All students served by special education services have been evaluated and identified as individuals with disabilities. The district tries to help these students remain in a general education setting by attempting interventions designed to address their specific needs.
When there is a need for intensive additional interventions, a student may be referred for special education services. A referral goes to a referral committee, which includes the parent(s), to determine if evaluation is warranted or premature. Brainstorming ideas for student intervention may take place at this conference which will conclude with an evaluation decision. In order to receive special education services, a student must be found to be an individual with a disability, and then an Individualized Education Plan is written and implemented. For more information on the different disabling categories, please visit the Arkansas Department of Education Website . Scroll to the bottom of this link to find the categories list.
Transfer students are reviewed on a case by case basis to try to continue their previous educational settings as determined by other agencies diagnoses. That nformation is reviewed on an individual basis to determine appropriate programming.
Speech/Language Therapy services are provided during the school day for qualifying students. To qualify, students must be evaluated and identified accordingly. These students will have an Individualized Education Plan developed by an evaluation team that includes parental input. Parents are part of the team. Goals are written and progress is tracked and monitored regularly.
Speech therapy ranges from serving articulation difficulties (sound pronunciation) to language disabilities as well as pragmatics (social language) for those who qualify. There is at least one speech therapist per school building. Therapy times range in minutes according to need and committee decision. There is no cost to the parent. The district does bill Medicaid for billable services. Speech therapy is considered in Arkansas to be part of the special education services.
Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are related services in special education. A child must have a doctor's referral or prescription in order to be evaluated, and must then be found to have deficits in fine motor skills or gross motor skills in order to receive therapy.
We have Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists on staff. They include Jay Guthrie, Libby Gibson, and Barron South. The district also employs a Physical Therapy Aide, Tomoe Mitchell. These therapists serve the entire district.
When a Fayetteville School District student is homebound or has entered a hospital and must be out of school for a minimum of 4 weeks on the traditional schedule or 2 weeks on a block schedule, an application for homebound instruction should be completed at once. In some cases, a student’s application is received after he/she has already missed several days of school, which reduces the four-week period. It is extremely important that parents receive and send the application in as soon as possible, in order to determine if the situation might warrant a homebound teacher. Often, parents are not aware of the homebound services until too much time has elapsed to be approved.
When the school receives a student application for a homebound teacher, the application should be sent to Janice Herring, Coordinator of Homebound Services, so a conference can be scheduled with the parent. The exact date the student has officially begun homebound services will be the Approved Date. A written notification will be sent by the Coordinator of Homebound Services to confirm the date.
The student receiving homebound services should not be dropped from the average daily membership (attendance register). His/her attendance record should show the student as absent but on roll and a note entered into the register indicating that the child is receiving homebound services.
The Homebound Teacher
Any teacher presently teaching in the Fayetteville School District may submit an application to be a homebound teacher. Any person with current teacher certification and an application on file with the district office may also apply to do homebound teaching. Teachers are called on an "as needed" basis, with district employees being called first.
The homebound teacher's function is that of a facilitator between the school and the student. They are allowed one hour initially to contact the school and the teachers in an effort to obtain background information on the student, levels of functioning, secure books, etc. The person designated by the principal as the contact person for homebound teachers should have assignments ready for the homebound teacher to pick up each week as the homebound instructor is compensated for 1 hour per week per school thereafter for planning and preparation purposed. This planning should be done at the school and shall include planning for all students being served by the homebound teacher in the building.
The homebound teacher will consult with the student's parent/guardian to schedule instruction time and will consult the school contact person about student progress after four weeks. The homebound teacher will supervise student, teaching as much as possible within the time limits they have, give assignments and return assignments to the regular teacher. Daily, weekly, and semester tests can be given by the homebound teacher, if requested by the regular teacher. Implementation of the Individual Education Plan for special education students will be followed as closely as possible by the homebound teacher. Daily grades or percentages can be completed by the homebound teacher, but final grading is the responsibility of the regular teacher. A final grade may be suggested by the homebound teacher in those cases that the homebound student has been on homebound services longer that they have been in the regular classroom. It is also strongly recommended that the student's grades be given to his/her counselor. The homebound teacher must consult first with the classroom teacher and pass the information on to the counselor.