The Special Services Department of the Brookhaven School District provides student services and support, including Special Education (under the provisions of IDEA 2004), and Gifted Education.
All school districts in Mississippi participate in an ongoing statewide effort to identify and evaluate children from birth through twenty-one years of age who may have disabilities and who are not currently receiving special education services. Parents, service agencies, preschool teachers, physicians or any other concerned individual may refer a child to the Child Find Coordinator of their local school district. Once a referral is made, it is the responsibility of the Child Find Coordinator to insure that the Mississippi Referral-to-Placement process is implemented in order to determine a child's eligibility for services.
Before a child is evaluated, written prior notice is given to the parents and procedural safeguards as well as parents' rights are explained. After parental permission for testing is obtained, a nondiscriminatory evaluation is conducted. Children are evaluated in all areas related to the suspected disability.
If a child is determined eligible for special education services, parents are notified and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed for that child. Parents must sign consent for placement prior to the child's receiving any special services. Services provided by each school district include speech/language therapy, services for autism, brain-injuries, learning disabilities, mental retardation, visual and hearing impairments, developmental delays, physical disabilities (including ADHD), emotional disabilities, and multiple disabilities.
The staff of the Special Services Department works closely with administrators, counselors and teachers to ensure that these students receive the educational and support services they need to fulfill a successful student experience. Special Services is proud to continue their partnership with King’s Daughters Medical Center to provide Occupational and Physical Therapy in the classroom rather than clinical settings. Parents, teachers, and students have benefited greatly from these onsite services. Teachers are able to benefit from directly observing therapy techniques that can be continued in the classroom during instruction throughout the year. Therapists are also able to make recommendations for devices and instructional techniques that can benefit the child.
During the school year, children in need of special services receive the individualized attention, encouragement and resources they need to accomplish their academic goals and beyond.
The Mississippi Department of Education has issued new Procedural Safeguards for students with disabilities. It is important that all parents of students with disabilities read and understand this document. If you have any questions or would like assistance understanding your rights or the rights of your child, please contact Brandy Myers at (601) 835-1211. You may also come by the Special Services Office located at 711 Martin Luther King Drive Monday through Friday for assistance.