northwest School, Parker-Varney School, and Henry Wilson School.
      English Language Learners -- Title III provides funding to state and local education agencies who are obligated by NCLB to increase the English proficiency and core academic content knowledge of Limited English Proficient students. In Manchester Schools students are placed, depending on their degree of proficiency, in self-contained classrooms where all students have limited English proficiency or in a regular classroom. Students placed in regular classrooms leave the classroom and receive English instruction from an ELL specialist.

Under the NCLB parents must be notified of the following:

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