District FAQs

General Questions


General Questions

    Who is responsible for evaluating students that are interested in applying for the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship (JPSN)?

    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 where the nonpublic school is located is responsible for conducting the initial evaluation and 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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    If a child has been determined to have a disability, how long does the district have to write the IEP?
    If the child has been identified as having a disability, but does not have an IEP because he/she is not currently enrolled in a public school, the district shall prepare an initial IEP within thirty calendar days of receiving a request for an IEP from an applicant. That request can be made directly to the district by the parent or by the submission of an application for the JPSN scholarship through the on-line application system.

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    Is there a time limit to convert students on service plans to IEPS?
    If the child is not enrolled in a public school, but has been identified pursuant to a current evaluation team report, per IDEA, the public school district will complete an IEP in thirty (30) days from the date of the request from the applicant.

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    Can the provider submit requests for IEPs or must the request come from the parent?
    The request must come from the parent.

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    Must the service plan be converted to an IEP prior to the submission of the application?
    Although students must apply (electronically through their approved provider) by April 15th, public school districts will have access to the applications via their SAFE accounts and have until June to review applications for data accuracy and finalization of IEPs.

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    If a student is not awarded a scholarship and wants to remain at a chartered non-public school, must the IEP then be converted back to a service plan?
    If the parent chooses to remain in the chartered non-public school, they have relinquished FAPE and the IEP would be void. If the child already has a service plan that is current, that plan would continue to guide their services. If they had not previously had a service plan, one could be created if the district where the nonpublic school is located determines that this child will receive special education services.

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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 an 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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    In OAC 3301-101-02 it says “Upon written agreement with the eligible applicant, the primary provider may modify services provided to the child. “ How do the provider and eligible applicant modify services?
    The rules allow for the provider and the parent to agree to modified services, frequency and duration of items, which may be different than what is listed on the IEP

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    Does the provider need to notify the district of residence that they’ve modified the IEP?
    The process allowed by the rule does not modify the IEP. The rule only allows for the provider and parent to modify the “services” provided through a written agreement between the provider and the parent. This modification must be associated with the child’s education. This does not change the IEP.

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    What should the district do if a parent applying for the JPSN scholarship disagrees with the disability category that the district has assigned?
    In the instance of a disagreement between the parent and district over the disability category, the district will need to file a complaint with ODE’s Office for Exceptional Children - Procedural Safeguards. The application will 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 SSID number for the child?
    The on-line application system will be collecting the data elements required to establish an SSID for the student. 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 to 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 eligible to enter any grade K through 12 in the district in which the child is entitled to attend school. They do not have to enroll. That being said, if the child receives a scholarship, the district of residence will receive “credit” for the student prior to adjustments for funding purposes.

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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 through the on-line scholarship application system.

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    Can students on the scholarship graduate?
    Students who attend chartered non-public schools can earn a diploma from that school. Home schooled students who enroll in non-chartered special education programs can only earn a state recognized diploma if they arrange a process with their district for obtaining that diploma. Districts are not obligated to provide diplomas to home schooled students, but they may coordinate with the service providers and parents to establish a process for the student to meet graduation requirements.

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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 a Peterson applicant is the same as the request to evaluate any private school student for purposes of complying with child find obligations. Furthermore, 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?
    Children who are attending a chartered nonpublic school and are receiving services under the JPSN 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 scholarship funds. The auxiliary services fund must be providing special education and related services that are in addition to the services being paid for by the JPSN.

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    Can 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 provide the services on the service plan that are supplemental to those listed on the IEP.

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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 nonpublic school shall be entitled to transportation to the same degree as any child without disabilities who is attending a chartered nonpublic school. This means that a child with a disability parentally placed in a chartered nonpublic school in grades kindergarten through eight who lives more than two miles from the chartered nonpublic 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 nonpublic 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 nonpublic 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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Last Modified: 12/30/2013 10:18:00 AM