Reauthorized by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in December 2004, the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA-04) guides all special education practices in the United States.
IDEA-04 mandates that each student identified as eligible for special education services receive a "free and appropriate public education" in the "least restrictive environment".
Special education and related services are provided to eligible students with disabilities ages 3 to 21 and to students who qualify for gifted services Kindergarten to grade 12. Infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities are served through TARC of Shawnee County.
Special education in Shawnee Heights USD 450 provides specialized instruction that enables students to access the general education curriculum and make continuous progress toward state grade-level standards. A continuum of services are present within each school and are an integral part of the Shawnee Heights learning community. Shawnee Heights USD 450 adheres to the practice of responsibly including students in educational and social activities to the maximum extent appropriate, based on their individual learning needs.
EARLY CHILDHOOD SCREENINGS - BIRTH TO AGE 5
- Ages birth to 36 months: Parents are encouraged to contact Early Intervention Services at TARC of Shawnee County at (785) 232 0597
- Ages 36 months to 5 years: Early Childhood Screenings in Shawnee Heights USD 450 are conducted several times per year.
Please contact Sheryl Kingman at (785) 357-5440 with questions or to request a screening for your child.
SPECIAL EDUCATION REFERRALS
Shawnee Heights USD #450 Students - ages 5 to 18, are referred for a special education evaluation by school personnel when a disability is suspected and general education interventions have not been successful. Parents are notified and involved in the process when a concern first arises. Parents may also initiate a referral for a special education evaluation and are encouraged to contact their child’s school for additional information regarding this process.
Private School Students - Ages 3 to 21 , Parents of students attending private schools located within Shawnee Heights USD 450 may initiate the referral process through the school’s principal. The private school principal will work with Shawnee Heights USD 450 to implement the evaluation process.
A variety of tools and strategies are used to gather information in determining whether or not a student is eligible for special education. Eligible students must meet two criteria in order to qualify for special education services:
- Have a documented disability and
- Needs specially designed instruction to access the general education and make continuous progress toward state approved grade-level standars
An Individualized Education Program, or IEP, is developed for students who qualify for special education services. The IEP serves as a written guide for instructional plans. The IEP is written by the special services team, parent, and student, if appropriate. This document contains a summary of all information and agreed upon services/placement related to the child’s educational needs.
AGES BIRTH - 36 MONTHS
Shawnee Heights USD 450 supports Infant and Toddler Services provided by TARC of Shawnee County. TARC provides support services to young children who have been identified as having a developmental delay or disability. Referrals can be made by parents or through community daycare providers and/or physicians. Children who continue to have developmental delays or a disability, and are in need of special services, are transitioned to Shawnee Heights USD 450 at age 3.
AGES 36 MONTHS - 5 YEARS
Shawnee Heights USD 450 offers early childhood special education services/programming on-site for children ages 36 months to 5 years. Children with a developmental delay or disability can access services on their third birthday. Decisions for service and programming are made by the early childhood special services team, including school staff, related service providers, and parent(s). Services include therapies by appointment or participation in an Early Childhood Special Education classroom with typically developing peers. These classrooms provide half day programming Monday-Thursday.
GRADES K - 12
Students in elementary, middle and high school in Shawnee Heights USD 450 receive educational support based on individual needs. School teams determine which services are necessary for the student to access the general education curriculum. Service delivery models include:
- Special Education Consultation
- Collaborative in-class support
- Resource Learning Center
- Center-based Specialized Program Classroom
- Off-site Alternative Program
AGES 18 - 21
Shawnee Heights USD 450 offers programming and services to eligible students with developmental delays who have met graduation requirements, but are not ready to transition to a post-high school environment. While in the program, students continue transition activities that prepare them to live and work in the community. These young adults develop daily living and employment skills as appropriate, and may be involved in recreation and leisure activities and/or volunteer projects.
Renee Dexter, Ph.D.