Exceptional Children

Belinda Bowling
Belinda Bowling
Special Education Administrator & Preschool

Garrard County Exceptional Children’s Services

Welcome to the Exceptional Children’s Services page.  You will find information here about the services provided for students with disabilities which impact the student’s education or the student’s ability to access the educational environment.  This page is designed to provide families information to help them navigate this, sometimes complex, system.  If your question is not answered here or you need additional help, please feel free to call Belinda Bowling at (859) 792-3018 or email her at Belinda.bowling@garrard.kyschools.us

Referrals are generally made by teachers or parents but can be made by anyone.  If a person other than the child’s teacher or parent makes a referral, the resulting process and information will only be shared with the child’s parent(s), teachers who work with that child and the school administrators. 

A Referral indicates that someone thinks the child has a disability that is negatively impacting his or her education or the ability of the student to access the educational setting.  In order to be certain that we have a full picture of the child’s needs, we will begin with a referral for IDEA-B (or special education).  A committee (Admissions and Release Committee or ARC) meets to consider the referral.  This committee will consider the data the school has showing the child’s progress as well as any data or information the  family presents. 

The Kentucky Department of Education requires an intervention process prior to or as a part of the referral process.  The school or district cannot delay evaluation in order to implement interventions but interventions are a part of the data that must be considered when making a decision about whether a student has an educational disability. 

Garrard County Schools wants parents to be a partner with the school staff during the intervention process, the referral process, the evaluation process and the decision making process.  Here are some facts that may halp parents understand and participate in this process:

  1. If there is a suspected disability, special education eligibility will be considered first.
  2. If general education interventions can meet the child’s needs, we are truly excited!  Identification as a child with an educational disability only happens when the child’s needs cannot be met without a placement.
  3. The intervention process will be utilized to help the committee determine whether step # 2 is possible. It is our desire that all students are successful. 
  4. If a disability is suspected as the reason a student is not being successful, a comprehensive evaluation will be conducted to help the committee better understand the student’s strengths and needs and whether the child is eligible for and requires specially designed instruction and  related services. 
  5. While this is a simplified explanation, in general, if a child is found to have an educational disability and special instruction is needed, the student will be served through special education. If the student needs accommodations in order to be able to access the educational environment, the student will be served with a Section 504 plan.  

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