Army

July 12, 2013

Determine eligibility for special education and comparable services

Army Community Service

The time for summer permanent change of station moves is upon us. Although each state and the Department of Defense, or DoD, schools have different implementing rules for special education, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, requires that a student’s individualized education program, or IEP, be honored upon relocation whether within a state, to another state, or to a DoD school.

“If a student transfers into a new school in the same state within the same school year or transfers between DoD schools, the new school must accept the eligibility of the child for special education and provide the child with comparable services,” said Audrey Peterson-Hosto, Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, manager.

When transferring from one state to another or from a non-DoD school to a DoD school, the new school system may re-evaluate the child for eligibility for special education. They will, however, provide comparable services until the evaluation is completed. “The term ‘comparable’ has been defined to mean that the student’s special education and related services will be similar or equivalent to those provided in the previous school, but need not be an exact match in terms of time or provider,” Peterson-Hosto added.

Upon receipt of the current IEP, the receiving school will convene an IEP team to determine the types of services that the child needs. The team will review the services agreed upon by the parent and the sending school documented in the IEP.

“For a smooth transition, parents should provide as much information as possible to the IEP team about their child’s strengths and needs,” said Peterson-Hosto. “The new school may accept the incoming IEP or develop, adopt and implement a new IEP for the child, based on information collected regarding needs and the child’s present level of performance in the new learning environment,” she added.

A new IEP will be drafted with the consensus of the team as to the type, duration, and intensity of services needed for the current school year.

The law requires the school to provide comparable services, but this does not mean exact services. “The learning environment in the new school system may vary from the one that the student attended previously,” stated Peterson-Hosto.

For example, the child’s general education class size may be smaller in the new school, which could allow the child more individualized attention in the classroom and decrease the need to pull the child out for special education services. The sending school may have had a swimming program; the new school may not have a pool, but can provide the required recreation through other means.

Peterson-Hosto said, “I highly recommend that parents hand-carry the child’s special education assessments, IEPs, and progress reports to the new school to minimize interruption to services for the child.”

For further information and free information booklets, handbooks and brochures, call 538.5899.

ACS offers Anger Management Class

The next six-week Anger Management Class begins July 16, 1 – 2 p.m. in the ACS Conference Room. For more information, call 533.6873 or 533.2330.

Books on Bases comes to FH

Get ready for some page-turning fun when Blue Star Families Books on Bases Literacy program, in collaboration with ACS, comes to town. Join the group at Murr Community Center, Building 51301, July 20 at 10 a.m. This event is open to active duty military children ages pre-kindergarten through grade 5. Each child will take home a gift bag which includes a book and reading resources.

Books on Bases was created by Blue Star Families to positively impact the lives of military children through the power of reading. With the generosity of partners and supporters such as Disney, BAE Systems, Sleeping Bear Press, Operation Paperback, United Concordia and Random House, Blue Star Families donates books to military children, installation libraries, Department of Defense schools, military-impacted public schools, and community libraries.

To register contact FtHuachucaBOB@gmail.com, 678.6910 or 533.2330.




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