Identification of English Language Learners (ELL) Coordinator
As part of the enrollment process, all parents provide home language survey answers to indicate if a child speaks another language or first learned another language to determine if the student needs to receive English language services and supports.
Identification of Section 540 Coordinator
Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based on disability. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as that of the non-disabled.
Identification of Homeless Coordinator
OVCA provides McKinney-Vento/homeless assistance and support for eligible families. The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children and youth” as:
(A) Individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and
1. Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
2. Children and youths who have a primary night-time residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
3. Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
4. Migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
Children and youth are considered homeless if they fit both part A and any one of the subparts of part B of the definition above.
Identification of Foster Care Coordinator
Under the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), OVCA shall identify all students in foster care, have a foster care plan developed, and collaborate with the Child Welfare Agency and Tribal Child Welfare Agencies (CWA) to implement Title I educational stability provisions.
Identification of Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance Act Coordinator/Special Programs Manager
Request for Parent/Guardian Interpreter Services or Disability Accommodations
All public schools are mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) to identify, locate, and evaluate students who may demonstrate disabilities through the Child Find process. The intent of Child Find is that all children with disabilities, ages 3–21, are located, identified, and evaluated in order to receive needed supports and services.
As a public school, OVCA provides a Free Appropriate Public Education to children ages 3–21, including those children who qualify for special education services unless the parent refuses special education services. In order for a child to receive intervention or special education services, an evaluation must be conducted to confirm the presence of a delay or disability.
OVCA provides specialized programming through specially trained teachers to provide education-related services for children with disabilities. Supports are provided in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), and range from mild and moderate to significantly more involved supports, for each of the following disabilities as defined by the state of Oklahoma:
- Developmental delay
- Emotional disturbance
- Hearing impairment, including deafness
- Intellectual disabilities
- Multiple disabilities
- Orthopedic impairments
- Other health impairments
- Specific learning disability
- Speech or language impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Visual impairment including blindness
If through Child Find activities, a child is identified as possibly having a disability and needing special education services, OVCA will seek parent consent to evaluate the child. All such evaluations will be conducted in compliance with applicable federal and state law and regulations. Parents must report that their child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) during the enrollment process. Please contact OVCA Special Services to report students who may need these specialized educational and/or related services.
Once written parental/guardian consent is obtained, OVCA will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation results, the parent can request an independent education evaluation at public expense.
Special Education (IEP) or Service Agreements (504 Plans)
Once the evaluation process is completed, a team of qualified school personnel, parents/guardians, and other relevant service providers hold an evaluation determination meeting to come to agreement on whether the student meets eligibility for one of the disability categories under IDEA.
If the student is eligible and requires specially designed instruction, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be coordinated; during which the IEP team will review and finalize the proposed details of an appropriate educational program to meet the student’s documented needs.
For students confirmed to present with special education needs, once the IEP team agrees on the IEP and the student’s educational placement, a prior written notice (PWN) will be sent to the parent/guardian for signature. This must be signed and returned to OVCA. OVCA can only proceed with implementing the student’s IEP (or 504 Plan) upon receipt of the signed PWN. Some students are found to present with one or more disability, but do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined under IDEA (special education); however, their disability may still require OVCA to develop a 504 Service Agreement (504 Plan) to outline the special provisions a student may require for adaptations and/or accommodations in school-based instruction, facilities, and/or activities.
Students may be eligible to certain accommodations or services if they have a mental or physical disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program and otherwise qualify under the applicable laws. OVCA will ensure that qualified students with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in the school program and activities to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student. In compliance with applicable state and federal laws, OVCA will provide students with disabilities the necessary educational services and supports they require to access and benefit from their educational program. This is to be done without discrimination or out-of-pocket cost to the student or family for the essential supplementary aids, services, or accommodations determined to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities and to the extent required by the laws.
Privacy and Confidentiality (FERPA)
Special Education Grievances or Disputes
OVCA recognizes that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between OVCA’s team and OVCA families or students. Should this occur, OVCA’s special education case manager will initiate an IEP team discussion to fully address any educational concerns most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting. OVCA’s special education team seeks to establish and maintain their families’ confidence by serving their students to maximize their educational success.
Dispute Resolution Options
- IEP Facilitation—IEP facilitation is a voluntary process that can be used when all parties at an IEP meeting agree the presence of a neutral third party would help facilitate communication and the successful drafting of the student’s IEP. This process is not necessary for most IEP meetings. Rather, it is used most often when the participants sense the issues at the IEP meeting are creating an impasse or acrimonious climate.
- Mediation—A voluntary process in which both parties seek to resolve issues with an unbiased, third-party mediator from the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). The mediator will write up the details of the agreement the parties reach through the mediation conference, both parties sign the agreement, and the agreement is mandated to be implemented. This process is less time-consuming, stressful, and expensive than a due process hearing (see below).
Formal Due Process
Families are NOT obligated to pursue the above alternatives to due process should they feel their concerns can only be resolved through a formal due process hearing. If a formal complaint against OVCA is submitted to the OSDE, the complaint must be written and include a statement that the local education agency (LEA) has violated a requirement under IDEA, Part B; the facts on which the statement is based; and the signature of the person(s) filing the complaint.
Rights of Parents with a Special Needs Child
Parent Rights and Procedural Safeguards
Parent Revocation of Consent for Services Under the IDEA
The parent of a child with a disability who receives special education and/or related services under the IDEA may submit a written request to the district revoking consent for the continued provision of those services. Upon receipt of the written revocation request, OVCA will follow a procedure consistent with legal requirements to terminate all of the child’s special education and related services and identify the child as a general education student for all purposes.
Annual Public Notice of Special Services and Programs
In accordance with federal and state regulations, OVCA will provide an annual public notice to families informing them of OVCA’s Child Find responsibilities, procedures involved in the identification of educational disabilities, and determination of students’ service and support needs.