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Special Education and Student Services

Paper cut out kids holding hands in a circleThe Department of Special Education and Student Services is responsible for programs and services for students identified with special needs. Evaluation procedures for special education eligibility are designed to identify the existence of disabilities as defined in federal and state guidelines. Services include programs in each city school that meet federal and state regulations related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Child Find activities are implemented through the early intervention teams and the Child Study Committee in each school to address the needs of individual children who are having difficulty in educational settings. The committees review data to make recommendations and review the results of implemented recommendations. The committees may refer children for evaluation for special education.

  • The Charlottesville City Schools provides comprehensive services to students with disabilities between the ages of 2 to 21 in their Least Restrictive Environment. Support and related services are provided, as needed, to assist a student with a disability in benefiting from a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). FAPE refers to special education and related services that are:

    • provided at the public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge
    • meet the standards of the Virginia Board of Education
    • include preschool, elementary school, middle school or secondary school education; and
    • are provided in conformity with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  • Students can receive special education services if they have been identified with autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, developmental delay, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disabilities, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech/language impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment.

    • Check out our resources page to find newsletters, web sites, events, and committees that might be helpful to you.
  • Instructional programs are offered to serve students with disabilities in the Least Restrictive Environment.

    • Attendance Counselors work closely with school social workers in coordinating attendance issues with other related social work issues.
    • Counseling Programs promote optimal learning, emotional well being, positive relationships, and appropriate educational and career choices. Leadership, decision-making, and bullying prevention are just a few topics that counselors and teachers cover to encourage good choices and healthy relationships.
    • Educational support services are offered for students who are best served in a traditional classroom.
    • The Foster Care Liaison assists students, families, and area social services departments with the “best interest determination” process and other situations unique to students in the foster care system.
    • Health Services include first aid care for accidents and/or sudden illness, storage, dispensation, and accountability for medications prescribed for students, monitoring health conditions for specified students, health screenings, and examination for head lice, as appropriate.
    • Home-based and Tutorial Assistance provides opportunities to students to continue receiving educational instruction and/or related services while on an extended leave from school for non-health reasons. Tutorial assistance is authorized by administrative permission only.
    • Homebound Instruction is designed to provide continuity in the educational program for students whose medical needs, both physical and psychological, preclude school attendance. Homebound instruction is available to all students with appropriate physician authorization.
    • Psychologists are available to enhance the educational performance of students by addressing issues related to learning, emotional well-being, and social competence.
    • Social Work Services serve as the school’s liaison to the home and other community agencies.
    • Speech/Language Pathologists provide articulation, language, voice, and/or fluency therapy to eligible students with disabilities. They also participate in screenings for speech/language concerns.
    • Special Education programs serve students formally identified as having disabilities that adversely impact the child’s educational progress.  The disability may be physical, emotional, intellectual, and/or neurological.
    • Transition Planning is a coordinated set of activities that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including: post-secondary education, career counseling, vocational training, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living and community participation.
  • Charlottesville Special Education Advisory Committee

    Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) collaborates with Special Education and School administrators regarding Special Education Services. Membership is open to parents/guardians/family members of students with disabilities, people with disabilities, related community service providers, and other interested community members. School personnel serve as consultants to the SEAC. SEAC offers support and information for parents of students with disabilities and publishes a newsletter twice per year. SEAC meetings are open to the public.

Learn More

Rachel Rasnake, Director of Student Services
1562 Dairy Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 245-2400