Program for Exceptional Children
The Jasper County Charter System provides special education services to all eligible students from the ages of three through the school year of their 22nd birthday or graduation. Services are provided within the student's general education setting to the maximum extent possible. Special education teachers, paraprofessionals, general education teachers, and school and system level administrators have been trained in the collaborative delivery model for special education services and specially designed instruction. Related services, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, audiology, nursing, transportation, adaptive physical education, and vision support are also provided.
ADA Section 504
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal civil rights law and prohibits discrimination by school districts receiving federal financial assistance against persons with disabilities. Included in the U.S. Department of Education regulations for Section 504 is the requirement that students with disabilities be provided with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). These regulations require identification, evaluation, provision of appropriate services, and procedural safeguards in every public school in the U.S.
Section 504 defines a person with a disability as someone who:
- Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including:
- Caring for one's self
- Performing manual tasks
- Has a record of the impairment.
- Is regarded as having an impairment
Having a disability does not automatically make a student eligible for a 504 plan. First, the school has to review data through an evaluation to decide if a child’s disability “substantially” limits his/her ability to access the general environment.
Either the parent or the school can initiate this evaluation. If the school initiates the evaluation, it must notify the parents and get the parents’ consent to evaluate a child for consideration of a 504 plan. An evaluation for a 504 plan includes several sources that may include:
- Documentation of the child’s disability (such as a doctor’s diagnosis)
- Evaluation results (standardized testing, psychological evaluation, checklists, classroom data,
- Observations by the student’s parents and teachers
It is Jasper County Charter System’s goal to support all students appropriately. If accommodations are needed, the review of data and discussion should occur in a timely manner.