As cultural and linguistic diversity in Georgia increases, school personnel has a critical need for information to instruct English Learners (E.L.s) effectively. Cirrus Academy Charter School will assist with program management and the effective instruction of E.L.s.View ESOL Policy
Special Education Services
The Cirrus Academy Charter School’s Special Education programs are founded on the belief that scholars with disabilities will receive a quality education that will lead to meaningful academic, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes for our scholars.
The Cirrus Academy Charter School’s Special Education programs offer a broad continuum of services for scholars in grades K-8 grade, following a comprehensive assessment that may include a psychological evaluation, educational testing, speech-language assessment, audiological testing, and other assessments.
We look forward to partnering with families to ensure that all scholars with disabilities achieve and are provided a continuum of appropriate, specialized services and supports. Scholars may qualify for specialized services due to:
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH)
- Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
- Intellectual Disabilities (Mild, Moderate, Severe/Profound)
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Preschool Special Education
- Significant Developmental Delay
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech-Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual Impairment & Blindness
Child Find Program
The Cirrus Academy Charter School serves children in grades K-8 with identified special educational needs.
The purpose of Child Find and the screening process is to fulfill a school district’s obligation to ensure that all children eligible for special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated. Child Find includes the following:
- The various Child Find activities that must be conducted to ensure that all children eligible for special education are located
- The annual notice that school districts are required to disseminate
- information about equitable participation for children eligible for special education services who are placed in private schools by their parents
Child Find Procedures
Cirrus Academy Charter School conducts a thorough and complete child find process to determine the number of parentally placed children with disabilities attending private schools located in the school districts.
Children with disabilities in home school programs in Georgia are considered to be “students with disabilities placed by their parents in private school.”
Cirrus Academy Charter School meets with representatives from home schools and private schools in the fall and spring of each year to educate them on the school’s Child Find procedures. Parents of children in home school programs, daycare representatives, and Head Start are invited to the same communication, child find activities, and special services provided to students in private schools.
At Cirrus Academy Charter School, a referral may be made by anyone who has a concern about a child’s development. All referrals are considered confidential. (The parent retains the right to refuse services.)
Children may be referred by any of the following:
- Parents/legal guardians/foster parents
- Other family members
- Physicians/health care providers
- Preschool programs
- School system personnel
- Community agencies
- Private School personnel
- Others who are concerned about a child’s development
Prior to any possible referral to special education, the screening of children by a teacher or specialist to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation will not be considered to be an evaluation for eligibility for special education and related services but will aid in the decision-making process.
When Is a Child Referred?
A child should be referred when:
- A health or medical disorder interferes with the development or learning.
- A child seems to have difficulty seeing or hearing.
- A child appears to have social, emotional, or behavioral difficulties that affect their ability to learn.
- A child has been diagnosed with progressive or generative conditions that will eventually impair or impede the child’s ability to learn.
- A child seems to have difficulty understanding directions like others that are their age.
- A child’s speech is not understandable to family or friends.
- A child has difficulty with reading, math, and other school subjects.
As described in the Student Support Team section of these guidelines and in the Georgia Department of Education’s Response to Intervention Handbook, student referrals are accompanied by documentation of scientifically researched or evidenced-based academic or behavioral interventions that demonstrate the insufficient rate of progress.
Student referrals must be accompanied by documentation of scientific, research, or evidence-based academic and/or behavioral interventions that have been implemented as designed for the appropriate period of time to show effect or lack of effort that demonstrates the child is not making sufficient rate of progress to meet age or State-approved grade-level standards within a reasonable time frame.
Exceptions may be made in circumstances where immediate evaluation and/or placement is required due to a significant disability that precludes access to instruction; however, exceptions are an infrequent and rare occurrence, and the circumstances evidencing the need for the local education agency’s use of the exception will be clearly documented in the eligibility decision.
Each agency is provided information for contact with both school districts in the event a student is suspected of having a disability that requires special education and/or related services. School newsletters, flyers, district and school websites, personal contact with parents, and media (radio, newspaper, etc.) are methods that Cirrus Academy Charter School attempts to locate and identify children within the county who might require an evaluation and demonstrate a need for services.
Teachers receive training on Child Find annually. Information presented includes the federal and state mandates, district processes and procedures, and ways teachers can assist in Child Find at school and in the community.
The funds and services provided are designated and administered by the Cirrus Academy Charter School after consultation with private and home schools. All school systems must report the number of parentally enrolled children in private/homeschools evaluated, determined to be children with disabilities, and served annually. Cirrus Academy Charter School maintains documentation of those students who are screened and evaluated due to Child Find activities.