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1 - Child Find/Developmental Preschool Programs - April 2011 Revision

Note: This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in October 2012. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please refer to the current procedural Directive.

Explanation of Child Find and Albuquerque Public Schools Requirements

A free appropriate public education (FAPE) must be available to all children with disabilities residing in the Albuquerque Public Schools between the ages of 3 and 21, including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.101(a))

The process of identifying, locating, and evaluating these children is referred to as child find.

In order to comply with the child find requirements, Albuquerque Public Schools shall have procedures in place to ensure that all children with disabilities  within its jurisdiction/geographical boundaries, including children with disabilities who are homeless children or are wards of the state, and children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated.  (34 CFR § 300.111(a))

The obligation to make FAPE available to each eligible child residing in the Albuquerque Public Schools begins no later than the child’s third birthday.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall have procedures to ensure that an IEP or an IFSP is in effect by that date.  If a child’s third birthday occurs during the summer, the child’s IEP Team shall determine the date when services under the IEP or IFSP will begin.  (34 C.F.R.  § 300.101(b))

In compliance with child find provisions of the IDEA and New Mexico Administrative Code, Albuquerque Public Schools also shall, within its jurisdiction/geographical boundaries, identify, locate, and evaluate:

  • Children who are suspected of being a child with a disability under §300.8 and in need of special education, even though they are advancing from grade to grade;
  • Highly mobile children, including migrant children; and
  • Children who are suspected of being developmentally delayed.
    • Federal regulation requires states to define “developmentally delayed”
    • The New Mexico Public Education Department has adopted a definition of development delay in accordance with 34 CFR §300.8(b)
    • The New Mexico Public Education Department does not require Albuquerque Public Schools to adopt and use the term developmentally delayed for any children within is geographical boundaries; however,
    • Albuquerque Public Schools conforms to the definition and age range adopted by the New Mexico Public Education Department.  Please refer to the Definitions section of this procedural directive for the definition of developmentally delayed.

(34 CFR §300.8(b), 34 CFR § 300.111(c); 6.31.2.12(F) NMAC)

The Albuquerque Public Schools child find duty includes locating, identifying, and evaluating all children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private, including religious, elementary schools and secondary schools located within the geographical boundaries of the Albuquerque Public Schools, even though these children may not reside within the geographical boundaries of the Albuquerque Public Schools.    (34 C.F.R.  § 300.131(a))

Child Find Referrals and Activities

Albuquerque Public Schools shall accept referrals, as per child find provisions, from any source that suspects a child may be eligible for special education and related services.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46636 (August 14, 2006))

Student intervention system (e.g., SAT, RtI, PBS):

  • Albuquerque Public Schools shall follow a three-tier model of student intervention as a proactive system for early intervention for students who demonstrate a need for educational support for learning or behavior.  (6.29.1.9(D) NMAC)
  • In tier 1, the Albuquerque Public Schools shall ensure that adequate universal screening in the areas of general health and well-being, language proficiency status and academic levels of proficiency has been completed for each student enrolled.  If, through universal screening, a referral from a parent, a school staff member, or other information available to a school or district suggests that a particular student needs educational support for learning or behavior, then the student shall be referred to the SAT for consideration of interventions at the tier 2 level.  (6.29.1.9(D)(1) NMAC)
  • In tier 2, a properly-constituted SAT at each school, which includes the student's parents and the student (as appropriate), shall conduct the student study process and consider, implement and document the effectiveness of appropriate research-based interventions utilizing curriculum-based measures.  (6.29.1.9(D)(2) NMAC)
  • In addition, the SAT shall address culture and acculturation, socioeconomic status, possible lack of appropriate instruction in reading or math, teaching and learning styles and instructional delivery mechanisms in order to rule out other possible causes of the student's educational difficulties.  (6.29.1.9(D)(2) NMAC).
  • When it is determined that a student has an obvious disability or a serious and urgent problem, the SAT shall address the student's needs promptly on an individualized basis, which may include a referral for a multi-disciplinary evaluation to determine possible eligibility for special education and related services.  (6.29.1.9(D)(2) NMAC)
  • In tier 3, a student has been identified as a student with disability and deemed eligible for special education and related services, and an IEP is developed by a properly constituted team.  (6.29.1.9(D)(3) NMAC)

The Public Education Department’s manual, The Student Assistance Team and the Three-Tier Model of Student Intervention, shall be the guiding document for schools to use in implementing the student intervention system.  (6.29.1.9(D)(4) NMAC)

A parent may request an initial special education evaluation at any time during the Albuquerque Public Schools’ implementation of tiers 1 and 2 of the three-tier model of student intervention.  If the public agency agrees with the parent that the child may be a child who is eligible for special education services, the public agency must evaluate the child.  If the public agency declines the parent’s request for an evaluation, the public agency must issue prior written notice in accordance with 34 CFR Sec. 300.503.  The parent can challenge this decision by requesting a due process hearing.  (6.31.2.10(d) NMAC)

Albuquerque Public Schools’ child find activities include a screening process to determine whether the child should be referred for a full evaluation to determine eligibility for special education and related services.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46636 (August 14, 2006))

Child Find Activities Following Revocation of Consent

Children who have previously received special education and related services and whose parents subsequently revoked consent shall not be treated any differently in the child find process than any other child, including a child who was determined eligible and whose parent refused to provide initial consent for services.  (73 Fed. 73012 (December 1, 2008))

Child Find and Parentally-Placed Private School Children

Albuquerque Public Schools, in compliance with federal regulation, shall, locate, identify, and evaluate all children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private, including religious, elementary schools and secondary schools located within the geographical boundaries of the Albuquerque Public Schools even though these children may not reside within the geographical boundaries of the Albuquerque Public Schools.  (34 CFR §300.131(a))

Albuquerque Public Schools child find process for parentally placed private school children shall ensure that any child placed in a private school have the same and equal opportunity to participate in child find activities as any other child.   Albuquerque Public Schools shall keep an accurate count of children parentally placed in a private school.  (34 CFR §300.131(b))

In carrying out its child find duties to parentally placed private school children:

  • Albuquerque Public Schools shall undertake activities similar to the activities undertaken for students who attend Albuquerque Public Schools;
  • The cost of carrying out the child find requirements, including individual evaluations, shall not be considered in determining if Albuquerque Public Schools has met its proportionate share obligation;
  • The child find process shall be completed in a time period comparable to that for other students attending Albuquerque Public Schools; and
  • Albuquerque Public Schools shall include parentally placed private school children who reside in a state other than New Mexico in carrying out its child find requirements if the child is attending a private school located within Albuquerque Public Schools.

(34 CFR §300.131)

Albuquerque Public Schools shall consult with private school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally placed private school children with disabilities during the design and development of special education and related services for the children regarding the child find process, including, but not limited to:

  • How parentally placed private school children suspected of having a disability can participate in child find activities equitably; and
  • How parents, teachers, and private school officials will be informed of the process.

(34 CFR § 300.134)

Developmental Preschool Programs

To comply with federal and state statute and regulation regarding developmental preschool programs, Albuquerque Public Schools shall ensure that:

  • A free appropriate public education is available to each eligible child residing in the Albuquerque Public Schools jurisdiction/geographical boundaries beginning no later than the child’s third birthday;
  • An IEP or IFSP is in effect for the child by  the child’s third birthday; and
  • If a child’s third birthday occurs during the summer, the child’s IEP Team determines the date when services under the IEP or IFSP will begin.

(34 CFR §300.101(b))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide a free appropriate public education for each eligible preschool child with a disability residing within its boundaries no later than the child’s third birthday and shall ensure that an IEP or an IFSP, as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is in effect by the appropriate date as outlined in federal and state regulation.

(34 CFR Secs. 300.101, 300.124 and 300.323(b) and 6.31.2.11(A) (1) NMAC)

A child who will turn three (3) at any time during the school year, who is an eligible child, may enroll in Albuquerque Public Schools’ preschool program at the beginning of the school year in which he/she will turn three (3) if the parent so chooses, whether or not the child has previously been receiving IDEA Part C services (Infants and Toddlers Program).  (6.31.2.11(A) (2) NMAC)

Transitions from Developmental Preschools

To ensure effective transitioning from IDEA Part C programs for Infants and Toddlers to IDEA Part B programs, Albuquerque Public Schools shall conduct a full and individual evaluation, at no cost to the parent which shall be in compliance with the federal and state regulations and standards, before the commencement of Part B special education and related services to a child with a disability.  (6.31.2.11(A) (3) NMAC)

Albuquerque Public Schools shall implement appropriate procedures to ensure a smooth and effective transition from Part C to Part B programs for preschool children with disabilities within the Albuquerque Public Schools’ jurisdiction.  (6.31.2.11(A) (4) NMAC)

Albuquerque Public Schools shall make reasonable efforts to establish productive working relations with local Part C programs and, when given reasonable notice, shall participate in the ninety (90) day transition planning conferences arranged by local Part C providers.  (6.31.2.11(A) (4) NMAC)

Albuquerque Public Schools may take specific actions as part of the transition.  These actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting surveys of Part C programs within its jurisdiction/geographical boundaries during its child find efforts to identify children who may be eligible to enter the Albuquerque Public Schools Part B preschool program in future years.
  • Promoting parent and family involvement in transition planning with Part C programs, community programs, and related services providers at least six months before the child is eligible to enter the Albuquerque Public Schools Part B preschool program.
  • Establishing and implementing procedures to support successful transitions including parent training, professional development for special educators and general educators, and student and parent self-advocacy training and education.
  • Assisting parents in becoming their child’s advocates as the child makes the transition through systems.
  • Participation in transition planning conferences arranged by the designated Part C lead agency no less than ninety (90) days prior to the anticipated transition or the child's third birthday, whichever occurs first, to facilitate informed choices for all families.
  • Creation of a team including parents and qualified professionals to review existing evaluation data for each child entering Albuquerque Public Schools’ preschool program in compliance with 34 CFR Sec. 300.305, and based on that review to identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine the child’s eligibility for Part B services or develop an appropriate program.
  • Initiating a meeting to develop an eligible child’s IFSP, IEP or IFSP-IEP, in accordance with 34 CFR Sec. 300.323, no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the first day of the school year of Albuquerque Public Schools or no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the child’s entry into Part B preschool services if the transition process is initiated after the start of the school year, whichever is later, to ensure uninterrupted services.  This IFSP, IEP, or IFSP-IEP will be developed by a team constituted in compliance with 34 CFR Sec. 300.321 that includes parents and appropriate early intervention providers who are knowledgeable about the child.
  • Ensuring a successful transition from Part B preschool for children with disabilities who are eligible for continued services in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

(6.31.2.11(A) (5) NMAC)

Educational Services

Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide special education and related services appropriate to meet the needs of all children within its jurisdiction/geographical boundaries requiring special education and related services.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide services for three-year-old and four-year-old preschool children with disabilities within its jurisdiction/geographical boundaries, unless the parent chooses not to enroll his/her child.  If a child receiving services in the New Mexico Department of Health’s family, infant, toddler program has his/her third birthday during the school year, the child’s parents shall have the option of having the child complete the school year in the New Mexico Department of Health’s family, infant, toddler program or enrolling the child in the Albuquerque Public Schools’ preschool program.  A child with a disability who enrolls in Albuquerque Public Schools’ preschool program and who has his/her third birthday during a school year shall receive special education and related services from the beginning of that school year.  ( §22-13-5 NMSA 1978)

Services for students age three (3) through twenty-one (21) may include, but are not limited to:

  • evaluating particular needs
  • providing learning experiences that develop cognitive and social skills
  • arranging for or providing related services as defined by the New Mexico Public Education Department
  • providing parent education.

The services may be provided by certified school personnel or contracted for with other community agencies and shall be provided in age-appropriate, integrated settings, including home, daycare centers, headstart programs, schools or community-based settings.  ( §22-13-5 NMSA 1978)

Administrative Position: Chief Academic Officer

Department Director: Executive Director of Special Education

References

Legal Cross Ref.:

For more information about the legal references below, refer to the following sites:
  • 42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq
  • 34 CFR §300.101
  • 34 CFR §300.111
  • 34 CFR §300.323
  • 34 CFR §300.124
  • 34 CFR §300.131
  • 34 CFR § 300.134
  • 6.31.2.10(F) (2) NMAC
  • 6.31.2.11(A) NMAC
  • 6.31.2.12(F) NMAC
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46636
  • 73 Fed. Reg. 73012
  • §22-13-5 NMSA 1978

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

Forms:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: IHBA

Introduced: April 1, 2011
Reviewed: April 12, 2011
Adopted: April 22, 2011

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