Special Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that assures children and youth with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Western Reserve Local School District provides a continuum of special education programs and services for preschool and school-age students with disabilities.

A Search for All Children with Disabilities - Child Find

Child Find is the process of identifying, locating, and evaluating all children from age three to twenty-one who may have a disability and be in need of special education and related services, regardless of the severity of the disability. The district seeks to identify, through child find, all children in the Western Reserve School District who attend a public or non-public school in the district or who are homeless or wards of the state who may be in need of special education and related services.

Western Reserve Local School District is asking parents, relatives, public and private agency employees, and concerned citizens to help the district find any child who may have a disability and need special education and related services. If you are aware of a child who may have special needs, please notify Western Reserve Local School at (419) 668-8470. 

The 13 Disability Categories Under IDEA

A child with a disability is a child having a cognitive disability, hearing impairment (including deafness), visual impairment (including blindness), a speech or language impairment, a serious emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairment, specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities.  Developmental Delay means a child of three to five years who is experiencing a delay as determined by an evaluation team, IEP team, and other qualified professionals in one or more of the following areas of development:  

  1. Physical Development
  2. Cognitive Development
  3. Communication Development
  4. Social or Emotional Development 
  5. Adaptive Development

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?

An IEP is a written statement (educational plan) for a child who has been identified as eligible under IDEA and has been determined to need special education (34-CFR 300.320). Ohio has a mandatory IEP form that all Ohio school districts must use (ODE Form PR-07).

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What is the difference between an IEP and 504 Plan?

Section 504 can have a much broader application and protect students who may qualify as disabled under Section 504 but do not qualify under IDEA.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) only applies to students who require special education because they have one of the specified types of disabilities.

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Who should I contact if I am concerned about my child’s development and he/she is 3 years old or younger?

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I have concerns regarding my child’s academic/behavioral skills at school, what should I do?

Begin by having a conversation with your child’s teacher to collaborate regarding how Western Reserve may further support your child. They will be able to explain what they understand about your child’s behavior in a classroom setting.​

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. My child was evaluated by a private psychologist and diagnosed with a mental/physical impairment, how do I go about exploring school-based supports and with whom should I share the private report?

Please contact the school psychologist.

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Due to economic hardship, my family is living in a hotel, shelter, or other living situation that is not consistent. Who can I contact to explore resources and support?

Please contact the school guidance counselor.

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