Private and Homeschooled Students

Special​ ​Education​ ​Local​ ​Operating​ ​Guidelines​ ​For Private/Home​ ​Schooled​ ​Students

Characteristics of a private school (including a religious school and homeschool):

  • An adopted curriculum, including scope and sequence;
  • Formal review and documentation of student progress and performance gains;
  • Teaching strategies and methods; and
  • Targeted instruction based on identified student needs

System to identify, locate, evaluate, and serve:

  • CISD will locate and evaluate all children who attend a private school located within the jurisdiction of CISD. This will include those students with disabilities attending religiously affiliated schools and students who are homeschooled. Referral and evaluation will be conducted in the same manner as other students.

Each school year, representatives of private schools are invited to a face-to-face meeting to discuss child find activities and participate in consultation as stated below (Consultation process). Follow up letters will be sent to each private school outlining the district’s proportionate share decisions.

Evaluation of students who reside within the jurisdiction of CISD:

  • Private school personnel or the parent contacts the student’s CISD home campus to request an evaluation for special education.
  • CISD home campus diagnostician or speech language pathologist gathers the referral information and conducts the evaluation on the home campus in the same manner as other students.
  • The initial ARD meeting is held at the CISD home campus to determine eligibility and develop an IEP including placement options that CISD is willing to provide.
  • Parent will make the choice between public school services or private school services subject to the procedures stated below (participation in these services).

Evaluation of students who reside outside the jurisdiction of CISD but attend a private school within CISD:

  • Private school personnel or the parent contacts CISD Special Services @ 806-677-2631 to request an evaluation for special education.
  • A CISD diagnostician or speech language pathologist will be given the assignment to gather referral information and conduct an evaluation at the private school in the same manner as other students.
  • The diagnostician or speech language pathologist will convene a multidisciplinary team meeting composed of qualified professionals and the parent to be held at the private school campus.
  • CISD evaluation personnel will share all information with the parents and advise them of services in the home district.

Participation in these services:

  • All eligible private school students will be considered for participation in special education services using the proportionate share amount. No individual child has a right to participate or a guarantee of being designated to receive services. If the student is designated to participate, he or she has no right to the same type or amount of services the student would have received if the child had enrolled in the public school system.

Child Find for private school children:

  • For a child aged birth-21 who resides in CISD, the ARD committee will decide whether an IEP will be developed even if the parent clearly indicates the child will be enrolled in private school.
  • Eligible private school students will be given the same opportunity for reevaluation and annual ARDs as all other CISD special education students.

Consultation process:

  • Representatives of eligible private school students including parents, private school administrators, and private school teachers will be consulted on an ongoing basis in regards to—
  • Child find
  • Proportionate share of funds
  • Consultation process
  • Provision of special education and related services
  • Written explanation by CISD regarding services
  • Consultation will be timely, meaningful, and held before eligible private school students are designated to participate.
  • Consultation will be used to obtain information on the number, needs, and location of eligible private school students. The consultation will include who should participate, the nature, method and location of services, and how the services should be evaluated.
  • CISD will make the final decision on who participates, the specifics of the program, and how it will be evaluated.
  • Consultation may be in written form or through individual or group meetings.

Proportionate share:

  • CISD will calculate the proportionate share of IDEA-B funds using the TEA formula—based on the student count as of the TEA date. Data will be based on the previous school year student count.
  • CISD will make the final decision on who participates.
  • This decision will be made on a yearly basis.
  • Eligible private school students who move into CISD after service plans are developed will have no entitlement to participate—but will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Based on the proportionate share (calculated on an annual basis) CISD will annually determine how many students will be served, the amount of time to be served, and the type of services to be provided.

Service Plan:

  • Individual service plans will be in place before the beginning of the school year, or before services begin.
  • Individual plans will be implemented as soon as possible after development.
  • The plans are available to staff who implement them.
  • The plans will be reviewed periodically, but at least annually.
  • Students with a plan in one school year have no entitlement to participate the next year.
  • Individual service plan team:
  • The team is the same as the ARD committee plus a representative of the private school.
  • The general education teacher may be an employee of the private school or the home school parent.
  • Notice will be given to the parent regarding a mutually convenient time and place of the meeting, the purpose of the ARD, and who will be in attendance. CISD will use the 5 school day notice rule.
  • CISD will follow the same procedures as for ARD committee meetings to hold the service plan meeting without the parent.
  • CISD will provide a copy of the service plan to the parent.
  • Components of an individual service plan:
  • The service plan will describe the specific special education and related services that CISD will provide.
  • The service plan will specify where the services will be provided.
  • The service plan will address transportation.

Use of school district property:

  • Equipment and supplies may be placed at the private school as determined by CISD.
  • The equipment and supplies will remain CISD property and under the control of CISD.
  • The equipment and supplies may be used only to serve the specific eligible private school student.
  • The equipment and supplies should be removed promptly when no longer needed.
  • CISD may remove the equipment and supplies if it determines they are being used for purposes other than serving the specific eligible student.

Procedural protections available to the parent:

  • Parents of a private school child may request a due process hearing relating to the identification (i.e., child find) or evaluation of the child. Due process hearings relating to the educational placement or the provision of FAPE are not available to parents who voluntarily place their child in a private school.
  • Parents can only file a complaint with TEA about the nature or implementation of a service plan, or that an eligible private school student was not designated to participate in the program funded by the proportionate share in a specific school year.