In accordance with federal regulations, state statutes and local board of education policy, Rocky Hill assumes the responsibility for the location, identification and referral of all children requiring special education and/or related services from birth through age 21, including students who are in private schools, in religiously affiliated schools, migrant children, homeless children, and those who are in need of special education even though they are advancing from grade to grade.
The district's child identification process is coordinated by the Pupil Services Department.
Community Child Find Activities
Professional and Agency Notification
The Pupil Services Department maintains a current listing of community resources that may be sources of referral for children who may require special education and related services. This list includes pediatricians and other health providers, mental health centers, nursery schools, private schools, regional education service centers, day care centers and other appropriate individuals/agencies.
A letter which outlines the district's child find responsibilities and provides instructions for prompt referral of any child suspected of being in need of special education and related services is sent on an annual basis to identified referral sources.
Birth to Three Component
The school district works in collaboration with the stateside Birth to Three system to ensure the identification of children ages birth to three with disabilities. Parents and referring parties should call 1-800-505-7000 (Infoline) to initiate entry into this system.
Children can be referred to the Birth to Three system by a variety of sources, including parents, hospitals, pediatricians, nursing services, social services and school system staff. Children identified as being in need of services are referred to community agencies, and programs and services are provided in accordance with the eligibility standards and service options currently available through the Birth to Three system. The school district maintains a record of the children with disabilities for whom special education and related services will likely be required upon entry into school at age 3.
The school district works with the Birth to Three system to ensure the effective transition from one service delivery system to the other when children requiring special education and related services reach school age. In accordance with Connecticut statutes and regulations, a transition plan is developed to support the transition to preschool services provided by the school district. The transition plan includes the following provisions:
- To train parents regarding future placements and other matters related to the child's transition.
- To prepare the child for changes in service delivery, including helping the child adjust to, and function in, a new setting.
- To obtain parental consent to transmit information to the local school district to ensure continuity of service.
The transition plan for a child enrolled in the Birth to Three program is contained in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). School district personnel attend IFSP meetings when invited. The transition plan must be in place at least 90 days prior to the child's third birthday. The district must ensure that an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is in place by the third birthday for each child eligible for special education and related services.
Identification Of School Aged Students (5-21 years of age)
Screening of Transfer Students
The principal/designee (Gr. K-5) or guidance department (Gr. 6-12) of each building is responsible for reviewing the records of any new student transferring from another school system. If the records indicate that the student has been identified as a student with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) a process is followed that ensures implementation of the IEP (Individualized Education Plan). If the student is transferring from another Connecticut district, the IEP is put into place and reviewed/updated at the next annual PPT or earlier if necessary. The student could be referred for additional assessments to determine whether current placement/services are appropriate. In the case of a student transferring from an out-of-state school, the IEP is implemented as closely as possible until an IEP meeting is held, additional evaluations completed, and a new IEP is developed.
If the record review indicates that the student has an Accommodation Plan under Section 504, then a 504 meeting is held to review the plan. The student could be referred for additional assessments to determine whether the current placement/services are appropriate. The 504 Plan is immediately implemented as written from the sending school, or as modified by the 504 Team.
Screening of School-Aged Children (ages 5-21)
Principals and school staff analyze student performance on classroom work, standardized assessments, Connecticut Mastery Tests and curriculum based assessments in reading, math and language arts on a regular basis.
Scientific Research Based Intervention
Each building has a SRBI Team (Scientific Researched Based Intervention) composed of general educators, special educators, content area support personnel, pupil services personnel and the building administrator. The team meets to review student specific data for students who score lower than expected on district assessments or students whose teachers raise concerns. The team recommends strategies for the teacher to use as well as specific scientific, research-based interventions. While the child is receiving intervention, data is collected on a systematic basis, and the student’s progress is charted. If the student is not successful with the interventions, more intense interventions will be employed with specific review dates and outcomes. A student whose progress does not improve may be referred to the PPT process for potential special education placement.