Lake Washington School District (LWSD) was accepted today into the League of Innovative Schools, a national coalition of forward-thinking K-12 school districts organized by Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization with the mission to accelerate innovation in education and improve the opportunity to learn for all through technology and research.
Identification and Referral (Child Find): Identification
The purpose of child find is to locate, evaluate, and identify children with suspected disabilities in need of special education services including those who are not currently receiving special education and related services and who may be eligible for those services. Activities are to reach:
- Children residing in the school district boundaries including preschool-aged children
- Children attending private elementary and secondary schools located within the district boundaries. Elementary or secondary schools include public schools, non-profit institutional day or residential schools and private schools.
- Highly mobile children (such as homeless, foster care and migrant children)
- Children who have a disability and may need special education services even though they are advancing from grade to grade; and
- Children at home or home schooled
The district will consult with parents and representatives of private school students to ensure its child find activities are comparable in private schools located within district boundaries. These consultations will occur annually by phone, meetings, letters, etc.
The district reaches students who may be eligible for special education services through:
- Notification to parents of child find activities in its annual informational packet
- Information regarding child find on the district’s website
- Notification to private schools located in the district’s boundaries
- District informational mailings
- Posting notices regarding screening and referral in school buildings and public locations homeless housing agency locations, other community agencies, private schools and preschool in the district boundaries, and community preschool sites
- Notifying and coordinating with the designated Part C lead agencies
- Early childhood screenings conducted by the district
- Coordination with other public and private agencies and practitioners
- Written information provided to district staff on referral procedures
- Training teachers and administrators on referral/evaluation/identification procedures
When district staff has a concern that a student may have a suspected disability which could result in eligibility for special education services, she/he will notify the building’s school psychologist, school counselor, and/or administrator.
The district’s special services department conducts early childhood screenings for ages birth to five. These early childhood screenings will occur at least once a month for children ages 3 to 5 at specific school locations as determined by the special services department offices on an annual basis. Birth to two childhood screenings will be referred to the district's contracted birth-two center programs. When parents or others inquire about screenings, the caller will be referred to the district preschool child find coordinator and/or designee.
The screening process involves the following:
- Parents are asked to provide information to assist in assessing their child; and
- Children are screened to assess cognitive, communication, physical, social-emotional and adaptive development
Parents will be notified at the screening of the results and the parents will also be provided written notice of the results within ten days of the screening. If the screening supports evaluation, obtain written consent for evaluation at the exit interview if possible, or include consent forms with the written notice notifying the parents of the results. If the screening results indicate that the child does not need an evaluation, written notice shall be sent to the parents within 10 days of the screening explaining the basis for the district’s decision not to evaluate. Evaluation occurs in accordance with evaluation procedures.