The IDEA obligates schools to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, and guarantees eligible children with disabilities a FAPE, based on the child’s unique needs, in the child’s least restrictive environment.
The IDEA requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities residing in the state, from birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services. This “child find” requirement applies to all children residing in the state, regardless of the severity of the disability, including children attending private schools5 and “highly mobile” children, which are those children who move frequently, such as military connected children; migrant children; homeless children; and children who are in the foster care system. The child find regulations also apply to children suspected of having a disability even though they are advancing from grade to grade.
Schools may not rely solely on parents to request special education services for their children, but must have a system in place to locate students in need of services. In Arizona, schools must screen all children for disabilities within 45 calendar days:
- After the child enters a preschool program or kindergarten.
- After a child enrolls in a new school without appropriate records of screening, evaluation and progress in school.
- Upon notification of concern by the parent.
In Arizona, screening procedures must include hearing and vision status and consideration of cognitive, academic, communication, motor, social, behavioral, and adaptive development. Screening does not include a comprehensive evaluation and parental consent is not required prior to screening.
Virtual Child Find Meeting
A free, virutal child find meeting will be held on Zoom on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 from 3-4 p.m.
Additional Screening Dates
- Nov. 3, 2021
- Dec. 8, 2021
- Jan. 12, 2022
- Feb. 9, 2022
- March 23, 2022
- April 27, 2022
- June 1, 2022
If the screening process or review of records indicates a concern, the school must take some action, including but not limited to the following possible pre-referral intervention strategies: vision or hearing acuity screening, social or emotional interventions, academic interventions, such as remediation or programmatic adaptations, referral to a pre-referral intervention team, etc. (Gregson & Chavez, 2018).
If you know a child that you believe may have a disability, please take the following action:
- If this child is younger than 3 years old, please check the Arizona Early Intervention Program website or call 888-439-5609 or 602-532-9960.
- If this child is 3-5 and of preschool age, please call Preschool Evaluation Team at 602-305-4677
- If this child is 5 (and in kindergarten) through age 21, please call the child’s school.
- The district has a 45 day screening procedure for all students new to district (not previously screened) which reviews: hearing, vision, social/emotional/behavioral, psychomotor skills, academics, communication and adaptive skills.
Gregson, K., Esq., & Chavez, S., M.Ed. (2018). The Special Education Handbook: A brief overview of the history and requirements of Part B of the IDEA. Retrieved from http://www.azed.gov/disputeresolution/resources-links