Indiana Digital Learning School offers robust special education services to support students and meet their needs, empowering them to thrive in school and beyond. With high-quality, personalized learning and the help of teachers and support staff, students with special needs can achieve their academic goals, find their confidence, and pave a path to success.
English Language Learners (ELL) Coordinator
Section 504 Coordinator
Foster Care Coordinator
American with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance Act Coordinator/Special Programs Manager
Request for Parent/Guardian Interpreter Services or Disability Accommodations
In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirement that all educational agencies provide parents of students with disabilities notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under the IDEA and U.S. Department of Education regulations, please click on one of the links below to review the Procedural Safeguards Notice.
Annual Public Notice of Special Services & Programs
In accordance with federal and state regulations, INDLS will provide an annual public notice to families informing them of INDLS’s child find responsibilities, procedures involved in the identification of educational disabilities and determination of students’ service and support needs.
Families are encouraged to review the following information that describes these regulations. Information regarding INDLS’s internal practices to comply with these will be available in the INDLS’s Special Programs Manuals and Handbooks.
INDLS will provide written notice annually to parents of students currently in attendance, or students of legal age currently in attendance, of their rights regarding confidentiality of personally identifiable information, including the right to:
- Inspect and review the student’s educational record with respect to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the student and the provision of a free appropriate public education to the student.
- Seek amendment of the student’s educational record that the Legal Guardian or student of legal age believes to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.
- Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational record, except to the extent that this rule authorizes disclosure without consent
- File a complaint concerning INDLS’s alleged failure to comply with the requirements of this rule.
Indiana Digital Learning School seeks to ensure that all students who are school-age (5 through the school year in which they turn 20) within its school and who are in need of special education and supportive assistance—including homeless children, state wards, state agency clients, highly mobile children (including migrant or homeless), and children who are suspected of being disabled and in need of special education and supportive assistance even though they are advancing from grade to grade are identified—are located and evaluated in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Indiana’s Article 7.
INDLS child find responsibility shall be accomplished through a school-wide process which, while not a definitive or final judgment of a student’s capabilities or disability, is a possible indicator of special education needs. Final identification of students with disabilities and programming for such students occurs only after an appropriate evaluation and a determination by the IEP Team.
The child find process shall include obtaining data on each child through multiple measures, direct assessment and parent information regarding the child’s academic and functional performance, gross and fine motor skills, receptive and expressive language skills, vision, hearing and cognitive skills.
Parent/Guardian permission and involvement is a vital piece in the process. Once a student has been identified as having a “suspected disability” or identified as having a disability, Indiana Digital Learning School will ask the student or the student’s Parent/Guardian for information about the child such as:
- How has the suspected disability or identified disability hindered the student’s learning?
- What has been done, educationally, to intervene and correct the student’s emerging learning deficits?
- What educational or medical information relative to the suspected disability or identified disability is available to be shared with the school?
If the child find process indicates that a student may require special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education, the student shall be referred to the IEP Team to determine the student’s eligibility for special education services. School staff, parents or agency representatives or other individuals with knowledge of the child may refer children to the IEP team if they believe that the student, because of a disability, may be in need of special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education. Such a referral should follow the school’s pre-referral and referral policy.
Once written parental/guardian consent is obtained, INDLS will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation results, the parent can request an independent education evaluation at public expense.
Written parental consent must be obtained in order to conduct an initial evaluation or reevaluation.
The initial evaluation notification form and the reevaluation form created on Indiana IEP will be used as the Parental Consent for Evaluation form. This form must be signed, dated, and returned to the school before any piece of an evaluation can be conducted.
If signed consent for evaluation is not immediately obtained, the Public Agency will document attempts to obtain consent using at least three (3) different methods of communication (i.e. email, phone call, certified mail, home visit, etc.).
Special Education (IEP) or Service Agreements (504 Plans)
For students confirmed to present with special education needs, once the IEP team agrees on the IEP and the student’s educational placement, a Prior Written Notice (PWN) will be sent to the parent/guardian for signature. This must be signed and returned to INDLS. INDLS can only proceed with implementing the student’s IEP (or 504 Plan) upon receipt of the signed PWN. Some students are found to present with one or more disability, but do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined under IDEA (special education); however their disability may still require INDLS to develop a 504 Service Agreement (504 Plan) to outline the special provisions a student may require for adaptations and/or accommodations in school-based instruction, facilities, and/or activities.
A student may receive a related service under special education as directed by an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or as part of a Section 504 Plan if an educational need is identified. Within the school environment, all related services are provided as a support to enhance the student’s ability to access his/her educational program.
It is important to realize that if a student has an identifiable therapy need which does not prevent the student from accessing or progressing in his/her educational program, then school-based therapy is not needed. The priorities of educationally based and clinically based therapies are different. The therapists are equally trained and licensed, but the approach and goals for each setting is different. There are some students who have a medical need for therapy but do not have an educational need. Related services are provided only as needed to support the student in meeting his/her educational goals; therefore, the level of support is dependent upon the student’s educational goals. It is important to understand these differences and why the goals are specific for outcomes related to the setting for which the student/patient is present.
Special Education Grievances or Disputes
INDLS recognizes that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between the school-based team and INDLS families or students. Should this situation occur, the INDLS special education case manager will initiate an IEP team discussion where the specific details contributing to any educational concern are fully discussed and addressed as the entire team determines what they would consider most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting, and the INDLS Special Education Team seeks to establish and maintain the confidence of its families to always serve its students in order to maximize their educational success.
Dispute Resolution Options
- IEP Facilitation—IEP facilitation is a voluntary process that can be utilized when all parties to an IEP meeting agree that the presence of a neutral third party would help facilitate communication and the successful drafting of the student’s IEP. This process is not necessary for most IEP meetings. Rather, it is most often utilized when there is a sense from any of the participants that the issues at the IEP meeting are creating an impasse or acrimonious climate.
- Mediation—A voluntary process in which both parties seek to resolve the issues involved in the concern with an unbiased, third party mediator from the Indiana Department of Education. The mediator who will write up the details of the agreement that the parties come to through the mediation conference, the agreement is signed by both parties, and thus what the document states is mandated to be implemented; This process is overall less time-consuming, less stressful, and less expensive to complete than a due process hearing (see below)