Special Needs and Referrals

Children With Special Needs      

            Prior to admitting a child with known special needs to the school, the educator and Director will meet with the family and the family will visit the classrooms. The handbook given to the family will include the school’s statement of purpose and policies on services, referral, family conferences, children’s records and procedures for providing emergency health care.

In determining whether to accept a child with a disability, the Director and educators may, with familial consent, request information pertaining to a child’s participation in program from the local educational agency, Early Intervention, or other health/service providers.

Based on the information and with the family’s input, the Director and educators will identify in writing any specific accommodations necessary to meet the needs of the child including, but not limited to:

  1. Change or modification to child’s participation in typical center activities
  2. Size of group to which the child is assigned and the proper staff/child ratio.
  3. Any special equipment or physical accommodations, materials, ramps and aids.

Within thirty days of receiving information received from families and pertinent agencies, the Director will notify the family in writing of the reasons why a determination has made that the school cannot meet the child’s needs without undue burden to the school. This notification will specify that the families may contact the DEEC to determine if the school is in compliance with the regulations. If every effort whether physical, financial or educational has been researched, yet a hardship for the school exists, the written communication will inform the family of its efforts and the facts gathered which resulted in this finding. A meeting with the family will be suggested by the Director to discuss the findings and to further discuss the means by which the school may be helpful in providing all necessary observations, documentation, available information and referral for other services that the family may request.

The school will keep a copy of this notification in its records. The factors listed below as issued by the DEEC will be used as a basis for determining if the school can accommodate a child with a disability.

  1. The nature and cost of accommodations needed to provide appropriate services to the child at the program
  2. The ability to secure funding for of services from other sources
  3. The overall financial resources of the school
  4. The number of persons employed by the school
  5. The effect on expenses and resources or the impact otherwise of such action upon the school

 

Admitting a Child With Special Needs

After admitting of a child with diagnosed special needs, the school, Director, and educators, with family permission, will cooperate with Early Intervention, health or other specialized service providers or consultants to plan an individual educational program for the child. The educators assigned to the child’s room will be designated as the liaisons for the child and will coordinate communication and services with other organizations as needed. Any child receiving services provided by personnel other than the educators must have the family sign a written consent form so that the educators may consult with any agencies or specialists in order to review, develop and/or revise plans and services for the child. Using the family questionnaires, progress reports, and conferencing, educators, and families will work together to provide the best setting and strategies for the education and care of the child. The school offers support for families in the form of referrals to agencies that can provide consultants, but the ultimate choice belongs to the families. The school does not pay these consultants.

Progress reports will be written every three months by the outside agency and the school educators. Educators will attend as requested or needed the evaluation meetings with specialists to support families and children, and discuss the services being provided.

Referral Services

If after a reasonable observation period, a child in the classroom is deemed to be exhibiting behaviors that suggest a physical, emotional or learning disability, the educators will notify the Director. The Director and educators will consider the initial observations and recordings of the educator along with further observations recording and review allowing for a consensus of observations and documentation.

A letter and referral form will be sent to the family noting observations made of the child. Included will be the reason for recommending a referral and any efforts that have been made to accommodate the child’s needs. A list of available resources, agencies and individuals as well as their rights (including the right to appeal under ST. 1972, c. 766) will be included. This letter from the Director may make suggestions of available resources but the family will make the final choice of agency or professional to consult. It is the child’s safety, needs and well being that are considered foremost in making this recommendation. Therefore it is the family’s responsibility to make an appointment for a professional screening within 30 days of receiving letter and referral information from the school. If a screening appointment is not made within this time frame, the Director has the discretion to terminate enrollment of the child due to the inability to insure that the safety and needs of the child are being met.

The educator of the child has the responsibility for documenting observations of behavior, accommodations, and efforts made and placing this information in the child’s file as well as the letter of recommendation and the referral form.

After the family has considered the recommendations for referral, a meeting can be arranged with the Director and educators to confer on observations and for clarification of the recommendations. The school will work with any agency or professional individual in regards to the children’s needs with written consent from the family.

Guidelines for the requirements of referral and termination will be followed as required by the DEEC.

 

Termination/Suspension of a Child From School

If at any time it is determined that the school cannot meet the specific need of a child, the child may be terminated or suspended from the school. Suspension will occur when the educators, after meeting and working with the family, determines that the child’s needs would be better served by removal from the school for evaluation, reconsideration, health or safety issues. During the suspension period it is the family’s obligation to address and resolve the conflict satisfactorily by meeting with educators and other professionals as may be necessary.

To avoid suspension or termination, the school will pursue options for supportive services to the program and family, including consultation of specialists and educator training. Educators may develop a plan with the family for behavioral intervention at home and in the program. A written plan outlining the conflict and procedures for resolution will be placed in the child’s file.

If after sufficient time, the conflict remains despite all good measures to address the issue the child will be terminated from the program. A written description of the specific reasons for termination and any circumstances, under which the child could return, will be placed in the child’s file. The educator and Director will make the transition to a new school as easy as possible. The educators will work in cooperation with any specialists in the classroom or follow plans by specialists in order to meet the needs of the child.

When a child’s enrollment is terminated by the school or family, the Director and educators will make every effort to make this transition a positive experience for the child and the child’s classmates. Self-esteem, friendships, and continued support will be the prime considerations in easing this transition. The children’s age and ability to comprehend information provided will be taken into consideration. Preparation prior to and during the time of termination will be handled with compassion and sound judgment as regards the child, the school, family, and educators.