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Special Education

Caren Maniaci
Director of Special Education
4880 West Pike, Zanesville, OH  43701

Kris Cochran
Administrative Assistant

                                                                                                     PUBLIC COMMENT SESSION

     The West Muskingum Local School District is currently in the process of formulating allocations for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Special Education grant for the 2024-2025 school year.  The district is seeking comments from the public to determine the most effective way to use these funds, which are designated to support the provision of special education services for children aged 3 to 21 enrolled in the district.
     Districts receiving special education grant funds must comply with regulations outlined in both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Guidance on the use of federal special education grant funds may be found in the IDEA Part B Use of Funds Guidance Document. This document provides detailed information on the options that a district may consider when developing programs for special education and related services for children with disabilities.
     The West Muskingum Local School District invites public input on the use of funds for the 2024-2025 school year. Community members may provide public comments on Thursday, May 16, 2024, at 4:45 p.m., in the West Muskingum Middle School library.

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     Our goal is to provide to all children direct access to and involvement in the general education curriculum through the least restricted learning environment with their peers. Meeting the needs of all students is the responsibility of all teachers, parents and members of our community.
     West Muskingum Schools provides a continuum of special services and support to children ages three through 22 identified as disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Services are provided in accordance with Ohio's Model Policies and Procedures for the Education of Children with Disabilities.

Who May Receive Special Education Services?

  • Preschool children (ages 3-5) who have been identified as having moderate to severe developmental delays in the areas of communication, motor, adaptive behavior, social-emotional, vision, hearing, or cognitive skills.
  • School age students, ages 6-22 years, who qualify for special education services under IDEIA are identified as having disabilities in the following areas: autism, cognitive disabilities, multiple disabilities, specific learning disabilities, other health impairment, orthopedically handicapped, severe emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, visual impairment, traumatic brain injury, speech/language disability, deaf, deaf-blind, and blind.
  • Special education services for each student with disabilities are written into each student's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Services may be provided in a variety of settings, with the goal being to educate each student in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE); which means providing services in the regular classroom environment to t he maximum extent possible.

Continuum of Services:
The continuum of services available to students with disabilities include: collaboration/consultation services in the regular education classes, supplemental services teacher, inclusion, individual/small group instruction, resource room, special class, separate facility, home instruction, institutions and hospitals.

Related Services: 

  • In addition, students with disabilities may receive related services which are support services needed to allow the student to benefit from his/her education. Related services could include: Adapted Physical Education, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language, Audiological, Interpreter, Orientation & Mobility, School Psychological, Transportation, Work-Study.
  • West Muskingum Schools contracts with the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center for programs for students with multi-handicapped and other specialized needs. Programs are located on and off campus. Students may also receive assistance through programs offered in cooperation with the Muskingum County Board of MRDD.

Intervention & Evaluation:

  • Each building operates Intervention Assistance Teams to help provide individual learning experiences in the form of classroom interventions. These interventions are designed by the building IAT to positively impact the student’s educational program by enhancing his/her chances to make progress in the general curriculum. Parents who have concerns about their child’s educational progress should contact their child’s principal or classroom teacher to discuss those concerns.
  • Interventions are not always sufficient to meet the needs of an individual student. A student may be referred as a possible candidate for special education, if their response to intervention demonstrates an apparent need for more specialized instruction. In such cases, the school psychologist will become involved and relevant data will be collected including the various interventions tried and the results of those interventions. A meeting is held and a building team, including the students parents/guardians, meets to review and examine the data and information to determine if the student is suspected of having a disability. If this is the direction the team wishes to pursue,  then parent permission is received and the process for a multi-factor evaluable is started. After completion of this evaluation, the team (including the parent) reconvenes to determine if the child meets legal criteria for eligibility for a specific disability. If the child meets eligibility, the team (including the parent) will develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP), including specific goals and objectives, accommodations as needed and where the services will be provided for the child. 

    The Special Education Department complies with all State of Ohio and federal guidelines in delivery of services to students with disabilities.