Special Education Program

Special Education Special Education

The special education process includes identification, referral and screening, evaluation, eligibility, IEP/placement and triennial reevaluation. This process begins when a referral from a parent, teacher, physician or another interested person is received by the school. At this time, a school-based team reviews all the available information and determines whether or not there is enough information to suspect that a student has a disability. This school-based team has 10 administrative working days in which to meet and reach a decision as to whether or not a student needs a comprehensive evaluation.


Referral to Screening Meeting 10 Administrative Days
Referral for a Comprehensive Evaluation to Eligibility Meeting 65 Administrative Days
Eligibility to Initial Individualized Education Program Meeting 30 Calendar Days
Annual Review of the Individualized Education Program 1 Year
Reevaluation of Student Eligibility Every Three (3) Years


Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) screens the vision and hearing of all students within the first 60 business days of initial enrollment. All students in kindergarten through third grade are also screened in the areas of speech, voice, language and motor development. All students in grades three, seven and 10 are screened in vision and hearing.

Scoliosis information will be distributed annually to the parents of students in grades five through 10 within 60 business days after the opening of the school year. If scoliosis screening in grades five, seven and nine will be conducted, parents will be notified and given the opportunity to opt out.

VBCPS maintains screening procedures to assure the identification of students with disabilities who may require special education services. Safeguards include written notice, confidentiality and maintenance of student's scholastic records. A notice of general screening is provided in the student handbook given to all students annually.

Comprehensive Evaluation

The comprehensive evaluation involves gathering and analyzing information that is related to the educational needs of the student. Should the screening committee decide that a comprehensive evaluation is necessary to determine if a student has a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Special Education Committee (SEC) – of which the parent is a member – will determine the types of assessments that will be completed as part of the comprehensive evaluation. An observation is a component of every comprehensive evaluation regardless of the suspected disability category. Additionally, a current hearing screening must be available for the SEC’s consideration during the eligibility process. Written parental consent must be obtained prior to administration of any assessment component comprising the comprehensive evaluation.

The components of a comprehensive evaluation must include all areas of this suspected disability. This may include:

1. Medical - a written report from a licensed physician indicating general medical history and medical/health problems which may impede learning.

2. Sociocultural - a written report from a qualified school social worker which describes family history, structure and dynamics, developmental and health history, and social/adaptive behavior in the home, school, and community. This information is obtained through interviews with parents or primary caregivers in addition to other social appraisal methods.

3. Psychological - a written report from a qualified psychologist based on the use of a battery of appropriate instruments which shall include individual intelligence test(s), and psychoeducational tests.

4. Developmental - a written report describing how the student presently functions in the major areas of development such as cognition, motor, social/adaptive behavior, perception, and communication.

5. Other - a written report such as speech, language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, as appropriate.

All components of this comprehensive evaluation will be completed in time to have the reports available to the
parent(s) no later than 2 business days before the scheduled eligibility meeting.


Within 65 business days from the date of the receipt of the referral for a suspected disability, the evaluation components must be complete and eligibility for special education determined. Eligibility is determined by the Special Education Committee (SEC). The SEC analyzes the data against the eligibility criteria. A child is found eligible for special education and related services if the child meets the eligibility criteria to be a child with a disability, and if there is documented evidence that as a result of the child’s disability, the child needs special education and related services due to an adverse educational impact. 

When a student has been determined eligible for special education, a summary of essential deliberations is forwarded to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team. The IEP must be developed within 30 calendar days of eligibility. 

Individualized Education Program

Each student who meets the qualifications for special education under IDEA is entitled to an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP team is made-up of parents, school personnel and students (when appropriate) who work together in developing the IEP. The IEP states:

  • The levels at which the student is functioning
  • Any related services needed by the student
  • How much time the special education professionals will spend with the student
  • Where the student will be taught
  • What the student will be taught the next school year
  • Who will teach the student
  • How much time the student will spend with peers not receiving special education services

For the initial IEP, no services will be provided until parent consent is received. The IEP is valid for up to one calendar year unless the IEP committee agrees to make changes before then.


The educational placement decision for a student with disability is based on the IEP. It is made after the IEP has been developed with consideration of the least restrictive environment (LRE) for the child. The least restrictive environment concept means that students with disabilities will be educated to the maximum extent possible with students who are not disabled. This placement decision is the responsibility of the IEP team.

We Want To Hear From You

As a parent, do you have a question about the Special Education program?
Email Roni Myers-Daub.