There is no greater disability in society than the inability to see a person as more than a label.
Special Education - specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the educational needs of an eligible exceptional student, including classroom instruction, out-of-school instruction, instruction in a special school or residential setting and instruction in other settings, including the workplace & training center. Special education also includes assistive technology devices and services, physical education, vocational education, or other curricular offerings when modifications are necessary to meet the individual needs of exceptional students.
Mercer County Schools provide special education programs and related services in all schools that are based upon the child's needs. Where, when, and what special education and related services are determined during the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meeting. Contact the school principal or the Office of Special Education (304) 487-1551 ext. 1219.
THE NATURE OF EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS:
Mercer County Schools is conducting a public awareness campaign to locate all children between birth and 21 who may need special education and related services. Children between birth and 21, gifted students from first through eighth grades and exceptionally gifted students in grades 9-12 who are suspected of having an exceptionality can be referred for an appropriate evaluation. West Virginia state law, Policy 2419, Regulations for The Education of Exceptional Students, defines and includes Autism, Blindness and Low Vision, Deafblindness, Deafness and Hard of Hearing, Developmental Delay, Emotional/Behavioral Disorder, Gifted, Intellectual Disability, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech/Language Impairment and Traumatic Brain Injury as categories which Mercer County Schools must provide special education and related services when appropriate. If your child is not developing at a normal rate of development or is having problems in school, he/she may be in need of special education and related services. Children with one of the above exceptionalities may exhibit specific learning and/or behavior needs. The exceptionality may negatively affect the child's school performance or rate of development. Children with exceptionalities require specially designed instruction to meet their unique needs. If you suspect that your child may have one of these exceptionalities, you should consider making a referral to identify this exceptionality.
If you suspect your child has an exceptionality, you may:
a. take your child to your family physician;
b. make a detailed history of events that document the reasons for your concern;
c. contact your child's teacher; and/or
d. ask your principal to make a referral to the Student Assistance Team (SAT).
The Student Assistance Team will investigate and collect information to identify the reason for the referral and suggest strategies that address the child's educational needs. The SAT may implement these strategies or refer your child for an initial individual multidisciplinary evaluation.
The multidisciplinary evaluation may consist of observations, teacher reports, classroom performance, educational tests, aptitude tests, intellectual tests, fine and gross motor tests, developmental tests, speech and language tests or other tests to assist in determining if your child is eligible for special education and related services. Parental written consent is required before an evaluation can be started.
After the evaluations are completed, an Eligibility Committee will meet to determine if your child is eligible for special education and related services. If your child is eligible, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meeting will be scheduled and held to develop an Individualized Education Program, which includes specially designed instruction for your child. If your child is not eligible, the SAT will continue to meet to develop and implement strategies to meet your child's needs.
THE AVAILABILITY OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES:
Mercer County Schools provide special education programs and related services in all schools that are based upon the child's needs. Where, when, how and what special education and related services are determined during the Individual Education Program (IEP) team meeting.
THE PERSON(S) TO CONTACT FOR INITIATING A REFERRAL:
If you would like to refer your child to be considered for special education and related services, contact the principal at the school your child attends or the school closest to your home. You may also call the Mercer County Board of Education - Special Education Department at 487-1551 Ext. 1219 to make a referral if your child is between the ages of birth through five.