As most Santa Clarita Valley students settle into their first full week of school, districts are encouraging parents and community members who know of a child who may have special needs to contact their local school district office.
The Santa Clarita Valley Special Education Local Plan Area, or SELPA, is a consortium of the Castaic, Newhall, Saugus, Sulphur Springs and William S. Hart Union High School districts, which seeks to provide special education services for students with identified disabilities from birth to age 22.
Many special needs children will benefit from the early intervention services or special education offered at various SCV school sites, said Michele Hill, secretary of the Santa Clarita Valley SELPA.
If referred to special education, a child will be assessed to determine the disability and its impact on school performance to determine eligibility for special education services.
Hill added that students with any of the following disabilities may be eligible for special education services: autism, hearing impaired including deafness, deaf-blindness, emotionally disturbed, speech and language impairment, intellectual disability, orthopedic impairment, multiple disabilities, specific learning disability, traumatic brain injury, other health impairment and visual impairment.
All assessments are followed by an individual education plan team meeting in which parents, teacher and staff determine eligibility, specific goals, placement and objectives, Hill said, before adding that parent permission is required for all special education services.