Skip Navigation

Policy Manual

2460 - Exceptional Student Education

As an expression of its commitment to provide a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities in accordance with State and Federal laws, rules, and regulations, the School District shall develop and implement "Special Programs and Procedures for Exceptional Students" in accordance with the District’s "Exceptional Student Education Policies and Procedures" document. This document shall include at least the components listed below, shall provide administrative procedures for Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs, and shall be revised when required by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), readopted, and submitted to the Florida Department of Education.

  A. Child Find
    Ongoing efforts will be made to identify, locate, and evaluate students aged three through 21, who reside within the District and have a confirmed or suspected disability in accordance with all Federal regulations and State standards.


  B. Procedural Safeguards
    A student with a disability and his/her parent shall be provided with safeguards, as required by law, throughout the identification, evaluation, and placement process, and the provision of a free, appropriate, public education to the student.


  C. Multidisciplinary Evaluation
    This School District shall provide a multidisciplinary evaluation for students with disabilities, or who are suspected of having disabilities, by ensuring that:


    1. students are assessed in their native language or other mode of communication, and in the form that most accurately measures what the student knows and can do;


    2. tests are used for their validated purposes;


    3. students are assessed in all areas related to their suspected disability;


    4. testing is conducted by a multidisciplinary team using a variety of assessment tools and strategies;


    5. testing materials and procedures are not racially or culturally biased;


    6. tests are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel in accordance with instructions provided by the producer of the assessments;


    7. medical evaluation, when required as part of the multidisciplinary evaluation, shall be provided at no cost to the parent by a licensed physician designated by the Superintendent or his/her designee, when other no-cost resources are not available.


  D. Individual Educational Plan
    An individual educational plan (IEP) will be developed for each student with a disability who is eligible for and needs special education and related services. The IEP shall be designed to meet the unique educational needs of the student and shall be developed in an IEP Team Meeting. Parents of the student shall be provided prior written notice and strongly encouraged to participate in all IEP Team Meetings and in all other meetings during which educational decisions will be made. The student's IEP shall be reviewed and revised as often as necessary, but at least annually.


  E. Least Restrictive Environment
    The education of students with disabilities shall occur in the least restrictive environment; special education programs and services shall be appropriate and designed to meet the unique needs of each student with a disability; to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities, including students in public or private institutions or other care facilities, shall be educated with students who do not have disabilities; special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from the regular educational environment, shall occur only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.


  F. Confidentiality of Data
    The confidentiality of personally-identifiable data relating to students with disabilities and their parents and families shall be protected at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction, and that one official of this School District shall be assigned the responsibility for protecting the confidentiality of personally-identifiable data. This District follows all Federal regulations and State standards related to the confidentiality of data. (See Policy 8330 - Student Records)


  G. Due Process
    The School District shall utilize procedures that allow differences of opinion between parents and this District or between agencies and this District, to be aired and resolved; and that the procedures shall provide for utilization of case conferences and impartial hearings that involved the District's proposal or refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the student or the provision of FAPE to the student. The impartial hearings shall be conducted by an administrative law judge from the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings and shall be considered final; however, any party who does not agree with the findings and decision in the due process hearing, including a hearing relating to disciplinary procedures, has the right to bring a civil action with respect to the matter that was the subject of the due process hearing. The action may be brought in a State court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States without regard to the amount in dispute.


  H. Surrogate Parent
    Whenever the parent or a person who acts in a parental role to a student with a disability or a student suspected of having a disability is determined to be legally unavailable, the student's rights shall be protected through the assignment of a surrogate parent. A surrogate parent means an individual appointed by the Superintendent and/or the court to act in place of a parent in educational decision-making and in safeguarding a student's rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The surrogate parent shall not be an employee of the Department of Education, the School District, a community-based care provider, the Department of Children and Family Services, or any other public or private agency involved in the education or care of the student and the surrogate parent shall have no personal or professional interest that conflicts with the interests of the student to be represented. The surrogate parent shall meet all statutory requirements and attend the required training to be appointed. The Superintendent shall appoint a surrogate not more than 30 days after the District determines a particular student is in need of a surrogate.


  I. Participation in State and District Assessments
    Students with disabilities shall participate in the statewide assessment program and in any districtwide assessment of student achievement with allowable accommodations, if determined appropriate by the IEP (individual educational plan) Team and recorded on the student’s IEP. Further, pursuant to State law, the IEP Team may determine that the  result of a statewide standardized assessment or district assessment cannot accurately measure the abilities, taking into consideration all allowable accommodations, and may, therefore, waive assessment results for purposes of determining the student's course grade and/or completing the requirements for middle school promotion and/or graduation with a standard diploma.  Individual exemptions shall be considered by the IEP Team, and recorded on the IEP, for a student requiring an extraordinary exemption, or for a student with a medical complexity requiring an exemption, in accordance with all applicable Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules.


Placement in Residential Care Facility by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) or its contracted lead agency, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), or the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)

When an exceptional student with a disability is placed in a residential care facility by DCF, APD or AHCA, the residential care facility must provide written notification  of the placement to the school district where the student is currently enrolled and counted for funding purposes (the sending school district) and to the school district where the residential facility is located (receiving school district).  The sending school district must promptly respond to requests for transmittal of records, and must collaborate with the residential care facility to ensure that the student receives a free appropriate public education, including services comparable to those described in the student's IEP.

F.S. 1001.4, 1001.42, 1003.01(3)(a), 1003.57, 1008.22
F.A.C. 6A-1.0943, 6A-6.03311, 6A-6.03313, 6A-6.0333, 6A-6.03411
20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.
20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.
34 C.F.R. 300 et seq.

Revised - HCPS - October 28, 2014 

Search for School
Find a School
School Locator

Locate your attendance area school

School Locator