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Availability of Services for Students with Special Needs

Your local school district and all public schools in Kansas provide free special education services 
for eligible exceptional children ages 3 through 21 or high school graduation.  Parents are 
encouraged to seek assistance from teachers, principals or other professionals if they have 
questions regarding their child’s progress in school.  Children with autism, emotional disturbance, 
giftedness, hearing impairments, specific learning disabilities, mental retardation, orthopedic 
impairments, other health impairments, speech or language impairments, traumatic brain injuries, 
or visual impairments may be found to be eligible and in need of special education or related 
services.  In addition, children ages 3 through 9 who are experiencing developmental delays may 
also need these services.  The related services, which is not an all­inclusive list includes:  
assistive technology devices and services, audiology, counseling services, early identification and 
assessment of disabilities, interpreting services, medical services for diagnostic or evaluation 
references, occupational therapy, orientation and mobility services, parent counseling and 
training, physical therapy, recreation including therapeutic recreation, rehabilitation counseling, 
school health services, school nurse services, school psychological services, school social work, 
speech and language, special education administration and supervision, transportation, 
vocational/transitional, and other developmental, corrective or support resources.  

Special education is not meant for all children experiencing problems in development or trouble 
with schoolwork.  Some students who are experiencing difficulty benefit more from the individual 
attention of a general education classroom teacher, the guidance counselor, and, of course, 
concerned parents.  Your school district makes an effort to screen students for possible 
disabilities by carefully monitoring their progress on daily work and on achievement tests.  Special 
education professionals, as part of school student improvement teams, sometimes work with 
regular education teachers and students to help solve problems students experience in learning.  
When classroom interventions are not successful, a referral for an initial evaluation is made.  In 
addition, free screening clinics for children ages birth to five are held on a monthly basis in the 
area, and any parent with a concern is welcome to bring their child to be screened.  School 
counselors, psychologists, and social workers are available to visit with teachers and parents 
regarding any concerns they might have.  Parents who are concerned that their child may have 
an undetected disability are asked to notify the principal of the child’s school in writing regarding 
the concerns.

Parents and their exceptional children have a number of rights under the law with regard to 
special education.  For each of these rights, there are certain responsibilities both for parents and 
for the school.  The school system is responsible for safeguarding children’s rights, including the 
right to benefit from the regular curriculum, to receive educational services in the least restrictive 
environment, and the right to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities.  In 
addition, the school system is responsible for obtaining parental consent before evaluating a child 
or providing him/her special education services, for maintaining the confidentiality of all personal 
information regarding the child, and for making all educational records available to the parents.  
Parents should assist the school system by keeping them informed of things that affect the child’s 
education, attending conferences concerning their child’s educational program, and by keeping 
the lines of communication open.  Together, parents and school personnel can help children 
grown and develop into capable adults.

Your school district is a member of Northeast Kansas Education Service Center (NEKESC), also 
known as Keystone Learning Services, an organization that enables eight school districts in 
Atchison, Leavenworth and Jefferson counties to collaborate in the provision of special education 
services.  Participating districts include the following: Valley Falls USD #338, Jefferson County 
North USD #339, Jefferson West USD #340, Oskaloosa USD #341, McLouth USD #342, Perry 
USD #343, Atchison County USD #377 and Easton USD #449.  In addition, early intervention 
services for eligible children age birth to three in these districts are available through Keystone.
Official records for all students receiving special education services in the above school districts 
are maintained at Keystone Learning Services central office at 500 E. Sunflower Blvd., Ozawkie, 
KS 66070.  Special education teachers maintain files in their classroom on students with whom 
they are working.  Any parent of a student, or student who has reached age 18, has the right to 
review these records without unnecessary delay.  This right includes having someone explain 
documents in the records, obtaining copies of the records at reasonable or no cost, and allowing 
a representative of the parent (with signed permission) to examine records.  In cases where 
records might contain information on more than one student, the parts pertaining to other 
students will be deleted.  Upon request, Keystone discloses educational records without consent 
to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, as allowed by 
federal law.

Anyone who wishes further information concerning services for exceptional students may contact 
the Keystone office in Ozawkie at 785­-876­-2214.  Information is available also through the 
Kansas State Department of Education at 785­-296­-3869, or the “Make a Difference” Hot Line at 
1­-800­-332­-6262.

 
 

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