Child Find: Evaluations in Special Education

  • The Essex Westford School District follows the expectations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to locate, identify and evaluate children and students who have disabilities. 

    EWSD does this in a number of ways including making referrals for evaluation through completing screenings, completing data analysis activities, and considering student performance across all schools.

    We also accept referrals from a number of different community health partners, preschools, pediatricians, mental health providers, family members, and other individuals who may believe they are aware of a child with a disability who has yet to be identified. 

    Children Birth-3 Years Old: EWSD locates, identifies and evaluates young children through our partnership with Children’s Integrated Services.  Chittenden County school districts and other providers and partners refer young children who are showing signs of concerns to Children’s Integrated Services. Children’s Integrated Services partners in Chittenden County include:  Child Care Resource, Howard Center, Lund Family Center, School districts, Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Family Network, and Visiting Nurses. 

    For more information and referrals to any of the services above please contact the Chittenden County Children’s Integrated Services Coordinator at 860-4426.

    Prekindergarten: EWSD provides free screenings and evaluations for children through our early childhood special educators where a referral is received and evaluation is determined to be needed.  We seek and receive referrals from a number of referral sources including families, pediatricians, private prekindergarten providers, our own prekindergarten classroom teachers, and others who come into contact with prekindergarten children. EWSD also reviews data submitted by PreK providers under act 166 as we consider children in need of evaluation. 

    Kindergarten-Age 22: All EST teams in our the schools review data and consider the needs of students for purposes of referral for both 504 and Special Education evaluations.  Principal discussions with teachers, parent teacher conferences, and teacher team meetings are other meeting structures where teachers and others find and identify students where there is a concern of disability. There is a clear process in place across our schools to consider referrals from parents and other outside sources to ensure each concern is appropriately considered.

    Resources: Individuals who have further questions regarding special education or 504 can find parental rights and other resources here: 

  • Contacts

    Pre-K to Age 22
    Directors of Student Support Services
    58 Founders Road
    Essex Junction, Vermont 05452
    Phone: (802)878-8168

    Birth to Age 3
    Chittenden County Children’s Integrated Services Coordinator
    Phone: (802) 860-4426.

  • Child Find Notice

    Any individuals from birth through age 21 with disabilities currently residing within Essex Junction, Essex Town, or Westford, and who are in need of special education and related services need to be identified, located, and evaluated by the Essex Westford School District (EWSD).

    This includes children: not enrolled in school, attending private or independent schools located within the aforementioned towns, enrolled in home study programs, suspected of having a disability despite advancing from grade to grade, who are highly mobile (such as migrant children), and who are homeless or in the custody of the state.

    Any person with information about any disabled person fitting these descriptions should contact EWSD.

    In accordance with EWSD’s policies and with 34 CFR Part 99 (the Family Education Rights Privacy Act of 1974), this public notice informs all parents within their jurisdictions about how information is maintained when it is collected during identification, location, and evaluation of all people with disabilities.

    • Personally identifiable information will be protected by each school
    • Personally identifiable information about people eligible, referred, or considered for special education services is maintained
    • Parents have the right to know what types of information have been designated as directory information (i.e. contained in a student’s education record and is not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed). This information includes the student’s name (unless otherwise requested), address, phone number, date/place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially-recognized activities/sports, weight/height, membership in athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees/awards received, and previous school attended
    • Parents have the right to know the types and locations of educational records kept by the school and the titles and addresses of officials responsible for the records
    • A list of the names and positions of employees within EWSD who have access to personally identifiable information shall be available for public inspection
    • If anyone other than an authorized EWSD employee looks at the educational record of a child, that person shall so indicate by signing her/his name, date, and purpose for reviewing the record on a form to become part of the education record
    • Parental permission will be obtained prior to disclosing confidential information to anyone who is not an authorized employee of EWSD
    • Information relevant to a child’s specific disability (such as: medical information, intelligence test results, social/developmental history, comprehensive evaluation report, and the individualized education program) will be part of the education record
    • Personally identifiable information will be gathered from screenings, qualified diagnostic centers, and other sources, as deemed necessary, to complete a comprehensive evaluation
    • Parents, or eligible students, will be able to access personally identifiable information and inspect and review their education records no later than 45 days after the request is made
    • Parents have the right to a response to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the education records
    • Parents may obtain a copy of the education record without a fee for copying, if a fee will be a financial burden and/or will prevent them from obtaining the record
    • Parents have the right to request the education record be amended. The school district will decide whether to amend the record within a reasonable time of the request. If the district refuses to amend the record, it shall inform the parent and advise the parent of the right to a hearing. If, as a result of the hearing, it is found that the education record must be amended, the school district will amend the record and inform the parent in writing. If, as a result of the hearing, it is found the disputed information is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy right of the child, the school will inform the parent of her/his right to place in the education record a written statement commenting on the information or stating any reasons for disagreeing with the results of the hearing. This written statement will become part of the education record and will always be included whenever the contents of the education record is properly viewed or requested
    • Parents have the right to a hearing to challenge the education records of their child
    • Parents will be notified prior to the school district’s destruction of personally identifiable information about their child
    • The parent has the authority to inspect and review records relating to her/his child unless EWSD has been advised that the parent does not have the authority under applicable state law governing matters such as guardianship, separation, and divorce
    • Parents have the right to file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by EWSD to comply with this policy NOTE: If there are parents within the above-mentioned towns who need this information interpreted, please notify EWSD.

    CONTACT: Directors of Student Support Services
    58 Founders Road Essex Junction, Vermont 05452 Phone: 802-878-8168