309R - Special Education

  1. Generally

    Frederick County believes in and provides educational services to all students, disabled and non-disabled. This includes the location, identification, evaluation, and placement of a student with disabilities. A free, appropriate public education will be available for each child with a disability ages 2 to 21, inclusive, who are residents of Frederick County or who are not residents of Frederick County but are residents of Virginia who are enrolled in a full-time virtual school program provided by the Board.

  2. Identification and Evaluation         

    The Frederick County Public School system must ensure, through an active and ongoing child find program, that all children residing within the division, 2 to 21, inclusive, who may have disabilities, and who may need special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated. 

    The school division shall annually conduct a public awareness campaign to inform the community of a person's right to a free, appropriate public education and the availability of special education programs and services; to generate referrals; and to explain the nature of disabilities, the early warning signs of disabilities, and the need for early intervention. 

    Procedures for informing the community shall utilize a variety of materials and media and shall provide for personal contacts with community groups, and public and private agencies. Information shall be provided in the person's native language or primary mode of communication. 

    Each Frederick County school shall have an operational child study committee that conducts a child-find program. Teachers, students, parents, doctors, community agencies, and employees of an agency assigned legal custodial rights of a child, may refer a child who is suspected of having a disability to the principal or principal's designee for consideration by the child study committee. When such a student is suspected of being disabled and in need of an individual, comprehensive assessment, the child will be referred by the child study committee to the office of the director of special services. 

    Upon receiving a referral from a child study committee, the director of special services shall initiate the required assessment process and the eligibility determination procedure. 

  3. Inclusion of Disabled with Non-disabled Students         

    Students with disabilities must not be segregated in public schools but must be educated with the non-disabled in regular classrooms to the maximum extent possible. In existing facilities, programs must be made accessible to children with disabilities. This may be accomplished through redesign of equipment, the use of classroom aides or other appropriate adaptations. In such cases where accessibility is not possible, alternatives include reassignment of classes or services to accessible buildings. In selecting such an alternative, priority consideration must be given to the most appropriate integrated (disabled and non-disabled together) setting. 

    In cases where disabled students are appropriately assigned through the individual education plan to separate or different classrooms or buildings from the non-disabled students, such students with disabilities who are "qualified" shall not be denied the opportunity to compete for teams and extracurricular activities or to participate in courses that are not separate or different.

  4. Nondiscrimination in Individual Evaluation       

    In the evaluation of children with disabilities or those suspected of having a disability, no single procedure shall be used as a sole criterion for determining an appropriate educational program for a child. Only tests and other evaluation materials that are tailored to assess specific areas of educational need that are validated for the specific purpose for which they are used, and nondiscriminatory relative to culture, race, sensory impairment, manual skills, or speaking skills will be utilized. The tests or materials will be provided and administered in the child's native language or other mode of communication unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. All tests and evaluations will be administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by their producers. 

    Each child suspected of having a disability shall be assessed by qualified professionals in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, where appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities. This may include educational, medical, sociocultural, psychological or developmental assessments. Reports from assessments must be provided in writing. 

    The hearing of each child with a disability shall be tested during the eligibility process prior to placement in a special education program. A complete audiological assessment, including tests which will assess inner and middle ear functioning, must be performed on each child who fails two hearing screening tests. 

    The parents shall be provided an opportunity to participate, if they so request, in the consideration of the areas to be assessed. Parents must be provided written notification of this right.

  5. Individual Education Plan

    The Frederick County Public Schools shall develop and maintain an individual education plan for each student with a disability. Each Frederick County school shall convene a committee which shall include the parents; at least one regular education teacher if the child participates in regular education; at least one special education teacher or at least one special education provider; a representative who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction; other individuals with knowledge or expertise regarding the child as deemed appropriate by the parent or school division; and whenever appropriate, the child.          

  6. Personnel Development

    Inservice training in regard to special education shall be provided for both special and regular education teachers. The administration shall cooperate by providing the supervisory staff with certain days during the school year to devote to inservice education. 

  7. Parent or Guardian Consultation

    The school system shall inform and involve all parents of suspected and identified students with disabilities at each step of the special education process from referral to the development of the individual education plan. 

Legal Reference(s):
20 U.S.C. Section(s) 1400 et seq. 29 U.S.C. Section(s) 701 et seq. 

42 U.S.C. Section(s) 12101 et seq. 

Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended Section(s) 22.1‑213, 22.1-215

8VAC 20-81-50 

8VAC 20-81-80 

8VAC 20-81-100 

8VAC 20-81-110 

8VAC 20-81-130 

8VAC 20-81-170 


Adopted: September 19, 1977 
Amended: July 1, 1985 
Amended: April 7, 1998 
Amended: July 20, 2011
Amended: July 1, 2014