Daviess-Martin Special Education Cooperative operates a comprehensive special education program for students with disabilities. Operating in accordance with Article 7 of the Indiana Department of Education, which governs the provision of special education, this program encompasses a continuum of services. These range from consultation to resource rooms to self-contained classrooms, depending on the individual needs of the students identified as having a disability. Services for all students with language/speech impairment, for secondary students with disabilities, and for elementary students with cognitive disabilities, i.e., those who are mildly mentally handicapped, and emotionally disabled, are available in every building. These students attend their regular school. Elementary students with severe emotional disabilities and other students with severe disabilities may be assigned to a school other than that which he/she would normally attend, with transportation services provided by the cooperative.
Eligibility for special education is determined through the evaluation process. Following completion of evaluation, it is at the case conference that the parent(s), a school administrator, general education teacher, school psychologist, and –depending on the presenting concerns – other school personnel meet to discuss evaluation results. In some cases, this discussion includes determination of a student’s eligibility to receive special education as a student with a disability. If the student is identified as a student with a disability and eligible for special education, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed. Required components of the IEP include a statement of present level of educational performance, annual goals and short-term objectives, extent of participation in general education, services and accommodations needed, date of initiation frequency and duration of services, and anticipated accommodations, and strategies for evaluation. For students with significant behavioral needs, a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) needs to be included as part of the IEP. For all students 14 and older, a transition plan is also needed. We will soon be using the ISTART 7 electronic web based IEP.
At least once a year, a case conference is reconvened to review eligibility and, as appropriate, to develop a new IEP. Every three years, a re-evaluation review is conducted to provide additional evaluation data, if needed, to assist in the determination of future services for the student.