Special Education Policies and Procedures are available to parents. Please contact the front office Sonoran Desert School for a copy of the Special Education Policies and Procedures manual. The following is Sonoran Desert School’s Child Find Policy and Procedures:

Child Find Policy:

All children with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services shall be identified, located and evaluated (§300.125). Sonoran Desert School conducts a screening within 45 days of entry date on the following areas: academic, vision, hearing, communication, emotional and psychomotor. A practical method shall be developed and implemented to determine which children are currently receiving needed special education and related services (§300.125). *This policy applies to highly mobile children with disabilities and children that are suspected of being a child with a disability under §300.7 and in need of special education, even though they are advancing from grade to grade. (§300.125).

Child Find Procedures:

1. SDS will maintain documentation of the public awareness efforts to inform the public and parents within their jurisdiction of the availability of special education services (§300.125, AAC R702-401).

2. Screening activities will be implemented for all newly enrolled students and those transferring in without sufficient records.

3. The screening will be completed within 45 days of enrollment. The screening will include consideration of academic or cognitive, vision, hearing, communication, emotional and psychomotor domains (AAC R7-2-401(c). The collection and use of data to meet these requirements are subject to the confidentiality requirements of §§300.560 and 300.577.

4. SDS will maintain documentation and annually report the number of children with disabilities within each disability category that have been identified, located and evaluated (§300.125). The collection and use of data to meet these requirements are subject to the confidentiality requirements of §§300.560- and 300.577).

It is the responsibility of Sonoran Desert School to inform the general public and all parents of students enrolled in our school of our responsibility to make available special education services for students with disabilities and how to access those services. In addition we have a responsibility to provide information regarding early intervention services for children birth through 2 years of age.

We are responsible for identifying, locating, and evaluating all children with disabilities within our school and for making appropriate referrals to:

1. Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) for children birth through 2 years of age for evaluation and services if needed; and

2. School district of residence for children aged 3 through 5 for evaluation and services if needed.

SDS is responsible for providing a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), which includes special education and related services for students with disabilities at public expense, under public supervision and direction and without charge to the parents. For all new students to the school, the classroom teacher will complete screening activities with 45 days of enrollment. The teacher will look at the child’s ability in the areas of academics, vision, hearing, communication, social/emotional, adaptive development, and motor skills. If any concerns are noted, the child may be referred for additional help. If you have any concerns about your child please contact Patricia Dalman at (480) 396-5463 for more information.

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; Scroll Down for FERPA En Espanol)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school within 45 days of a request made to the school administrator. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records without copies. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • Parents or eligible students have the right to request in writing that a school correct records that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:
    • School officials with legitimate educational interest
    • A school official is a person employed or contracted by the school to serve as an administrator, supervisor, teacher, or support staff member (including health staff, law enforcement personnel, attorney, auditor, or other similar roles); a person serving on the school board; or a parent or student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks;
    • A legitimate educational interest means the review of records is necessary to fulfill a professional responsibility for the school;
    • Other schools to which a student is seeking to enroll;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, sports participation (including height and weight of athletes) and dates of attendance unless notified by the parents or eligible student that the school is not to disclose the information without consent.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that protects the rights of students with disabilities. In addition to standard school records, for children with disabilities education records could include evaluation and testing materials, medical and health information, Individualized Education Programs and related notices and consents, progress reports, materials related to disciplinary actions, and mediation agreements. Such information is gathered from a number of sources, including the student’s parents and staff of the school of attendance. Also, with parental permission, information may be gathered from additional pertinent sources, such as doctors and other health care providers. This information is collected to assure the child is identified, evaluated, and provided a Free Appropriate Public Education in accordance with state and federal special education laws.

Each agency participating under Part B of IDEA must assure that at all stages of gathering, storing, retaining and disclosing education records to third parties that it complies with the federal confidentiality laws. In addition, the destruction of any education records of a child with a disability must be in accordance with IDEA regulatory requirements.

For additional information or to file a complaint, you may call the federal government at (202) 260-3887 (voice) or 1-800-877-8339 (TDD) OR the Arizona Department of Education (ADE/ESS) at (602) 542-4013. Or you may contact:

Family Policy Compliance Office / U.S. Department of Education / 400 Maryland Avenue, SW / Washington, D.C. / 20202-5901

Arizona Department of Education / Exceptional Student Services / 1535 W. Jefferson, BIN 24 / Phoenix, AZ / 85007

FERPA En Espanol

La Ley de los Derechos y Privacidad Educacionales de la Familia (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act o FERPA) es la ley Federal que protege la privacidad de los expedientes académicos de los estudiantes. FERPA les da a los padres ciertos derechos con respecto a los expedientes académicos de sus hijos. Estos derechos pasan al estudiante cuando éste alcanza la edad de 18 años o asiste a una escuela superior al nivel preparatoria. Estudiantes a quienes los derechos han sido transferidos son “estudiantes elegibles.”

  • Los padres o el estudiante elegible tienen derecho a inspeccionar y revisar el expediente académico del estudiante que es mantenido por la escuela dentro de un período de 45 días a partir de la solicitud hecha al administrador de la escuela. No es obligación de las escuelas proporcionar copias a no ser que sea imposible para los padres o el estudiante elegible revisar el expediente académico sin copias. Las escuelas pueden cobrar una cuota por proporcionar copias.
  • Los padres o el estudiante elegible tienen el derecho a solicitar por escrito que la escuela corrija el expediente académico que ellos crean sea inexacto o engañoso. Si la escuela decide no corregir el expediente académico, el padre o estudiante elegible tiene derecho a una audiencia formal. Después de la audiencia, si la escuela todavía decide no corregir el expediente, el padre o estudiante elegible tiene derecho de poner una declaración en el expediente que presenta su punto de vista sobre los datos protestados.
  • Por lo general, las escuelas deben tener permiso de los padres o del estudiante elegible por escrito para poder revelar cualquier dato del expediente académico del estudiante.
    • Autoridades escolares con interés educacional legítimo
    • Autoridad escolar es una persona empleada o contratada por la escuela para servir como administrador, supervisor, maestro o personal de apoyo (incluyendo personal de salud, personal policial, abogado, auditor u otros con funciones similares); una persona que sirve en la mesa directiva de la escuela; o padre o estudiante que sirve como miembro de un comité autorizado o que asiste a otra autoridad escolar en sus funciones;
    • Un interés educacional legítimo significa que la revisión del expediente es necesaria para cumplir con una responsabilidad profesional para la escuela;
    • Otras escuelas en las que el estudiante está solicitando inscripción;
    • Autoridades especificadas para propósitos de auditoria o evaluación;
    • Partes competentes en relación a asistencia de financiamiento para un estudiante;
    • Organizaciones conduciendo ciertos estudios por o en nombre de la escuela;
    • Organizaciones de acreditación;
    • Para cumplir con una orden judicial o citación emitida de acuerdo con la ley
    • Oficiales competentes en casos de emergencias de salud y seguridad; y
    • Autoridades estatales y locales, dentro del sistema de justicia para menores, de conformidad con la ley estatal específica.

Las escuelas pueden divulgar, sin consentimiento, datos de “directorio” tales como nombre del estudiante, dirección, número de teléfono, fecha y lugar de nacimiento, honores y premios, participación en deportes (incluyendo estatura y peso de los atletas) y fechas de asistencia si no son notificados por los padres o estudiante elegible que la escuela no debe divulgar la información sin consentimiento.

La Ley de la Educación de Personas con Discapacidades (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA) es una ley federal que protege los derechos de estudiantes con discapacidades. Además de los expedientes académicos normales, los expedientes académicos para estudiantes con discapacidades podrían incluir materiales sobre evaluación y exámenes, datos médicos y de salud, Programas Educativos Individualizados y notificaciones y autorizaciones relacionadas, reportes de progreso, materiales relacionadas con acciones disciplinarias y acuerdos de mediación. Tal información es reunida de un número de fuentes, incluyendo los padres del estudiante y personal de la escuela donde asiste el estudiante. También, con permiso de los padres, se pueden reunir datos de fuentes pertinentes adicionales, tales como doctores y otros proveedores de servicios de la salud. Estos datos son recogidos para asegurar que el menor es identificado, evaluado y provisto de una Educación Pública Adecuada Gratuita de acuerdo con las leyes estatales y federales sobre educación especial.

Cada una de las agencias participantes bajo la Parte B de IDEA debe asegurarse que, en todas las etapas de la recolección, archivo, retención y divulgación de los expedientes académicos a terceras partes, cumpla con las leyes federales de confidencialidad. Además, la destrucción de cualquier expediente académico de un menor con una discapacidad debe ser de acuerdo con los requisitos reglamentarios de IDEA.

Para información adicional o para presentar una queja, puede llamar al gobierno federal al (202) 260-3887 (voz) o al 1-800-877-8339 (TDD) o al Departamento de Educación de Arizona (ADE/ESS) al (602) 542-4013. O puede usted contactar:

Family Policy Compliance Office / U.S. Department of Education / 400 Maryland Avenue, SW / Washington, D. C. / 20202-5901

Arizona Department of Education / Exceptional Student Services / 1535 W. Jefferson , BIN 24 / Phoenix, AZ / 85007