Special Education Profile

  • Jacksonville City Schools is committed to “High Standards, High Expectations and High Achievers” for all students. The special education program (Program for Exceptional Children and Youth) is designed to offer services and support to students who have been identified as having a disability according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). If you know of a child with a disability or suspect that a child has a disability, please contact Erika Clark, Director of Educational Services for Jacksonville City Schools, at 256-782-5686. She may also be reached by email at eclark@jcsboe.org. We offer evaluations and services for students ages 3-21.

    The special education process begins with a referral. Anyone with knowledge or suspicion of a child having a disability can make the referral. Once the referral is made, the parents are contacted to come to the school for a meeting. In this meeting, the parents' rights will be explained, as well as the special education process. We will discuss all concerns regarding the child and will make recommendations on whether or not to proceed with testing. If the decision is made to continue with the evaluation, we will obtain the parent's/guardian's written consent for testing.

    Testing is completed by system’s psychometrist, and special education teacher. The type of testing to be completed is determined by the areas of concern expressed. The testing is completed at school. Once the testing is completed, the parents/guardians are invited back to school to discuss the results and determine whether or not the child is eligible for special education services. If it is determined that the child meets the criteria for one of the areas of disabilities and that the child requires specially designed instruction because of this disability, then an Individual Education Program (IEP) is written for the student. The IEP is written by the IEP team, including the parents, general education teacher, special education teacher and an administrator or other school system representative. This IEP outlines the specific services that are being offered to the child in order to reach maximum benefit. At this point, the parent/guardian has the right to accept or decline these services. If accepted, the parent is asked to sign a consent form, giving the school system permission to provide services to the student. Each year, usually in the spring, the IEP is rewritten for the next year. In those annual meetings, we will discuss the progress made by the student over the past year and propose a new IEP for the upcoming year. Parent input is essential for designing an appropriate IEP to meet the needs of the student. Again, we ask for input from the entire IEP team (parents, general educators, special educators, school administrators). Anyone on the IEP team may request a meeting more often than once a year. If concerns arise during the school year, any IEP team member (including parents) may request that the team reconvene to review the IEP and see if any adjustments are needed.

    Once every three years, and more often if necessary, we will re-evaluate the student to measure progress and to make sure that the student still qualifies for services. The parent is involved in the reevaluation process as well.

Special Education Files