FAQ

We are considering moving to the area; can we take a tour of the school/program and meet the staff?

Unfortunately, the district cannot accommodate requests for tours in an effort to protect the learning environment and confidential student information. However, telephone calls or emails with specific questions are welcomed.

My student is having difficulty in school; can I have my child tested to get a better sense of their ability level?

A special education evaluation may not be the appropriate immediate course of action to take. All schools within the Lee’s Summit School District provide an opportunity for additional assistance to students. Supports may vary between schools and grade levels. Parents are encouraged to request a meeting with the classroom teacher, counselor, and/or principal to discuss current progress, observations in the home and school settings, and possible supports. The discussion may help to clarify whether school-based support, a Section 504 evaluation, or special education evaluation is warranted. A Section 504 evaluation may be appropriate if the student has a documented physical or mental impairment and is ‘substantially limited’ in a major-life-activity. A special education evaluation should only be considered if there is a suspected disability.

What is the difference between Section 504 and Special Education?

There are a number of differences between Section 504 and Special Education.  The bullets below may assist in articulating the differences.

  • Section 504
    • Students are protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act 2008 (ADAAA); however, there is no federal financial assistance.
    • Section 504 affords supports to children with a physical or mental impairment that demonstrate a substantial limitation in a major-life activity.
    • This law prohibits discrimination based upon a disability.
    • Individual accommodation plans are designed to level the playing field to ensure equal opportunity for all students. Section 504 teams must be thoughtful about designing individually-tailored accomidations while not inadvertently creating an advantage over non-disabled peers.
  • Special Education
    • Students are protected under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act 2008 (ADAAA), limited federal funding is provided
    • Special education is heavily regulated and students must meet Missouri state criteria to be eligible.
    • Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed based upon the need for uniquely tailored specialized instruction, accommodations, and modifications.  Special education is considered to be more intensive and restrictive than supports under Section 504.

What is the process for an initial special education evaluation?

If you suspect your child has a disability, please contact your building Instructional Evaluation Specialist or School Psychologist as you will work with them throughout the entire 120 day process.  Below will give you an idea of the process:

  • Parent completes “A Request for Consideration for a Special Education Evaluation” form.
  • You will receive a copy of the Procedural Safeguards and Parents’ Bill of Rights.
  • Within 30 days, the district will complete a record review and notify you if a disability is suspected.  If one is suspected, a “Review of Existing Data” will be reviewed with you and an evaluation plan developed with your input and consent.  If a disability is not suspected, the process will conclude.
  • The district has 60 days to complete the evaluation.  Please note, this may be extended due to school breaks or student absences.
  • Within 60 days, the district will invite you to participate in an eligibility determination and decide whether the assessment results meet Missouri criteria for special education.
  • If the child meets eligibility criteria, an IEP will be developed within 30 days. If criteria is not met, the process will conclude.
  • Once an IEP is presented, the parent will must provide consent before services can begin.

How can I get my child enrolled in a district program, such as CLASS, Life Skills, SEB, or programs offered at Miller Park Center?

If you are moving to the district, you will enroll in your school of attendance.  Please provide the school copy of the most recent IEP and evaluation report.  The school team will review the records, contact the previous school district, and discuss comparable services that are consistent with the most recent IEP.  In all cases, student needs are articulated through data and progress monitoring which is the determining factor regarding district program placements.  Data is reviewed by a district team and again during the IEP meeting to ensure student placement decisions are reflective of the Least Restrictive Environment.

What process for evaluation and receiving services for private/parochial students and home-schooled students?

There are number of unique considerations for private/parochial and home-schooled students

  • Parents of private/parochial students will contact the Related Services Program Coordinator to complete a “Request for Consideration for a Special Education Evaluation” form.  (It is important to note, the Lee’s Summit School District is obligated to provide comprehensive evaluation of students with suspected disabilities who attend a private/parochial school within its boundaries.  Students who reside in a neighboring city but attend a Lee’s Summit private/parochial institution would receive an evaluation by Lee’s Summit staff.  Conversely, if a child resides in Lee’s Summit and attends a private/parochial school located in another district, the other district is responsible for the evaluation.)
  • Parents of home-schooled students will contact their school of residence Instructional Evaluation Specialist/School Psychologist to complete a “Request for Consideration for a Special Education Evaluation” form.
  • If your child meets Missouri eligibility criteria, private/parochial and home-schooled students are not entitled to the full menu of services that public school children receive.  However, limited services are determined annually with following consultation with private/parochial and home-school representatives.  Students may receive limited services through an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) while participating in a private/parochial or home-school setting.  Once eligibility has been confirmed, the district will also share with the parent what specialized instruction would be available if their child enrolled in a public school setting so parents can make an informed decision about services.
  • Home-schooled students who meet eligibility requirements can receive services at age 7.  Whereas, eligible students who attend private/parochial schools may receive services with enrollment in Kindergarten.

We are electing not to enroll our child in Kindergarten so he/she may receive an additional year of preschool. Can we continue to receive Early Childhood Special Education Services?

Special Education services would not be provided during this year as the child would be considered a home-schooled student and eligible for services at age 7.

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