Child Find

Procedures for Locating and Identifying Children with Disabilities

Overview

Child Find Obligations

The Child Find process requires Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities residing in its jurisdiction. This obligation includes all students who attend private (including religious) schools, migrant or homeless students, students who are wards of the State, and students with suspected disabilities who are not advancing in grade level. (20 USC 1412 (a)(3)(A), 20 USC 1412 (a)(10)(A)(ii)(I), 34 CFR 300.111, 34 CFR 300.131, 34 CFR 300.111(c)(2), 34 CFR 300.101(c), 30 EC 56301.)

It is important to note that Child Find is a screening process that identifies children who have a disability, or are suspected of having a disability and may need special education and related services. Children identified through the Child Find process must still be assessed to confirm eligibility. For more information on Disability Assessments, reference Part IV: Procedures for Determining Eligibility.

SCUSD must actively and systematically seek out all children with exceptional needs who reside within the school district by engaging in the following activities:

  • Distributing written information to all schools in the area, as well as to other agencies that are likely to encounter children with special needs.
  • Furnishing information on the internet
  • Offering training to private school employees
  • Developing pamphlets about the availability of special education services and how to access them
  • Reaching out to the Sacramento City School District community through:
    • Public Service Announcements  
    • Media Advisories
    • Press Releases
    • SCUSD Website

Specific information concerning Child Find is provided under the following topic areas:

  • Infants and Toddlers  
  • Preschool-Aged Students  
  • Private School Students
  • Determining whether a child is eligible for services under the IDEA as a result of identification through Child Find

Infants and Toddlers 

Sacramento County Office of Education provides Infant Development Services to eligible infants ages 0-3.     

Preschool-Aged Students

SCUSD must identify preschool children aged 3 to 5 with disabilities through:

  • Child Find activities listed in the Child Find Obligations Section  
  • Direct referrals from parents, preschools, physicians, members of the community, and Kindergarten teachers

More information regarding referrals is located within Part III: General Education Interventions Identification of children who are in transition from the Early Start Program

Private School Students

If a student attends a private school located within the jurisdiction of SCUSD, SCUSD is considered the student’s “District of Attendance.” As such, SCUSD is responsible for Child Find activities for that student regardless of where the student actually resides. Therefore, SCUSD must conduct Child Find in all private schools, including religious, elementary and secondary schools that are located within SCUSD’s jurisdictional boundaries (34 CFR 300.131.).

If a student resides within SCUSD’s jurisdictional boundaries but attends a private school outside of the school district, SCUSD is not responsible to conduct Child Find. However, SCUSD is responsible to assess (or otherwise respond) if and when there is an assessment request to determine whether the student is eligible for special education and related services and to develop an individualized education program (IEP) if the student desires a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

Please note exception for students residing in the Elk Grove Unified SELPA, San Juan Unified SELPA, Folsom-Cordova SELPA and SCOE SELPA:

The above SELPAs along with SCUSD SELPA have developed a local policy/practice regarding the responsibility of Child Find.  The five SELPAs have agreed to assess students under Child Find if the student resides in their district, even if the private school is located outside the SELPA’s boundaries.  If the child meets eligibility criteria through the IEP process and the parent declines the services of FAPE and does not enroll in the school district, the case is then referred to the SELPA where the private school is located for development of an Individual Service Plan. This agreement is a K–12 agreement and does not include preschool.

In its execution of Child Find activities for private school students, SCUSD must:

Consult with appropriate representatives of private school students with disabilities on how to carry out Child Find activities (34 CFR 300.134, 30 EC 56301 and 56171)   

Maintain in its records, and provide to the State, the number of parentally placed private school students evaluated, determined to have disabilities and served (20 USC1412 (a)(10)(A)(i)(V), 34 CFR 300.132© & 300.131(b), 30 EC 56301 (c)(1).)   

Ensure the equitable participation of parentally placed private, including religious school students with disabilities, an accurate count of these students, and a completion period that is comparable to that for other pupils attending public schools in the local educational agency (20 USC 1412 (a)(10)(A)(ii)(V), 34 CFR 300.131(e), 34 CFR 300.134, 30   EC 56301(c)(1) & (c)(3).)   

Ensure timely and meaningful consultation during the Child Find process by consulting with private school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally placed private school students with disabilities during the design and development of special education and related services for the students, including:  

  • Equitable participation opportunity
  • Information as to how parents, teachers, and private school officials will be informed of the process and assurance of how the consultation process will operate throughout the school year to provide meaningful participation in special education and related services (20 USC 1412 (a)(10)(A)(ii) & (iii), 34 CFR 300.134 & 300138, 30 EC 56301(c)(1) & (d)(1).)   In the event of a disagreement over provision of services or the types of services for a private school student with a disability, provide a private school official with a written explanation of the reasons explaining why SCUSD chose not to provide services (20 USC 1412 (a)(10)(A)(iii)(V), 300.134(e).)   

Obtain written, signed affirmation of timely and meaningful consultation from private school representatives of parents of parentally placed private school students with disabilities in the design and development of special education and related services (20 USC 1412 (a)(10)(A)(iv), 34 CFR 300.134 and 300.135(a), 30 EC 56172(c).)    Provide special education and related services to parentally placed private school students with disabilities secular, neutral, and non-ideological, including materials and equipment (20 USC 1412 (a)(10)(A)(vi)(II), 34 CFR 300.304(c)(6), 34 CFR 300.138(c), 30 EC 56172(f).))

Determining Whether a Child is Eligible For Services Under The Idea as a Result of Identification Through Child Find

If SCUSD has knowledge that a student has a disability, or is suspected of having a disability and may need special education and related services, SCUSD must offer to assess the student.  

Indicators for when a student is suspected of having a disability and SCUSD should thus offer an initial assessment include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Parent(s) expressed concerns in writing to SCUSD personnel, or to one of the student’s teachers, that the student may be in need of special education and related services   
  • Parent or school staff has requested an initial evaluation of the student Student’s teacher, or other SCUSD personnel, has expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the student, directly to the Director of Special Education