The school district must locate, identify, and evaluate all resident children with disabilities, including children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disabilities.
The school district has a special education screening program to locate and screen all children with suspected disabilities who are residents of the district and who have not graduated from high school. Upon request the school district will screen any resident child who has not graduated high school to determine whether a special education referral is appropriate.
A request may be made by contacting Jennifer Apodaca, Director of Student Services, Sun Prairie Area School District, at 608-834-6520, or by writing her at 501 S. Bird, Sun Prairie, WI 53590.
Annually the district conducts developmental screening of preschool children. Each child’s motor, communication, and social skills are observed at various play areas. The information is used to provide the parent with a profile of their child’s current development and to provide suggestions for follow-up activities. Parents learn about community services available to them. The information from screening is also used to determine whether a child should be evaluated for a suspected disability. When school staff reasonably believes a child is a child with a disability, they refer the child for evaluation by a school district Individualized Education Program (IEP) team. Watch for the dates at your local school or contact Sally Drenoske at 834-6574.
A physician, nurse, psychologist, social worker or administrator of a social agency who reasonably believes a child brought to him or her for services is a child with a disability has a legal duty to report the child to the school district in which the child resides. Before referring the child, the person making the referral must inform the child’s parent that the referral will be made. The referral must be in writing and include the reason why the person believes the child is a child with a disability. Others who reasonably believe a child is a child with a disability may also refer the child to the school district in which the child resides. A referral of a child residing in the School District of Sun Prairie may be sent to Jennifer Apodaca at the school district address above.
The school district maintains pupil records, including information from screening and special education referral. All records directly related to a student and maintained by the school district are pupil records. They include records maintained in any way including, but not limited to, computer storage media, video and audiotape, film, microfilm, and microfiche. Records maintained for personal use by a teacher, and not available to others, and records available only to persons involved in the psychological treatment of a child are not pupil records.
The school district maintains several classes of pupil records.
- Progress records include grades, courses the child has taken, the child’s attendance record, immunization records, required lead screening records, and records of school extra-curricular activities. Progress records must be maintained for at least five years after the child ceases to be enrolled.
- Behavioral records include such records as psychological tests, personality evaluations, records of conversations, written statements relating specifically to the pupil’s behavior, tests relating specifically to achievement or measurement of ability, physical health records other than immunization and lead screening records, law enforcement officers’ records, and other pupil records that are not "progress records." Law enforcement officers’ records are maintained separately from other pupil records. Behavioral records may be maintained for no longer than one year after the child graduates or otherwise ceases to be enrolled, unless the parent specifies in writing that the records may be maintained for a longer period of time. The school district informs parents when pupil records are no longer needed to provide special education. At the request of the child’s parents, the school district destroys the information that is no longer needed.
- "Directory data" includes the student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, photographs, degrees and awards received, and the name of the school most recently previously attended by the student.
- "Pupil physical health records" include basic health information about a pupil, including the pupil's immunization records, an emergency medical card, a log of first aid and medicine administered to the pupil, an athletic permit card, a record concerning the pupil's ability to participate in an education program, any required lead screening records, the results of any routine screening test, such as for hearing, vision or scoliosis, and any follow-up to the test, and any other basic health information, as determined by the state superintendent. Any pupil record relating to a pupil’s physical health that is not a pupil physical health record is treated as a patient health care record under sections 146.81 to 146.84, Wisconsin Statutes. Any pupil record concerning HIV testing is treated as provided under section 252.15, Wisconsin Statutes.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and section 118.125, Wisconsin Statutes, afford parents and students over 18 years of age ("eligible students") the following rights with respect to education records:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of receipt of the request. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the records(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. The school district will comply with the request without unnecessary delay and before any meeting about an individualized education program, or any due process hearing, and in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made. If any record includes information on more than one child, the parents of those children have the right to inspect and review only the information about their child or to be informed of that specific information. Upon request, the school district will give a parent or eligible student a copy of the progress records and a copy of the behavioral records. Upon request, the school district will give the parent or eligible student a list of the types and locations of education records collected, maintained, or used by the district for special education. The school district will respond to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records. A representative of the parent may inspect and review the records.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the Sun Prairie Area School District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the district decides not to amend the record, the district will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in the student’s education records, except to the extent that federal and state law authorize disclosure without consent. The exceptions are stated in 34 CFR 99.31, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulations; Sec. 9528, PL107-110, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; and section 118.125(2)(a) to (m) and sub. (2m), Wisconsin Statutes. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosures to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the school board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the district discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Also the district discloses "directory data" without consent, unless the parent notifies the district that it may not be released without prior parental consent.
- The right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605.
Sun Prairie Area School District Procedures for Accepting and Documenting a Referral
Wisconsin Statutes 115.77 requires the district to have procedures to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities who are in need of special education.
His/her teacher, parent, or any other adult in the community with knowledge of the child who has reason to believe that the child may have a disability may refer a child for an evaluation for special education. To accomplish this, that individual needs to provide the following to the school district:
- Phone Number
- Parent(s) name
- Reason for referral
Prior to submitting a referral, the parent(s) must be informed of the intent to refer. If the teacher or other school district employee makes the referral, a referral form must be completed and returned to the Student Services Office.
Office of Student Services and Special Education
Sun Prairie Area School District
501 S. Bird Street
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
If someone who is not a school district employee makes the referral, the relevant information needs to be given to an employee, who can then complete a referral form. A secretary in the Student Services Office documents and dates the receipt of each referral. This person also tracks the progress of the referral and can be reached at 834-6561(for elementary and preschool age children), and 834-6523 (for secondary age children).
If a child is attending one of the schools in the Sun Prairie Area School District under the Full-Time Open Enrollment law and a referral is made, the staff of the Sun Prairie Area School District will provide the name and related information to the school district in which the child resides. If a child who resides in the Sun Prairie Area School District but attends school in another district under the Full-Time Open Enrollment law is referred for evaluation, the Sun Prairie Area School District staff will provide the name of the child and related information to the district in which the child attends school.
Your help in assuring that all students are located and evaluated is deeply appreciated. If you need help in decision-making around referrals, or wish to talk with someone about a referral, please contact one of the Student Services secretaries, or one of the following professional program managers or Jennifer Apodaca.