Equity and Inclusion
- Special Education Resources for Military Families
- English Language Services
- Special Education Services
- Virginia Tiered System of Support
PEATC (Parental Educational Advocacy Training Center)The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center builds positive futures for Virginia’s children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Their special focus is children with disabilities. Their website is a good place to have bookmarked as a military family transitioning to FCPS if you have a student with a disability.
VDOE - Special Education PageVDOE has a hub page for a variety of resources, articles, and more for Special Education. To visit the main VDOE Special Education page, click HERE.
VDOE - Guidance for Military Families (Special Education)VDOE also made a wonderful guide for Special Education specifically as it relates to military families. This is a wonderful PDF to have bookmarked if you are a military family who has a student with a disability, whether you are transitioning to a new school division or not. Click HERE to view the document.
The Fredericksburg City Public Schools Title III program serves culturally and linguistically diverse students by overseeing and maintaining support provided to English Language Learners(ELL) and Immigrant Youth (IY) and families based on the guidance of state and federal regulations. The program seeks to advocate for a collaborative emphasis on global mindedness and to focus on developing the knowledge, skills, concept attitudes and actions that our students will need as college and career minded global citizens. Instruction is provided at each school by ELL certified teachers. ELL classes and content instruction may differ widely based on each students’ individual academic and linguistic needs.
Title III info: Federal funds awarded under Title III support programs to address English language proficiency and academic achievement of English Learners (ELs), including the provision of language instruction educational programs (LIEPs) and activities that increase the knowledge and skills of teachers who serve ELs. Title III programs also provide enhanced instructional opportunities for immigrant children and youths.
Fredericksburg City Public Schools is committed to providing free, appropriate educational opportunities for all students with disabilities, ages two through 21 years, inclusive. Services are provided in the most appropriate, least restrictive environment, as outlined in the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Virginia State special education regulations are accessed through this link or the DOE website: https://doe.virginia.gov/special_ed/regulations/state/regs_speced_disability_va.pdf
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a broad civil rights law that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. A student who has a disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities is protected under Section 504. Major life activities can include: eating, breathing, walking, learning, concentrating, thinking, or caring for oneself. When students are eligible under Section 504, an accommodation plan is developed. Accommodations are designed to reflect specific areas in which a substantial limitation is documented and to meet the individual student’s needs.
Please contact the office of Equity and Inclusion for questions or more information at (540) 372-1130.
If you have concerns about your child's development and your child is:
- between 2 and 5 years of age by September 30.
- not eligible for kindergarten.
A developmental screening is a brief assessment to determine if a child is functioning at the level he or she should, for their age, in the following areas of development:
- Motor skills
- Communication skills
- Cognitive skills.
The screening is completed by an early childhood special education teacher. This person has special training in working with young children who have special education needs. During the screening, the teacher will be engaging your child in different activities. Some of the skills the teacher will be looking for include: how well your child listens and follows directions, how well your child can talk/pronounce sounds, how your child moves, how your child works with their hands, matching skills, identifying colors, and answering simple questions. The teacher will also have to ask you questions about how your child relates to adults and other children. Questions will be based on the age of your child.
Contact the Supervisor of Special Education to schedule a screening appointment at (540) 372-1130.
This page list definitions to key Special Education terms:
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW- A voluntary, informal mediation process permitting presentation of differences between parents and school staff members to an appointed committee composed of staff members not directly involved with the student.
ANNUAL REVIEW A scheduled meeting of school staff members and parents to develop, review, and revise a student’s IEP goals and objectives and to determine the appropriateness of new or continued services.
BASE SCHOOL- The school serving the local home address.
CASE MANAGER- Staff member responsible for collecting, monitoring, and processing information pertaining to an individual student.
CHILD FIND- A public school program that locates and identifies children and young adults from two through 21 years of age who may be in need of special education and related services.
CHILD WITH A DISABILITY- Those children evaluated and identified, in accordance with regulations governing special education, as having retardation, hearing impairments, speech or language impairments, autism, visual impairments, emotional disabilities, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, severe disabilities, multiple disabilities, developmental delays, or specific learning disabilities and who, because of these disabilities, need special education and related services.
COMMUNITY SERVICES BOARD- The local government agency that provides services to adults with retardation and mental illness to help them become as self-supporting as possible.
CONTINUUM OF SERVICES- Refers to the range of service delivery options offered to eligible students.
COUNSELING SERVICES- A service related to a student’s IEP defined as a short-term structured intervention with specific aims and objectives to promote that student’s social, emotional, and academic growth within the school environment.
DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATIVE SERVICES- The agency of the Virginia government that offers assistance to persons with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities so that they may become as self-supporting as possible.
DUE PROCESS- A set of procedures set up by law that provides a mechanism for the resolution of disagreements between parents and the school district staff members.
DUE PROCESS HEARING- A formal procedure used to resolve conflicts between parents and school districts over the provision of special education services (see impartial hearing).
EARLY INTERVENTION- Specialized services provided to infants and toddlers who are at risk for, or showing signs of, developmental delay.
EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION- (see evaluation)
ELIGIBILITY COMMITTEE- A committee of professional staff members and the parent that considers the individual needs of a student and determines whether the student is eligible for special education and related services. Eligibility committees meet at the student’s school.
EVALUATION- The process of collecting and analyzing psychological, medical, sociocultural, and educational information for a child so that the eligibility committee can determine if the student is eligible for special education services and area(s) of eligibility. Eligibility committees consider information presented by parent(s) and school staff members as well as information that the parent(s) have obtained from private practitioners.
Educational Assessment- A written report describing current educational performance and identifying precise instructional needs in academic skills, language performance, and functional areas. This report includes academic testing results, the classroom teacher narrative, and classroom observation information
Medical Assessment- A written report from a licensed physician indicating general medical history and any medical or health problems that may impede educational progress.
Psychological Assessment- A written report from an approved psychologist based on the use of a battery of appropriate assessments that may include individual intelligence test(s) and psycho-educational tests.
Sociocultural Assessment- A written report describing developmental history and adaptive behavior at home and at school. A social worker or visiting teacher completes this evaluation. Other evaluation reports that may include speech and language, occupational therapy, etc., when appropriate.
FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education)- A statutory requirement that children and youth with disabilities receive a public education appropriate to their needs, at no cost to their families.
GENERAL EDUCATION – Direct participation in a general education class or activity planned and conducted by general education staff members (e.g., includes activities such as lunch or job training in which a student is participating with general education peers).
IDEA- (See Individuals With Disabilities Education Act)
IDENTIFICATION- Recognition on the part of a parent, teacher, or other person that a child may have special learning needs.
IEP (Individualized Education Prograrn)- A written plan for every student receiving special education services that contains information such as the student’s special learning needs and the specific special education services required by the student.
IEP TEAM- A group consisting of parents, a special education teacher, a gerneral education teacher, the student (when appropriate), a representative of the school system qualified to provide or supervise special education services, and others as requested who meet at a conference to develop the IEP.
IMPARTIAL HEARING- A formal procedure used to resolve conflicts between parents and school districts over the provision of special education services (see due process hearing).
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT (IDEA)- The federal law that mandates that a free and appropriate public education be available to all school-age children with disabilities. It is also known as Public Law 105-17.
LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT (LRE)- The setting determined by the IEP team that gives the child as much time as possible in general education settings and activities while meeting the child’s learning and physical needs. It also means that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of a child with disabilities from the general education environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
LOCAL EDUCATION AGENCY (LEA)- The public school system (e.g., Fairfax County Public Schools).
LOCAL SCREENING COMMITTEE- A committee established in all schools to identify the needs of pupils experiencing academic difficulties. A local screening committee normally includes the teacher, the principal, the team leader, the school psychologist, the social worker, the appropriate resource teacher, and the staff member initiating the referral. Parents may also attend.
MEDIATION- A process in which a neutral person facilitates communication between two parties and, without deciding the issues or imposing a solution on the parties, enables them to understand and resolve their dispute.
MEDICAL EVALUATION- (see evaluation)
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY- A service related to a student’s IEP that emphasizes remediation of or compensation for perceptual, sensory, visual-motor, fine-motor, and self-care deficits.
PARENT- A parent, a guardian, or a person acting as a parent in the absence of a parental guardian. The term “parent” also means a surrogate parent appointed pursuant to Virginia regulations.
PHYSICAL THERAPY- A service related to a student’s IEP that emphasizes remediation of or compensation for mobility, gait, muscle strength, and postural deficits.
PROCESSING DISORDER- A deficit in the ability to differentiate, give meaning to, and/or appropriately respond to symbols, objects, and/or events in the environment.
PROGRAM OF STUDIES (POS)- The basic instructional program for Fairfax County Public Schools. It includes a series of documents containing the instructional objectives for all subjects in kindergarten through grade 12, instructional activities, catalogs of instructional materials, and tests measuring student achievement of selected objectives (available for review in local schools according to grade level).
PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION- (see evaluation)
PUBLIC LAW 105-17- The federal law that mandates that a free and appropriate public education be available to all school-age children with disabilities. It is also known as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
REEVALUATION- A review by the IEP team that is required every three years or more often if necessary. It determines if updated information used to decide continuing eligibility for special education is needed and the types of information needed to determine the individual needs of the student.
REFERRAL- Informing a school or agency that a student may have special learning needs. A referral can be made by a parent, a teacher, or any staff member who has worked with the student. Children do not have to be in school to be referred.
RELATED SERVICES- Support services designated in a student’s IEP that are required to help a child benefit from educational resources.
SOCIOCULTURAL EVALUATION- (see evaluation)
SPECIAL EDUCATION- Specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of a child with disabilities, including classroom instruction, instruction in physical education, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. The term also includes speech therapy or any other related service and vocational education if they consist of specially designed instruction at no cost to the parent.
STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs)- The outline of the basic knowledge and skills that Virginia children will be taught in grades K- 12 in the four essential academic subjects of English, math, science, and social studies.
STATE EDUCATION AGENCY (SEA)- The state agency responsible for the implementation of school programs (e.g., Virginia Department of Education).
TRANSITION PLANNING GUIDE- A written plan designed to help plan for the student’s transition from school to life in the community. It includes career interests and goals; interpersonal, social, self-advocacy, and independent living skills; courses and resources to meet goals; and final link for students completing school. A transition plan becomes part of a students IEP during 8th grade or when the student is 14, whichever comes first.
The Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) is a data-informed decision making framework for establishing the academic, behavioral and social-emotional supports needed for a school to be an effective learning environment for all students.
The VTSS systemic approach allows divisions, schools and communities to provide multiple levels of supports to students in a more effective and efficient, clearly defined process. Implementing the VTSS requires the use of evidence-based, system-wide practices with fidelity to provide a quick response to academic, behavioral, social and emotional needs. The practices are progress-monitored frequently to enable educators to make sound, data-based instructional decisions for students.