How Do I Get Help If I Think My Child May Have a Learning Problem?

If your child appears to be struggling please contact your child's teacher. Communication between parent and teacher is a critical first-step to student achievement, and it may very well resolve the issue. After addressing your child's needs through strategies in the classroom and possibly academic intervention services (AIS), the teacher may find that the issue is not resolved and will contact you to discuss further the district’s Multi-tiered Support System (MTSS).

The primary purpose of any MTSS program is the effective instruction of all children through

  • development of a multi-tiered model for service delivery;
  • early identification of individual student needs; use of problem-solving or standard protocol methods to make decisions within the multi-tiered model;
  • reliance on research-based, scientifically validated instruction methods and interventions; and
  • screening, diagnostics, and progress monitoring assessments to inform instruction and interventions.

Our district's MTSS program will use a multi-tiered service delivery model with distinctive support structures built into each tier to guide teachers with choosing available and appropriate curricula tools, assessments and instructional practices conducive to academic achievement.

The MTSS process is a team-based problem-solving model.  The team may include any of the following professionals depending on the needs of the student: general education teacher, special education teacher, speech teacher, occupational therapist, physical therapist, counselor, psychologist, parent, and an administrator. The team will being gathering pertinent data indicating a student’s areas of deficit and insufficient progress when utilizing research-based interventions. 

The Team Facilitator will set periodic follow-up meetings to determine whether or not data such as student work samples, test results, etc., determine if the interventions are helping the student make adequate progress. If the team discerns that adequate progress is being made, the interventions will remain in place until the data indicates that the need or level of need has been remediated.  If the team discovers that the current interventions are not affecting adequate progress, changes to the interventions will be made, such as but not limited to the following:

  • change in pedagogical approach
  • increase in duration of instruction (example: increased session time)
  • increase in frequency of instruction (example: everyday versus alternating day)
  • increase in intensity of instruction (example: decrease teacher to student ratio) 

If your child's learning difficulties persist after the MTSS process, a request for referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) can be made by the classroom teacher to the Director of Secondary and/or Elementary & Pre-K Special Education, located at  Special Education Office/MS Annex.  A parent can also make a referral in writing at any time to the Director. Before proceeding with special education eligibility, parents need to sign permission for a comprehensive evaluation.  With permission, an eligibility group (which may include members from the problem-solving team) will determine what data, if any, is needed to complete the evaluation.  In most cases, reporting on the local district assessments, performance on state assessments, as well as any diagnostic testing completed during the problem-solving process will comprise most of the data needed for determination.  However, observations of the child in his/her learning environment will also need to be included.  Any additional standardized assessments that are administered should have utility for designing intensive interventions for the student or to rule out other factors such as possible Significant Limited Intellectual Capacity or Significant Identified Emotional Disability. 

It is the philosophy and practice of the Longwood District to provide educational programs and services that meet the needs of our students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The district provides a range of programs and services, such as: consultant teacher services, resource room, co-teaching integrated model, special class in district, special class/placement out of district (only when student's unique needs warrant this more restrictive, intensive, specially designed program), speech and language services, occupational and physical therapy services, counseling services, transitional services, and special education summer programs.

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