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Exceptional Children

Wendy Congleton
Director of Special Education and Preschool/504 Director



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 and perform in the educational environment.  This page is designed to provide families with 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 Wendy Congleton at (859) 792-3018 or email at wendy.congleton@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 the child, and the school administrators. 

A Referral indicates that someone thinks the child has a disability that is negatively impacting his or her educatio,n and the ability of the student to access and perform in the educational setting.  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 (e.g., Response-to-Intervetion (RTI), district assessments, grade-level/school assessments, observations, grades, and etc.) retrieved and review the child’s progress as well as any data or information the family presents. 

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) 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 evidenced-based 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 faculty/staff during the intervention process, referral process, evaluation process, and decision making process.  Here are some facts that may help 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 to access the educational environment, the student will be served with a Section 504 plan.  


The Garrard County Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, marital status, age, sex, or handicap as set forth in Title XI, and Section 504.  Any person having inquiries about compliance with these requirements is directed to contact Superintendent Sonny Fentress at the Garrard County Board of Education, W. Maple Ave., Lancaster, Kentucky 40444, (859) 792-3018. 


  • Social, Emotional and Behavioral Health
Contact Us
Garrard County Schools 322 W. Maple Ave
Lancaster, KY 40444

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Phone: 859.792.3018
Fax: 859.792.4733