Overview of EC Process
Referral or request for evaluation: A school professional may identify students suspected of having a disability. Additionally, parents may contact the student’s teacher or other school personnel and request evaluations. An IEP Team, which includes the parent, would meet in either case and complete a Special Education Referral (DEC 1). During this meeting, the team will review information about the student’s strengths and weaknesses, results of any interventions, information about educational history and daily classroom performance, state testing results (if available), etc. Based on a review of the information the team will decide if further data is needed to determine eligibility. If further data is needed, parental consent is required (Informed Consent for Evaluation DEC 2)
Evaluations requested by the team will be completed and an IEP Team, of which the parent is a part, will meet to review results and determine if the student meets the requirements for one or more of the 14 disability categories recognized within North Carolina (Eligibility Determination - DEC 3). If the disability has an adverse effect on educational performance and requires specially designed instruction, the student is found eligible for special education.
An Individual Education Program (IEP/DEC 4) will be developed which outlines the student’s strengths and weaknesses and the services, supplemental aids, modifications and accommodations required to meet the student’s needs to progress in the general education curriculum.
The IEP Team’s decisions and the rationale for those decisions are outlined on the Prior Written Notice (DEC 5). Parents are provided this document that explains the team’s decisions before any of those decisions are implemented.
Informed Consent for Initial Provision of Services (DEC 6) must be signed by the parent before the IEP can be implemented,
Reevaluation: At least once every three years (and no more than once per calendar year unless agreed on by the team) a student must be reevaluated to determine if eligibility requirements continue to be met and to determine if the student continues to be in need of special education. This is done via the Reevaluation Determination (DEC 7) process.
Franklin Academy Charter School may suspend any student for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. When a student with disabilities violates the Student Code of Conduct and warrants suspension from school for ten (10) school days or less in a given school year, the school may follow its normal disciplinary procedures. School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether suspension is appropriate. Circumstances considered should include area of disability, functioning level of the student, intent of the behavior and other relevant factors. After 10 school days of suspension, the child’s IEP Team must determine whether the student’s misconduct is a manifestation of the disability. A removal from current placement is generally termed an out-of-school suspension (OSS) or in-school suspension (ISS) if special education services are not provided.
A student with a disability who is removed from their current placement for more than 10 school days must continue to receive educational services, so as to allow him/her to continue to participate in the general education curriculum in another setting; continue to progress toward meeting goals outlined in his/her IEP; AND receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment (FBA), and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation.
In accordance with Child Find provisions, Franklin Academy Charter School is committed to meeting the needs of students with disabilities.
For more information regarding this effort, please select the following link: NC Exceptional Children's Division - Project Child Find
Transfer Information (In-state or Out-of-State)
When an EC student transfer from another school system, Franklin Academy Charter School begins providing services comparable to those provided in the previous school system. A copy of the IEP from the previous school or verification of EC service via an email or phone call with the previous school is needed. Once services have been confirmed, parents will be requested to sign a Provision of Comparable Services form, which gives Franklin Academy permission to provide services while awaiting records from the previous school. Once records are received and reviewed, an IEP Team will meet and develop the IEP based on a review of the records from the previous school and the student’s daily performance since enrolling in Franklin Academy Charter School. If the student is transferring from out-of-state, the team will also review formal and informal assessment data and determine if additional data is needed to determine eligibility in the state of NC.
Reference: NC Policies 1503-4.4 (f)
Local Dispute Resolution
Occasionally, members of IEP Teams will not agree about how to meet a student’s needs or about exactly what should be included in an IEP. Franklin Academy and the NC Department of Public Instruction, Exceptional Children’s Division, provide a range of resources to help the team resolve disagreements.
When challenges arise, first communicate with the person closest to the issues. Discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher, the IEP Team and the principal of your child’s school. If additional support is needed, informal and formal processes are available from DPI.
NCDPI Exceptional Children Division's consultants for dispute resolution and consultants for instructional support and related services are also able to offer consultation to assist parents, advocates, school system, or state operated programs personnel who request help with problem-solving.
Consultants at the Department of Public Instruction are neutral and refrain from taking sides when there is a disagreement, but consistently advocate for appropriate services for children with disabilities. They are committed to the protection of rights for children with disabilities and their parents.
An informal means of problem solving is provided through the Exceptional Children Division's Facilitated IEP Program for school systems, charter schools, state operated programs, and parents.
For more information on Dispute Resolution and governing polices can be found in the Parent Rights & Responsibilities in Special Education Notice of Procedural Safeguards