Regulations require officials with South-Western City Schools to locate all individuals from birth through 21 years of age with a suspected disability who reside within the district.

Regulations require officials with South-Western City Schools to locate all individuals from birth through 21 years of age with a suspected disability who reside within the district.

"Child Find" is the process of identifying, locating and evaluating children suspected of having a disability and who may be in need of special education and related services. The school district provides special education services to any child who qualifies as having a disability according to the Individual with Disabilities Education Act and the operating standards for Ohio's Schools Serving Children with Disabilities.

South-Western City Schools collaborates with several county agencies to identify and locate children with suspected disabilities, according to Sandra C. Nekoloff, executive director of communications and community relations. These agencies include the Family and Children First Council's Help Me Grow Program and the Early Childhood Resource Center, Franklin County Children Services, Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County.

In addition, South-Western City Schools works with area Head Start Programs, preschools, and day-care centers to identify children who are suspected of having a disability.

After receiving a referral for a suspected disability from a parent, agency or school personnel, a team of qualified professionals review all available information, including input from the parents and interventions implemented to determine if a child who is having academic, behavioral, communication or health problems is suspected of having a disability, according to Nekoloff.

In South-Western City Schools, this process usually occurs at what is called an intervention assistance team meeting. If the child is determined to have a suspected disability, the school district will evaluate him or her at no cost to the parent within 60 days.

Children who are identified as having a disability are eligible to receive special education and/or related services. An individualized education program will be developed by a team of individuals, including the parent or parents, a general education teacher, a special education teacher, a school district representative, other individuals who have knowledge of the child and the child, as appropriate. The plan will identify what type of special education services the child will receive and where those services will be provided.

Anyone who is aware of a child who may have a disability is asked to contact Harvey Nesser, SWCS director of human services, at 801-3025, or contact a school principal for more information.