SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
Yelm Community Schools provides special education services for students with disabilities. These services are available in the general age range of birth - 21 and are provided as near the child’s home school area as possible. Parent(s)/guardian(s) may initiate referral for testing or placement of their child.
Parents/guardians of students with disabilities have basic rights in the following areas: (1) notice and consent, (2) confidentiality of records, (3) testing and assessment, (4) individualized educational program, (5) placement, and (6) due process (impartial hearing and/or mediation), a standardized process for resolving disagreements.
The school district has the legal responsibility to notify parent(s)/guardian(s) when the district proposes to initiate or change the identification, assessment or educational placement of the child or the provision of a free appropriate education to the child; or when the district, upon request of the parent(s)/guardian(s), refuses to initiate or change the identification, assessment or educational placement of the child or the provision of a free appropriate education to the child.
The school district must obtain the written consent of the parent(s)/guardian(s) prior to conducting any preplacement assessment of a student and prior to placement of a student in a special education program. If parent(s)/guardian(s) do not consent, the district may ask a hearing officer to decide the issue.
SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
Parent/Student Rights in Identification, Evaluation and Placement
The following is a description of the rights granted by federal law to students with disabilities. The intent of the law is to keep you fully informed concerning decisions about your child and to inform you of your rights if you disagree with any of these decisions.
You have the right to:
- Have your child take part in, and receive benefits from, public education programs without discrimination because of his/her disabling conditions.
- Have the school district advise you of your rights under federal law.
- Receive prior notice with respect to actions regarding the identification, evaluation, or placement of your child. Parent consent must be obtained before initial evaluation and placement.
- Have your child receive a free appropriate education. This includes the right to be educated with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate.
- Have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided non-disabled students.
- Have your child receive special education and related services if he/she is found to need them under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and provide transportation as a related service when necessary as part of a student’s accommodation plan.
- Have evaluation, educational program, and placement decisions made based upon a variety of information sources, and by persons who know the student, the evaluation data, and placement options.
- Have transportation provided to and from an alternative placement setting at no greater cost to you than would be incurred if the student were placed in a program operated by the district.
- Have your child be given an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities offered by the district.
- Examine all relevant records relating to decisions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, educational program, and placement.
- Obtain copies of your child’s education records at a reasonable cost unless the fee would effectively deny you access to the records.
- A response from the school district to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of your child’s records.
- Request amendment of your child’s educational records if there is reasonable cause to believe that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of your child. If the school district refuses this request for amendment, it shall notify you within a reasonable time and advise you of the right to a hearing.
- Request mediation or an impartial due process hearing related to decisions or actions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, educational program or placement. You and the student may take part in the hearing and have an attorney represent you. Hearing requests must be made to the Assistant Director of Special Services.
- Ask for payment of reasonable attorney fees if you are successful on your claim.
- File a local grievance.
The person in this district who is responsible for assuring that the district complies with Section 504 is the Director of Student Support, phone number (360) 458-6124. The Director can provide 504 ADA information.
The Child Find program conducts activities for the purpose of locating, evaluating and identifying students with a suspected disability. Activities apply to students ages birth through 21.
Formal screenings and assessments, which could include the areas of hearing, vision, social skills, language, learning and motor skills, are available for preschool students.
For parent(s)/guardian(s) concerns about their child’s development or questions about the Child Find program, please contact the district Student Support office at (360) 458-6124.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL COUNSELING PROGRAM
All Yelm Community Schools students have the opportunity to confer with district counselors or to contact the Director of Human Resources and Student Services for referral information on alcohol and other drug assessment assistance. Washington’s law (RCW 69.54.060; 65.54.070) states that “any person 13 years of age or older may give consent for himself to receive counseling, care, treatment or rehabilitation by an approved drug treatment center or person licensed by the state related to conditions and problems caused by drug or alcohol abuse. When an individual submits himself for care, treatment, counseling or rehabilitation to any organization, institution or corporation, public or private, confidentiality is guaranteed.”
If you are concerned about your son/daughter and his/her possible involvement with alcohol and/or other drugs, please call the building administrator or counselor.
Homeless children are entitled to the protections of the McKinney-Vento Act of 1986, a federal law.
The following questions may help to determine whether or not a student qualifies for these protections:
- Is this student’s home address a temporary living arrangement?
- Is this a temporary living arrangement due to a loss of housing or economic hardship?
- Is this student awaiting foster care placement?
- As a student, are you living with someone other than your parent or legal guardian?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please contact your school counselor or intervention specialist for assistance. For more information, contact the district homeless liaison, Assistant Director of Special Services, at (360) 458-6133.
RESTRAINT, ISOLATION, AND OTHER USES OF REASONABLE FORCE
It is the policy of the Yelm Community Schools Board of Directors that the district maintains a safe learning environment while treating all students with dignity and respect. All students in the district, including those who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or plan developed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, will remain free from unreasonable restraint, restraint devices, isolation, and other uses of physical force during school-sponsored instruction and activities. Under no circumstances will these techniques be used as a form of discipline or punishment.
This policy is intended to address district students while participating in school-sponsored instruction or activities. It is not intended to prevent or limit the use of restraint or other reasonable force as necessary with other adults or other youth from outside the district as allowed by law.
Restraint and other uses of physical force, as defined in the procedure accompanying this policy, may be used when necessary to prevent or minimize imminent bodily injury to self or others. Restraint and other uses of physical force may be used to protect district property if de-escalation interventions have failed or are inappropriate.
Use of restraint, isolation, and other forms of reasonable force may be used on any student when reasonably necessary to control spontaneous behavior that poses an “imminent likelihood of serious harm” as defined by RCW 70.96B.010 and explained in the procedure accompanying this policy. Serious harm includes physical harm to self, another, or district property. Staff will closely monitor such actions to prevent harm to the student and will use the minimum amount of restraint and isolation appropriate to protect the safety of students and staff. The restraint, isolation, and other forms of reasonable force will be discontinued when the likelihood of serious harm has dissipated.
The superintendent or a designee will develop procedures to implement this policy, including review, reporting and parent/guardian notification of incidents involving restraint or isolation as required by law. The entire policy and procedure for Use of Restraint, Isolation, and Other Uses of Reasonable Force is available online at www.ycs.wednet.edu/policies. (Policy 3246)