School District FAQs

School District FAQs


School District FAQs

    Who is responsible for evaluating students that are interested in applying for the Autism Scholarship?

    Normally, the district of residence conducts an initial evaluation. If the student is determined to be a child with a disability, the district of residence will also conduct reevaluations.

    If the child is enrolled in a non-public school, then the district of residence is responsible for conducting an initial evaluation and the district where the non-public school is located is responsible for conducting reevaluations.

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    Who is responsible for preparing the IEP for the student?

    The district of residence develops an initial IEP that offers a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and annually updates the IEP.

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    Does the student need to enroll in the district to receive an evaluation or IEP?

    No. Statute states the student must be eligible to enter any grade K through 12 in the district in which the child is entitled to attend school. The child must provide the district with the information necessary to create a Statewide Student Identifier (SSID) and verify residence, but they do not have to be enrolled in the district for the district to complete the evaluation and IEP.

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    When signing the IEP, should the parent indicate that they agree with the implementation of the IEP or that they DO NOT agree?

    If the parent agrees with the content of the IEP, they should sign that they agree with the implementation of the IEP. They should sign that they agree even if they are applying for the scholarship and do not intend for the resident district to implement the IEP.

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    What should the district do if a parent applying for the Autism Scholarship disagrees with the disability category that the district has assigned?

    In the instance of a disagreement between the parent and the district over the disability category, the district or parent can file a complaint with ODE's Office for Exceptional Children - Procedural Safeguards. The application will be held in abeyance until all issues have been resolved and there is an agreed upon IEP.

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    How does the district establish an Statewide Student Identifier (SSID) number for the child?

    The on-line application system will be collecting the data elements required to establish an SSID for the student. If the student is not already enrolled in the district, the parent will also need to provide the district with their child's birth certificate and proof of address so that the district can establish residency and generate an SSID.

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    If a child applies for the scholarship and then stops attending school, should the district file truancy against the child?

    Yes. All school-age children are subject to compulsory attendance laws. If the child is not attending the public school or a non-public school, then the parent must register as a home-schooling parent. If the parent simply keeps the child at home pending the approval of the scholarship, the child will be truant.

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    Can a student attend their public school and use the scholarship for supplementary services?

    No. The scholarship requires the student relinquish FAPE at their district of residence and purchase their education and related services through registered scholarship providers.

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    Can a public school district become a registered scholarship provider?

    Yes. A school district can register as a scholarship provider, but they cannot provide services to students who reside in their district. They can only offer services to students whose parents would otherwise be required to pay a fee for those services.

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    If the district doesn’t enroll the student, how will the district receive funds for them prior to the state deducting for the scholarship?

    State law requires that the student must be enrolled OR eligible to enter school in any grade preschool through 12 in the school district in which the child is entitled to attend school. They do not have to enroll and attend the district schools. The district of residence will receive "credit" for the student prior to adjustments for funding purposes by creating an SSID for the student and tracking them in EMIS as a scholarship student.

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    Who is responsible for notifying ODE if a scholarship student re-enrolls in a district school?

    The district must notify ODE if a scholarship student returns to the district.

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    Can students on the scholarship graduate?

    Students who attend chartered non-public schools can earn a diploma from that school. Students who enroll in special education programs that are not chartered schools cannot receive a state recognized diploma from those programs. Districts are required to address the issue of earning credits towards graduation as well as the issuance of a diploma with all students in grades 9-12 prior to the child participating in the autism scholarship program. Those decisions must be recorded on the child's IEP.

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    Will scholarship providers be required to provide intervention (Response to Intervention) prior to suspecting a disability and requesting an Evaluation Team Report (ETR)?

    The short answer is no. The requirement to do interventions for a child not performing at grade level is a school district requirement and not a requirement placed upon a private school or provider. The request for an evaluation from a private school for and Autism Scholarship applicant is the same as the request to evaluate any private school student for the purposes of complying with child find obligations. Futhermore, a district cannot use its intervention system as a reason to delay an evaluation if they suspect a disability.

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    Can auxiliary funded staff serve scholarship students?

    Yes. Children who are attending a chartered non-public school and are receiving services under the Autism Scholarship may also receive special education and related services through auxiliary services funds provided the services paid by auxiliary services funds are not the same services that are being paid for with the scholarship funds. Services provided by auxiliary service staff cannot be billed to the scholarship.

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    Can Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funded staff serve scholarship students?

    If a scholarship student is attending a non-public school and has a service plan, the IDEA funded staff can provider the services on the services plan.

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    Are scholarship students enrolled in a chartered non-public school eligible for transportation?

    A child with a disability who is parentally placed in a chartered non-public school shall be entitled to transportation to the same degree as any child with disabilities who is attending a chartered non-public school. This means that a child with a disability parentally placed in a chartered non-public school in grades kindergarten through eight who lives more than two miles from the chartered non-public school will be transported by the district of residence unless one of the following applies:

    The direct travel time, as measured by riding in a school bus, exceeds 30 minutes from the public school building to which the child with a disability would be assigned if attending the public school to the chartered non-public school the child is attending: or

    Where it is impractical to transport a pupil by school conveyance, a board of education may offer payment in lieu of providing such transportation in accordance with Section 3327.02 of the Ohio Revised Code.

    Children with disabilities who are parentally placed in a chartered non-public school and are in grades nine through 12 may be offered transportation by their district of residence in accordance with the above rules, but are not entitled to transportation.

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    Are districts responsible for administering state achievement tests to autism scholarship students?

    No. Districts are not required to administer the state achievement tests to students who accept the scholarship.

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Last Modified: 12/5/2013 1:15:45 PM