Child Find and Preschool Services

Child Find Identification Procedures (Introduction)


In accordance with federal regulations, state statutes and local board of education policy, Simsbury assumes the responsibility for the location, identification and referral of all children requiring special education and/or related services from birth through age 21, including students who are in private schools, in religiously affiliated schools, migrant children, homeless children, and those who are in need of special education even though they are advancing from grade to grade.

The district's child identification process is coordinated by the Special Services Department, which utilizes a variety of community resources and conducts many systematic activities in its effort to identify children requiring special services. This includes nursery programs, the town's social worker (migrant/homeless children), and appropriate representation of private and religiously affiliated schools.

A Student Referral Form is used to document all referrals to special education. This form is available through the Special Services office.

Community Child Find Activities

Professional and Agency Notification

The Special Services Department maintains a current listing of community resources that may be sources of referral for children who may require special education and related services.

Birth to Three Component

The school district works in collaboration with the Connecticut Birth to Three system to ensure the identification of children ages birth to three with disabilities. Parents and referring parties should call 1-800-505-7000 (Infoline) to initiate entry into this system.

Children are referred to the Birth to Three system by a variety of sources, including parents, hospitals, pediatricians, nursing services, social services and school system staff. Children identified as being in need of services are referred to community agencies, and programs and services are provided in accordance with the eligibility standards and service options currently available through the Birth to Three system. The school district maintains a record of the children with disabilities for whom special education and related services will likely be required upon entry into school at age 3.

The school district works with the Birth to Three system to ensure the effective transition from one service delivery system to the other when children requiring special education and related services reach school age. In accordance with Connecticut statutes and regulations, a transition plan is developed to support the transition to preschool services provided by the school district. The transition plan includes the following provisions:

  1. To train parents regarding future placements and other matters related to the child's transition.
  2. To prepare the child for changes in service delivery, including helping the child adjust to, and function in, a new setting.
  3. To obtain parental consent to transmit information to the local school district to ensure continuity of service.

The transition plan for a child enrolled in the Birth to Three program is contained in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). School district personnel attend IFSP meetings when invited. The transition plan must be in place at least 90 days prior to the child's third birthday. The district must ensure that an Individualized Education Program(IEP) is in place by the third birthday for each child eligible for special education and related services.

PreSchool Screening (ages 3-4)

Simsbury Parents! Do you have questions or concerns about your child’s development? Preschool screening could help you find some answers.

1. Talk to your child’s pediatrician, preschool teacher or daycare provider about your concerns. You do not have to wait to see if your child “will outgrow it.” You can address those concerns now by calling the Simsbury Public Schools Dept. of Special Services 658-3873 and requesting an appointment for a preschool screening. Screenings are conducted on an as-needed basis.

2. After you call the Special Services office, you will be directed to contact the Speech Language Pathologist at the Preschool Center at Central School. The Speech Language Pathologist will send you some forms in the mail to be completed and returned. These forms include a Development History form and a Nursery School/Group experience form (to be completed by your child’s teacher or daycare provider). Please return these forms promptly. They contain important information which needs to be reviewed by the Preschool Team before scheduling the screening. Upon receipt of the completed forms, a staff member will contact you with a screening date.

3. The Preschool Screening process takes 45 minutes to an hour and involves both you and your child. Your child will play “games” (which target articulation, language, reasoning, and motor skills) with members of the Preschool Team. At the same time, you and another staff member will discuss your child’s self-help skills and social-emotional development as well as review the group experience form.

4. This is just a screening, not an evaluation. It screens for the presence of possible developmental delays. This screening will result in a determination as to whether your child is functioning within normal limits or is in need of further evaluation.

5. Sometimes a visit to your child’s nursery school or daycare setting is needed to complete the screening process. You will be asked to sign a permission form before this can be done.

6. Direct contact from your child’s pediatrician is always welcome.

The Simsbury Preschool Team includes a Speech/Language Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist, a Physical Therapist, a Preschool Special Ed. Teacher, a School Psychologist, and an Administrator.

Identification of School-Aged Students (5-21 years of age)

Screening of Transfer Students

The principal/designee (Gr. K-6) or guidance department (Gr. 7-12) of each building is responsible for reviewing the records of any new student transferring from another school system. If the records indicate that the student has been identified as a student with disabilities (IDEA), a process is followed that ensures implementation of the IEP (Individualized Education Plan). If the student is transferring from another Connecticut district, the IEP is put into place and reviewed/updated at the next annual PPT or earlier if necessary. The student could be referred for additional assessments to determine whether current placement/services are appropriate. In the case of a student transferring from an out-of-state school, the IEP is implemented as closely as possible until an IEP meeting is held, additional evaluations completed, and a new IEP is developed. The IEP will be rewritten on Simsbury's forms as soon as the first Simsbury PPT is held.

If the record review indicates that the student has an Accommodation Plan (A P) under Section 504, then a 504 meeting is immediately held to review the AP. The student could be referred for additional assessments to determine whether the current placement/services are appropriate. The 504 Plan is immediately implemented as written from the sending school, or as modified by the 504 Team. The 504 Accommodation Plan should be rewritten on Simsbury's forms.

Screening of School-Aged Children (ages 5-21)

Student Progress

Principals, program directors and school staff analyze student performance on standardized achievement tests, Connecticut Mastery Tests, and Curriculum Based Assessments in reading, math, language arts on a regular basis. Students who experience academic, social or emotional difficulties are referred to the Student Intervention Team.

SRBI - Scientific Research-Based Intervention and the Student Intervention Team (SIT)

The Student Intervention Team is a collaborative process designed to bring regular and special education staff together to develop ways to assist in helping meet the diverse needs of its students. It is necessary that the pre-referral steps be taken and alternative strategies for students who are experiencing difficulty in school be tried before referral to special education. These strategies include specific interventions that are both scientific and research-based which are implemented by the staff to a student's program, curriculum, method of instruction or assessment and become part of the total pre-referral process. They must be identified and employed with specific outcomes and projected dates prior to the initiation of a formal referral to the PPT process.

Steps in the SIT Process

1. The teacher contacts parents about the concerns in question and informs them that assistance of other grade level teachers will be requested in an effort to address the concerns. (Tier 1)

2. If child continues to have difficulty, the teacher fills out a SIT Initial Student Referral Form and gives it to the Principal.

3. The Administrator will convene one of the following to discuss the specific nature of the student's problem. The SIT Meeting form will be used to document the meeting minutes. (Tier II and Tier III)

The Pyramid of Intervention graphically illustrates the three tiers in the SIT process.

Repeated Suspensions/Potential Dropout

Students whose behavior, attendance or progress in school is considered unsatisfactory (potential dropouts) are screened for a possible referral to Special Services by each building level Student Intervention Team. Depending on the nature of the problem, referral sources include teachers, parents, nurses, administrators, guidance counselors, etc. Students who receive five or more suspensions during a given school year are referred to the Child Study Team. The purpose of the referral is to review the student's current academic/social adjustment in order to more effectively deal with the student's inappropriate behavior. In those cases in which the student is suspected of having a disability, a referral is made to the PPT.