Did you know that you may request a full and individual evaluation if you suspect your child has a disability and is in need of special education services? Waco ISD is committed to identifying kids in our community from birth to age 21. CHILD FIND is a part of a federal law that protects the rights of students with disabilities.
Waco ISD identifies, locates, evaluates, and serves individuals with disabilities who are birth to 21 years of age and who reside within Waco ISD who are in need of special education and related services, including highly mobile students entitled to an IEP (such as migrant and homeless students), school-age individuals with disabilities attending private schools (including home schools), school-age individuals with disabilities residing in nursing facilities or other residential facilities, Texas State Health and Human Services (THHS) group homes, or Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) group homes.
The Child Find office accepts referrals of children who may have a disability. If assessment is recommended, the assessment is provided at no cost to the parent. A referral to Child Find may be made by a parent or by any person concerned about a child. Parent involvement and agreement is obtained prior to any further action. Information is confidential and the privacy of the children and parents is protected.
Waco ISD complies with the state's policies and procedures designed to prevent the inappropriate overidentification or disproportionate representation by race and ethnicity of children as children with disabilities, including children with disabilities with a particular impairment.
If you are concerned that a child you know may have a disability and need specialized instruction, please contact the Waco ISD Special Education Department at 254-755-9569.
Special Education Referral
At any time, a parent may request an evaluation for special education services by contacting the campus and requesting that the request be considered by the Response to Intervention (RTI)/Student Support Team (SST) or the Section 504 Committee if the student is protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If the RTI/SST or 504 Committee recommends a special education evaluation, Waco ISD must decide if the evaluation is needed within a reasonable period of time. If the evaluation is needed, the parent will be notified and offered an opportunity to provide informed written consent for the evaluation no later than the 15th school day after the written request for evaluation is made.
Waco ISD must complete the evaluation and the written report within 45 school days from the date Waco ISD received the written consent. Waco ISD will provide a copy of the evaluation report to the parent.
Waco ISD will not use intervention strategies, including multi-tiered systems of support, to delay or deny the provision of a full and individual evaluation of a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, including dyslexia or a related disorder.
If an evaluation is not warranted, Waco ISD will provide the parent with prior written notice which explains why the student will not be evaluated. This written notice will include a statement that informs parents of their rights; in addition, Waco ISD will provide parents a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards. Additional information regarding IDEA is available in a companion document, Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.
Services for Private and Home-Schooled Students
Students living within Waco ISD who are not enrolled in WISD may be eligible to access certain special education services from WISD under the District's Proportionate Share Plan if it has been determined that the child is entitled to an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Students do not have to be enrolled within the public school to receive an evaluation through the resident public school district. If a family or community member suspects that a child has a disability condition that impacts educational functioning, the family should contact the Special Education Department at 254-755-9569.
Once the District is notified, information will be shared with members of an evaluation team who will contact the parent. The evaluation team will meet with the parent to review information and determine the scope of the evaluation if an evaluation is warranted. If an evaluation is proposed and agreed upon, a meeting will be held after the evaluation is complete to review the report and recommendation for special education services.
Proportionate Share is a set of funds set aside specifically to offer private and home-schooled students some special education supports through the District. To be eligible for special education services under Waco ISD’s Proportionate Share Plan, a student who is IEP entitled must:
Live within the boundaries of WISD and attend a non-profit private school within the boundaries of WISD
Live outside the boundaries of WISD but attend a non-profit private school within the boundaries of WISD
- Live within the boundaries of WISD and be currently homeschooled
Because services are funded through a federal grant, which sets guidelines on how the funds can be spent, students who attend charter schools or for-profit private or online schools are not eligible for proportionate share supports.
Students who are home-schooled or attend nonprofit private schools may receive the following:
- Students who have an eligibility of a speech impairment can receive direct speech therapy services.
Students who are eligible for assistive technology as a special education related service can receive AT services.
Please note that no parentally placed private school child has an individual right to receive some or all of the special education and related services that the child would receive if enrolled in a public school. Parents must apply for the services and outline what was offered in the IEP that they are requesting to receive. The District reviews the requests and determines what services are to be offered for the school year. A service plan meeting is held to develop services and goals for the school year.