Special Education Parent Resources
The Office of Special Education has developed a website specific for parents of students with disabilities. The website includes at-home learning resources for parents, communication from the FCPS, technical assistant guidance from MSDE, IEP/504 meeting guidance and resources, frequently asked questions, and contact information for the Office of Special Education staff.
Partners for Success
Currently the Partners for Success position is vacant. Given this vacancy, parent trainings and support groups will reconvene when the position is filled. In the meantime, the Office of Special Education is available to support you with your needs and concerns, please call 240-236-8744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based at our Rock Creek School, this program serves parents and educational professionals of all Frederick County children and youth with disabilities from ages 3 through 21. For parents, Partners for Success offers individual consultation, an information and referral service, problem-solving assistance, training and support. For educators, the program provides information about disabilities and support for making accommodations for students with special needs. For more information, please call 240-236-8744.
Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee
The Frederick County SECAC meets monthly, September-May, to collaborate with and provide input to the Special Education Office. Membership includes parents, community representatives, students and FCPS staff. Meetings are open to the public, and new membership is solicited each year.
A Parent’s Guide to Secondary Transition
Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), Department of Special Education and The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services are committed to the meaningful movement of individuals with disabilities from school to postsecondary outcomes. Early planning is critical for students to successfully exit high school prepared for college, career, and community. In Maryland, transition planning and the delivery of services should begin no later than the IEP year in which the student turns 14 years of age.
Click here to review the Parent’s Guide to Secondary Transition.
Frederick County Public Schools Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) Request Guidelines
According to state and federal special education laws, parents/guardians have the right to an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) of their child at public expense if they disagree with an evaluation of the child conducted by the district (subject to the criteria provided below). The Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) has established the following procedures for obtaining an IEE and criteria for the selection of an appropriate evaluator.
Please note the criteria listed in this IEE operating procedure.
FCPS Response to Intervention
In November of 2016, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) provided a Technical Assistance Bulletin on Specific Learning Disability and Supplement (Focus on Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia) to Local School System Special Education leaders with a Supplement that indicated where appropriate, " the IEP team may find it helpful to include information about a specific condition underlying a student's disability." In this Supplement, MSDE affirms "dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia are recognized as conditions that may underlie a student's specific learning disability" and that " there is nothing in Maryland law, policy, procedures, or practices that prohibits use of these terms." As a result of this technical assistance bulletin, work has been completed by FCPS staff to respond to this shift in guidance from MSDE.
In the Spring of 2016, a cross-departmental workgroup, including the departments of Accelerating Achievement and Equity; Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation, and; System Accountability and School Improvement, was formed to respond to the following:
- Research programming to support students with characteristics of or identified as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia;
- Evaluate current FCPS intervention programming and resources for alignment based on findings;
- Identify existing or additional resources required to implement appropriate response, and;
- Plan communications and training required to implement appropriate response.
Upgrading FCPS Response to Intervention: Implementation Timeline
In November 2017, representatives from a cross-departmental workgroup presented to the Curriculum & Instruction Committee of the FCPS Board of Education on how our school system will respond to meeting the needs of students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. During this presentation, a timeline of response was presented.
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. https://dyslexiaida.org/definition-of-dyslexia/
Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability in math. Students with dyscalculia may have difficulty understanding number-related concepts or using symbols or functions needed for success in mathematics. https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyscalculia/understanding-dyscalculia
Dysgraphia is a neurologically-based specific learning disability. Dysgraphia can present as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting, and trouble putting thoughts on paper. It can be a language based and/or non-language based disorder. When it is language based, a student may have difficulty converting the sounds of language into written form, or knowing which alternate spelling to use for each sound. When it is non-language based, a student may have difficulty performing the controlled fine motor skills required to write. Students with dysgraphia may speak more easily and fluently than they write. https://dsf.net.au/what-is-dysgraphia
*Information on FCPS’s work with Response to Interventions will continue to be upgraded as processes develop.
FCPS Parent IEP Team Meeting Survey
Because we value you as partners in your child's education and you are an essential member of the IEP team, we would like your feedback related to your IEP team meeting experience at your child's school. This survey is anonymous.
Your school may provide you with this postcard to take the survey or you can complete the survey online:
Your insight is valuable to assist FCPS with facilitating meaningful parental participation in the IEP team meeting process.
Child Find Services
Child Find is the process for locating, evaluating and identifying all children from birth through age 21 who are suspected of having a disability. Parents who suspect their child may have an educational disability should speak with staff at their child’s school. If a child is 2 years, 9 months or older and not enrolled in FCPS, parents should contact the Child Find Office at 301‑644‑5292 for preschoolers and 301-644-5003 for school-age students. Information regarding the Child Find process for children younger than 2 years, 9 months may be obtained from the Frederick County Developmental Center, 301‑600-1611.
The Child Find video showcases the continuum of preschool special education services available to children in Frederick County Public Schools who warrant the support of specialized instruction. Families, service providers and community members are invited to view the video to develop a better understanding of the supports available to some of our youngest learners.
Parental Rights/Procedural Safeguards Notice
Maryland Procedural Safeguards Notice - Revised January 27, 2021
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* Alternative forms of the Maryland Procedural Safeguards Notice may be made available upon request to the Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services.