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, intellectual disabilities, visual and hearing impairments, developmental delays, physical disabilities (including ADHD), emotional disabilities, and multiple disabilities.
The Child Find Coordinator for Cleveland School District is:
Markeita Brinkley, Special Education Director
Cleveland School District