Sitka School District Child Find Notice: Information and Process
Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires districts to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services.
Sitka School District (SSD) conducts specific activities to identify students ages 3-21 with suspected disabilities who reside within the district's boundaries. The District also seeks to locate young people from ages 3-21 who are not currently enrolled in school and may need special education services. All responsible public agencies are required to locate, evaluate, and identify children with disabilities who are under the jurisdiction of the agency, regardless of the severity of the disability, including children attending private schools, home school students, highly mobile children, such as migrant and homeless children, and children who are suspected of having a disability and are in need of special education even though they are advancing from grade to grade. Early identification of disabilities assists parents, students, and schools in the design of appropriate educational services. Areas of eligibility for special education services in Alaska are: cognitive impairment, learning disability, emotional disturbance, deaf, hearing impairment, deaf and blind, orthopedic impairment, visual impairment, speech or language impairment, other health impairments, multiple disabilities, autism, traumatic brain injury, and early childhood developmental delay. Children who receive special education services are entitled to FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education).
Child Find Screenings for Children Birth to Three
If you have concerns about your child’s development before the age of three, you can contact Center for Community/ Early Learning Program (ELP) at (907) 747-6960. The District assures that it will provide information and referral services necessary to assist ELP in the implementation of early intervention services for infants and toddlers eligible, as well as with program transition between ages 0-3 and preschool.
Early Childhood: Screening for Children Ages Three to Five (Preschool)
If your child is age three to five, and you have concerns about his or her development, Sitka School District offers screenings to provide information to parents on school related development. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of this free service, especially if you have questions regarding your child's development. Child Find screenings for children ages three to five are scheduled at least quarterly during the school year, with additional screenings during the first month of the school year. The screenings are conducted at Baranof Elementary School, with dates and times advertised through public service announcements in the community.
Screenings gather information on how your child is doing in the areas of language, learning, and behavior skills, as well as vision, hearing, and motor development. If you wish to schedule your child for a screening appointment, please contact the Early Childhood Child Find appointment line at (907) 747-8356, or Chris Voron, Learning Support Director, at (907) 966-1253.
Early Childhood Child Find Process
Once a Child Find appointment is scheduled and the screening is completed, one of three things will happen for each child and his/her family:
1. For some children, screening will indicate that a full developmental assessment to determine eligibility for special education services is not necessary.
2. For some children the screening may indicate a need to re-screen the child later, in order to monitor continued development. In these cases, parents will be provided with community resources and home program suggestions to strengthen any areas of minor weakness.
3. For other children, the screening will indicate that further assessment is required, and those children will be referred to a Child Intervention Team. This Child Intervention Team will determine what further assessments are required to consider eligibility for special education services.
For general questions regarding Early Childhood Special Education, please contact Chris Voron, Learning Support Director, at (907) 966-1253.Child Find for School Age Children
If your child is in school and you believe a disability may impair his or her educational performance, please contact the principal at your child's neighborhood school, or the Special Education Department at (907) 966-1253.