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Special Services

Last Updated: 7/20/2021 12:03 AM
David Spalding, Director of Special Education & Gifted Services
Josie Homsey, Special Education Secretary
330-533-6219 (x3147)
Our department is responsible for overseeing Special Education, Gifted Education, Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP), Academic Acceleration for Advanced Learners and Early Entrance to Kindergarten, compliance with Section 504 Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), Limited English Proficient (LEP), Federal Title 1 programs, and Homelessness.
Our special education programs include eligibility determination and services for students with disabilities ages 3 through 21.  Special Education is defined as specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions and in other settings; and instruction in physical education.  Special education is for students who by basis of the severity of their disability and needs require specially designed instruction in order to progress and benefit from the general education curriculum. The Ohio Department of Education has a document written for parents explaining the special education process, procedures, and rights. This is called Whose IDEA Is This?  A Parent's Guide to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA). There is a link to this document on this page.  Parents who suspect that their child may have a disability should contact the Canfield Special Services office or the building principal. Preschool evaluation and services are also available beginning at age 3. Parents who suspect their preschool child may have a disability should contact Special Services. These services are provided through the Mahoning County Educational Service Center (MCESC) but the preschool classrooms are currently located in each of our elementary buildings.

The Ohio Department of Education reports annually to the public on the performance of each district’s special education program, including their Special Education Rating. Districts are rated on Compliance with the Individual with Disabilities Education Act and for Performance of students with disabilities.

Results: For the 5th year in a row, Canfield Local Schools received the highest rating possible with no required remedial actions.

Every year, districts receive a Special Education Profile that shows their progress over time in meeting their goals for students with disabilities. The profile is also designed to inform you of any findings of noncompliance or required activities that must be completed for your district to demonstrate compliance with IDEA.

Results: For the 5th year in a row, Canfield Local Schools received no findings of noncompliance or required remedial actions.

Canfield Schools seeks to identify students who are gifted in the following areas: Superior Cognitive, Specific Academic Area, Creative Thinking, and Visual and Performing Arts.  A parent, teacher or student may refer a child for giftedness. There is a link to the Gifted Referral Form on this page and forms can also be obtained in each school building.   The Nomination and Permission for Assessment forms may be downloaded and returned to our office or the building office. The Ohio Department of Education does NOT require services to identified gifted students. Canfield Schools does offer services to all K-12 students who are identified as gifted in the areas of Superior Cognitive, Mathematics, or Reading.  At the high school, these services are generally delivered in Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) coursework. Students who are not identified as gifted may also take advanced classes at the high school provided they meet school determined requirements. At the elementary level services are provided within the regular classroom by teachers with specialized training. At the middle school there are two types of services offered. One type of service is special classes for English Language Arts and Mathematics taught by Gifted Intervention Specialists. In order to be eligible for these special classes, students must be identified as gifted in both the academic subject (English Language Arts and/or Mathematics) AND Superior Cognitive. The second type of service at the middle school is through the regular classroom setting.  Students who are not identified with Superior Cognitive plus Reading and/or Math identification but do have a single area (Reading, Mathematics, Superior Cognitive) or both academic areas (Reading and Math) are served in the regular education classroom by a trained teacher. Students who receive gifted services receive a Written Education Plan (WEP).
Canfield Schools needs to assess all students whose primary or home language is other than English to determine if they are limited English proficient and need special language assistance to participate in the district's instructional program. Once students are identified as LEP, the school will determine an appropriate intervention that will lead to timely acquisition of proficiency in English.  State and Federal law require an annual assessment of K-12 LEP students to measure their English language proficiency. This test is called the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA21). Parents will be notified of results annually.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...."  A student with a disability is defined in this statute as a student who has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.  Major life activities include Caring for oneself, Performing Manual Tasks, Communicating with Others, Walking, Seeing, Bending, Hearing, Speaking, Standing, Breathing, Learning, Concentrating, Reading, Thinking, and Sleeping.  If a parent suspects a 504 disability, please contact your building principal or guidance counselor.  Once the school does an evaluation and determines eligibility, a 504 plan may need to be developed.  A 504 plan is intended to provide adaptations to give the individual with a mental or physical impairment an equal or comparable opportunity (in comparison to typical peer) to benefit from the education and programs/activities offered.  504 plans are not intended to enrich, extend, or maximize the students performance, but to ensure equal opportunity with that of non-disabled peers. Canfield Schools has prepared a document that explains parental rights related to Section 504. This document can be found in on this page.
As part of the regular education program and Federal Title 1 program, all students in K-8 are screened with a valid and reliable academic screening test in reading and mathematics.  The results are used to provide information to the classroom teacher about strengths and weaknesses in reading and mathematics. In addition, results are used by the Principal and School Psychologist to decide who is in need of more assistance or intervention.  Additionally, this data is used to meet requirements of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Canfield Schools has made efforts to ensure that materials and programs that are used for intervention meet definitions of “research-based” and have been shown using scientific research to increase student achievement.
Below you will find common definitions involved in acceleration.  Referral Forms for Acceleration and Early Entrance to Kindergarten are available on this page.
Whole-Grade Acceleration: The practice of assigning a student to a higher grade level than is typical given the student’s age on a full-time basis for the purpose of providing access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities.
Individual Subject Acceleration: The practice of assigning a student to a higher grade level than is typical given the student’s age for the purpose of providing access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities in one or more subject areas.
Early Entrance to Kindergarten: The practice of admitting a student to kindergarten who has not yet reached the typical age at which students are admitted to kindergarten for the purpose of providing access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities.
Early High School Graduation: The practice of facilitating completion of the high school program in fewer than four years for the purpose of providing earlier than typical access to post-secondary educational opportunities.
The Planning Tool contains the goals, strategies, action steps and district goal amounts for all grants in the CCIP. The Funding Application contains the budget, budget details, nonpublic services and other related pages. There are six Funding Applications in the CCIP: Consolidated, Competitive, Student Intervention, Career-Technical and Adult Education, Adult Basic and Literacy Education and Community School.
The term “homeless children and youth” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and includes the following: 1. Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement; 2. Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; 3. Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and 4. Migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described above. For more information, see the National Center for Homeless Education’s Who is Homeless? fact sheet.  The law requires local districts, community schools and other educational agencies to designate an appropriate staff person as a local liaison for homeless children.


Special Services Forms

Gifted Forms
Early Entrance & Acceleration Forms
Form A - the student will not be 5 before  January of the year of requested admission.
Form B - the student will be 5 before January of the year of requested admission.
General Forms and Notices
*The State of Ohio, the Governor, the Ohio Department of Education, and other state-level defendants to a class action lawsuit have reached a proposed settlement and have requested our District's assistance in informing students and parents of the proposed settlement. A link to the settlement is below. To be clear, our District is not a defendant in this lawsuit and is not accused of any wrongdoing in this lawsuit.