Cape Elizabeth School Department seeks to ensure that all children within its jurisdiction are identified, located and evaluated who are school-age 5 through the school year in which they turn 20 and who are in need of special education and supportive assistance -- including homeless children, state wards, state agency clients, students who have been suspended or expelled, children attending private schools receiving home instruction, children incarcerated in county jails, children who have the equivalent of 10 full days of unexcused absences or 7 consecutive school days of unexcused absences during a school year, highly mobile children (including migrant or homeless), and children who are suspected of being disabled and in need of special education and supportive assistance even though they are advancing from grade to grade.
Cape Elizabeth School Department is responsible for Child Find for resident students attending private or public schools through public tuition payments or public contract and shall meet this duty either through appropriate arrangements with the receiving unit or school or through direct child find services by unit personnel or contracted personnel.
The school unit’s Child Find responsibility shall be accomplished through a unit-wide process which, while not a definitive or final judgment of a student’s capabilities or disability, is a possible indicator of special education needs. Final identification of students with disabilities and programming for such students occurs only after an appropriate evaluation and a determination by the IEP Team.
The school unit shall provide Child Find during the first 30 days of the school year or during the first 30 days of enrollment for transfer children, in addition to other Child Find activities provided by the school unit.
This Child Find process shall include obtaining data on each child through multiple measures, direct assessment, and parent information regarding the child’s academic and functional performance, gross and fine motor skills, receptive and expressive language skills, vision, hearing and cognitive skills. Cape Elizabeth School Department may schedule Child Find activities during its annual kindergarten enrollment to assist in planning for necessary special education and related services at the start of the school year. If screening occurs in the spring prior to school entry, Cape Elizabeth School Department will refer the child to the regional CDS site within 10 school days.
If the Child Find process indicates that a student may require special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education, the student shall be referred to the IEP Team to determine the student’s eligibility for special education services.
School staff, parents, or agency representatives or other individuals with knowledge of the child may refer children to the IEP team if they believe that the student, because of a disability, may be in need of special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education. Such a referral should follow the school unit’s pre-referral and referral policy.
Legal Reference: 34 C.F.R. § 300.111 (2006)
Me. Dept. of Educ. Rule Ch. 101, IV 2(A), (C) (2015)