ABOUT SPECIAL EDUCATION
The Marshall-Nemaha Educational Services Cooperative serves USD 115 Nemaha Central Schools and USD 380-Centralia, Frankfort, and Vermillion. Special education and related services are provided to eligible students with disabilities ages 3 to 21 and to students who qualify for gifted services Kindergarten to grade 12. Children 0-3 with developmental delays or disabilities are served through Tiny K Infant and Toddler Services.
Special education in the Marshall-Nemaha Educational Service Cooperative is specially designed instruction that enables students to make continuous progress in school. Special education services are present within each school and are an integral part of a comprehensive school system. The Marshall-Nemaha Educational Services philosophy is reflected in the practice of responsibly including students in educational and social activities to the maximum extent appropriate, based on their individual learning needs.
We understand that raising a child with a disability or exceptionality can be challenging and also lead to many questions. Our highly qualified staff is here to not only answer those questions but also help determine what services your child is eligible for and ensure your child receives the appropriate supports and services.
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT
Reauthorized by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in December 2004, the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA-04) guides all special education practices in the United States. IDEA-04 mandates that each student identified as eligible for special education services receive a "free and appropriate public education" in the "least restrictive environment" and be afforded "due process rights" as delineated in the legislation.
The Marshall-Nemaha Educational Services Cooperative uses compliant practices as described in the Kansas Special Education Process Handbook that is published by the Kansas State Department of Education, which is available online.
INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP)
The Individualized Education Program, or IEP, describes the special education services a student will receive from schools within the Marshall-Nemaha Educational Services Cooperative. Written by an IEP team, including the parents and the student, if appropriate, the IEP includes information designed to communicate to the school and the parents a plan for delivering services and measuring student growth toward IEP goals.
The IEP is reviewed with parents at least annually. IEP progress reports are sent home quarterly.
SCREENINGS & REFERRALS
Early Childhood Screenings – 3 to age 5 years
Call the Marshall-Nemaha Educational Services Cooperative at (785) 336-2181 to schedule a screening. If you have other questions, please contact Shana Steinlage, Director of the Marshall-Nemaha Educational Services Cooperative.
The Marshall-Nemaha Early Childhood Special Education Team meets with community-based day care and pre-school providers to inform these agencies of the child find process. Community-based staff is encouraged to refer children and their families to Marshall-Nemaha if a concern arises related to the presence of a potential disability or developmental delay.
Special Education Referrals - Ages 5 to 21
Students ages 5 to 21 are referred for special education screening by school personnel when a disability is suspected. Parents are notified and involved in the process when a concern first arises.
Parents may also initiate a referral for special education screening. The need for special education and related services is determined in consultation with parents at each Marshall Nemaha Educational Cooperative member building sites. Parents are encouraged to contact their child's neighborhood schools' building principal to determine whether or not their child is in need of special education services. Further information about referrals for special education services is available at the neighborhood school office.
Private School Students - Ages 3 to 21
Parents of students attending private schools located within the Marshall-Nemaha Educational Services Cooperative may refer their child for special education child find through the private school principal. The private school principal will work with the Marshall-Nemaha cooperative to implement the special education screening and eligibility process.
A variety of tools and strategies are used to gather information to determine whether or not a student is eligible for special education. The evaluation process establishes whether or not a child has an exceptionality (disability or giftedness) and has a need for special education and related services. Students must meet two criteria to be enrolled in special education:
- Does the student have an exceptionality?
- Does the student need specially designed instruction to benefit from the general education curriculum?