WICOMICO COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
PROVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN PRIVATE AND RELIGIOUS AFFILIATED SCHOOLS
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) places two requirements on school systems regarding students with disabilities who are parentally placed in a private and religious affiliated school (private schools) that are located in Wicomico County.
Requirement 1: Child Find, which requires the identification, location, and evaluation of all students with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private, including religious, elementary schools and secondary schools located in the school district. The Child Find process must be completed in a time frame comparable to that for students attending public schools in the school district.
Requirement 2: If it is determined that the student has a disability which impacts on educational performance the school district will provide for participation of these students in special education and related services.
The Office of Special Education will meet annually and consult with representatives from private schools regarding the delivery of services for these students. The purpose of the consultation is to:
- receive input from representatives of parentally placed private school students with disabilities on how and when the local school system shall implement it child find obligation;
- determine the number of students with disabilities currently attending private schools;
- determine the number of students suspected of having a disability and in need of assessment and evaluation.
Additionally, the consultation will allow for representatives of parentally placed private school students with disabilities a forum to express their views regarding:
- which students will receive services;
- what service will be provided;
- how and where the services will be provided; and
- how the services provided will be evaluated.
The Child Find process for children who attend a private or religious school located in Wicomico County, regardless of living in or out of Wicomico County, is the same as any other student who attends a public school within Wicomico County. If a student is suspected of having a disability and may need special education and related services through an IEP, a referral will be made in writing to the building principal of the school the student would normally attend if not attending a private or religious school located in Wicomico County. For those students attending a private or religious school in Wicomico County, but does not reside in Wicomico County, a written referral can be sent to the Office of Special Education and a school IEP team will be assigned to complete the process. A representative from the private school or religious school may contact the Office of Special Education at any time if there are questions regarding this process.
Director of Special Education
Office of Special Education
2424 NorthGate Drive
Salisbury, MD 21802
IEP and Service Plan Development
If an IEP team determines a private school student has a disability and is eligible to receive special education and related services, Wicomico County Public Schools (WCPS) must make a FAPE available to the student. Unless the parent makes clear his or her intent to keep the student enrolled in the private school, the school must develop an IEP for the student. If the parent is not clear with his or her intent to keep the student enrolled in the private school proceed with the development of an IEP.
If a parentally placed private school student with a disability is designated by the WCPS to receive any service from the WCPS, the IEP team is responsible for the development, review, and revision of a service plan for the student, as appropriate, annually.
A representative from the private or religious school must be invited to participate in the meeting, including individual or conference calls, if the representative cannot attend.
The service plan describes the specific special education and related services that the WCPS will provide the student based on what the WCPS has determined through the consultation process. Students who are parentally placed in a private or religious school do not have the same individual right to receive some or all of the special education and related services that the student would receive if enrolled in public school.