The purpose of Child Find is to enhance public understanding of children and youth with special needs, to identify and locate these children and youth, and to inform the public of available services.
Gwinnett County Public Schools has an obligation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ‘04) to identify, locate, and evaluate all students with disabilities residing within the district who are in need of special education and related services from ages 0 through 21 years, regardless of the severity of their disability. Child Find activities include all identification and evaluation procedures used when a child is suspected of being a child with a disability. This includes students who are individually suspected of having a disability and are in need of special education, even though they are progressing from grade to grade. Child Find activities also extend to students in private schools.
Gwinnett County Public Schools works cooperatively with the medical community and agencies providing services to children. This includes health departments, social service agencies, mental health centers, area services for the blind and other agencies that work with children and families. Other community programs, such as day care programs, Head Start programs, and private and parochial schools should also be involved. Resources used to assist in Child Find efforts include, but are not limited to, television and radio announcements, news releases, posters and brochures.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Under No Child Left Behind, all students, including students with disabilities, must meet Georgia’s proficient level of academic achievement by 2013-14.
· All schools, local education agencies (local school systems, herein referred to as LEAs), and the State itself must test at least 95% of each student group (categorized by race/ethnic background, limited English proficiency, socioeconomic status, migrant status, gender and disability) in order to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Additionally, each student group (as well as the student population as a whole) must meet the State’s annual measurable objective regarding the percentage of students scoring proficient on State assessments.
· Students with disabilities are included in State assessments with appropriate accommodations as determined by each student’s Individualized Educational Program team.
· The Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) is administered only to those students who are significantly cognitively impaired and are thus unable to participate in the regular State assessment program even with maximum accommodations, as determined by the student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP).
· Parents should be aware that a well-designed IEP should prepare students for assessments by ensuring that any modifications or accommodations given for assessments are also part of the daily instructional program.
Public School Choice & Supplemental Services
· All students, including those with disabilities, who attend public schools that have not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two or more consecutive years, and have thus been designated for Needs Improvement, have the option of moving to a higher performing public school.
· In situations in which the special education student faces limited options for school choice due to the limited number of higher performing schools listed, the LEA may identify schools that could be used as substitutes for the general education choice options already provided.
· In cases in which a regionalized special education program or a class for specific categories of disabled students (such as those who are visually impaired) is the only option in the LEA, but the school is in Needs Improvement status, the school would have to create a class in another school or move the entire class to a higher performing school.
· All students, including those with disabilities, in schools that have been in Needs Improvement status for two or more years may receive supplemental services that include before-and-after-school tutoring or remedial classes in reading, language arts, and math.
The Rehabilitation Act
The Rehabilitation Act is the Federal legislation that authorizes grant programs for vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, independent living, and client assistance. It also includes a variety of training and service discretionary grants administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The Act authorizes research activities that are administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the work of the National Council on Disability. The Act also includes a variety of provisions focused on rights, advocacy and protections for individuals with disabilities:
· Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.
· Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities and services provided by state and local governments. Related regulations are available at this link. For further information on ADA, please click here.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under a program of the U.S. Department of Education. For more information including the regulations and legislative history, please click here.