Special Education services are provided to eligible students ages birth – 21. Federal and state regulations require that all public school districts have Child Find procedures in place so that students of concern can be identified, referred, and as appropriate assessed and placed in a program designed for their needs.
Developmental screenings and/or comprehensive assessments for children who are suspected of having a disability which could adversely affect their educational development are available at no cost to you. These services are available for persons between the ages of birth through 21 years of age. Appointments or further information can be obtained by contacting your neighborhood school or Student Support Services at (509) 559-4507.
Any application and any required policies, procedures, evaluations, plans, and reports related to special education will be made readily available to parents and other members of the general public through the District’s Student Support Services Department. If you would like to review any of these, please contact us.
The district encourages parental involvement and the exchange of information regarding parents’ children so that we are able to provide appropriate services to students. Guidelines for who is considered a “parent” include parents, legal guardians, persons acting in the place of a parent such as relatives and stepparents, persons appointed as surrogate parents, and students aged 18 and above.
Special Education Procedural Safeguard for Students and their Families
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide parents of a student who is eligible for or referred for special education with a notice containing a full explanation of the rights available to them under IDEA and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction rules governing the provision of special education.
If at any time you believe your student may need special education, you should contact someone at your student’s school and/or at your school district central office to request that your student be evaluated for special education. Each school has a student ASIST team that works to help teachers provide supports & strategies prior to referral to gather data on students identified as at-risk.
Physical therapy is provided as a related service to children with disabilities who qualify for special education under federal and state laws. Therapy is designed to assist the student in achieving educational goals and aids the student in moving as independently as possible throughout the school and participating in classroom activities. This may include maintaining and changing positions in class, standing in line, managing stairs, restrooms and playground equipment, and participating in recess and P.E.
All children who qualify for clinical (medically necessary) physical therapy may not qualify for school-based services. The decision of whether a child with a disability qualifies for school physical therapy is made by the multidisciplinary team based on evaluation results, parent and teacher input, direct observations and medical records. If the team decides the child has an eligible disability, needs specially designed instruction and requires related therapy services, goals and objectives are developed for the student’s Individual Educational Plan.
School-based physical therapy interventions may be provided directly to the student individually, in a small group, or in consultation with the teacher and other school staff. Therapy takes place in the school in the classroom, hallways, gym, playground, or therapy room as appropriate.
Occupational therapy (OT) is an important support service for many students in special education. The school therapist works with students with a variety of needs. OTs work on postural control for good sitting posture, fine motor skills to develop the student’s use of hands, and visual motor skills to develop the student’s use of hands, and visual motor skills to develop eye-hand coordination for better handwriting in school.
OTs also provide sensory stimulation program to improve the student’s body awareness and behavioral organization for better ability to pay attention and sit still. Any special education student who has difficulties in the areas of handwriting, cutting, attention and activity level, use of arms and hands, or self-care may be referred for an OT screening. The OT screening will determine the need for OT evaluation. If an evaluation is necessary, the registered occupational therapist will evaluate the child to determine the need and eligibility for OT services. OT can only be provided as part of the IEP (Individualized Education Program) after an evaluation has been completed.
Speech Language Therapy
Speech Language therapy is provided in the Cheney School District for students who qualify for the program. This service is available to students from the ages 3-21. Students are referred to a certificated speech language pathologist (SLP) by parents, guardians, or classroom teachers. After a student is screened, further evaluation will be determined by the SLP. Parents will receive a referral packet. Testing will target areas of concern which may include: hearing, articulation, language, fluency, and voice. After the evaluation is completed, parents will be invited to an Evaluation/IEP meeting. Goals and objectives will be written for each student based on the results of the evaluations. The SLP carefully sequences instruction and maintains data about student progress. An individual education program (IEP) meeting will be held annually to discuss progress and update objectives.
School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students that strengthen connections between home and school.
School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education. Training includes data-based decision making, consultation and collaboration, effective instruction, child development, student diversity and development, school organization, prevention, intervention, mental health, learning styles, behavior, research, and program evaluation. School psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work.
Services for the Visually Impaired
Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI) provide assessments, instruction, and consultation for students who are blind or visually impaired. They determine how a student’s vision loss impacts learning, what accommodations or adaptations are needed for them to be successful in school, and what specific skills need to be taught for them to gain independence. Instruction may include braille, technology, low vision aides, access to tactile and auditory classroom materials, daily living skills, and more.
Services for the Hearing Impaired