Online School Special Programs
Hoosier College and Career Academy offers robust special education services to support students and meet their needs, empowering them to thrive in school and beyond. With high-quality, personalized learning and the help of teachers and support staff, students with special needs can achieve their academic goals, find their confidence, and pave a path to success.
Esser III information
Title I Coordinator
Identification of English Language Learners (ELL) Coordinator
Melissa Medinger Smith
Identification of Section 504 Coordinator
Identification of Foster Care Coordinator
Melissa Medinger Smith
Identification of American with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance Act Coordinator/Special Programs Manager
Request for Parent/Guardian Interpreter Services or Disability Accommodations
In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirement that all educational agencies provide parents of students with disabilities notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under the IDEA and U.S. Department of Education regulations, please review the Indiana Department of Education Notice of Procedural Safeguards:
A copy of this notice is required to be given to parents/legal guardian once each year. The Notice may be provided by electronic mail communication.
Hoosier Academies Network of Schools (Hoosier Academy at Indianapolis [Hoosier] and Hoosier College and Career Academy [HCCA]) strives to identify, locate, and evaluate enrolled children who may have a suspected disability. The process of identifying, locating, and evaluating these children is referred to as Child Find.
As a public school, we will respond vigorously to federal and state mandates requiring the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) regardless of a child’s disability or the severity of the disability. In order to comply with the Child Find requirements, Hoosier Academies Network of Schools will implement procedures to help ensure that Hoosier and HCCA students with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, who are in need of special education and related services—are identified, located, and evaluated—including students with disabilities who are homeless as defined at 511 IAC 7-32-46; are wards of the state; are highly mobile students, including migrant students; and are suspected of being students with disabilities in need of special education even though they are advancing from grade to grade.
Parent/Guardian permission and involvement is a vital piece in the process. Once a student has been identified as having a “suspected disability” or identified as having a disability, Hoosier Academies Network of Schools will ask the student or the student’s parent/legal guardian for information about the child such as:
- How has the suspected disability or identified disability hindered the student’s learning?
- What has been done, educationally, to intervene and correct the student’s emerging learning deficits?
- What educational or medical information relative to the suspected disability or identified disability is available to be shared with the school?
Supporting information may also be provided by the student’s teachers, physicians, or from other agencies that have information about the student.
As part of the Child Find process, some services may include a complete evaluation, an individualized education program designed specifically for the child, and/or contact information for other agencies providing special services.
Written notice will be provided to the parent/legal guardian. Once written parental/guardian consent is received by the special education office, Hoosier Academies Network of Schools will proceed with the evaluation process.
Special Education (IEP) or 504 Plans
Once the evaluation process is completed, the Parent/legal guardian will receive a Written Notice of Case Conference identifying the date, time, place, and purpose of the meeting. The notice will also include the name and title or position of expected participants, including the public agency representative. During the initial case conference, the evaluation data will be reviewed and discussed to determine a proposed action. If the case conference committee determines the student meets eligibility criteria, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be developed to meet the student’s documented needs and educational placement. A copy of the Notice of Initial Proposed IEP and Notice of Implementation will be provided to the parent/legal guardian. Hoosier Academies Network of schools will proceed with the initial placement and services upon receipt of parent signature on the provided notices.
However, students who do not meet eligibility criteria for special education services as defined by Article 7 guidelines who are in need of educational support due to impairments which substantially limit one or more major life activities, excluding cultural, environmental, or economic factors; and/or has a record or history of such an impairment may meet criteria for a 504 Plan outlining special provisions a student may require to access school-based instruction, facilities, and/or activities.
If a parent/legal guardian chooses to revoke consent for the provision of services under an IEP or 504 plan and informs the school, Hoosier Academies Network of Schools will provide a Written Notice of Discontinuation. If the parent/legal guardian returns the signed Notice of Discontinuation all services will be terminated immediately, otherwise services will be terminated on the eleventh instructional day after the public agency provides the parent with the written notice.
Privacy and Confidentiality
To maintain privacy of students’ special education records, both within its central office and across school systems and databases, Hoosier Academies Network of Schools follow protocols consistent with the federal regulations associated with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Special Education Grievances or Disputes
Hoosier Academies Network of Schools recognize that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between the school-based team and Hoosier Academies Network of Schools families or students. Should this situation occur, the assigned special education Teacher of Record will initiate an IEP team discussion where the specific details contributing to any educational concern are fully discussed and addressed as the entire team determines would consider most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting, and the special education team at Hoosier Academies Network of Schools seeks to establish and maintain the confidence of its families to always serve its students in order to maximize their educational success.\
Dispute Resolution Options
Many special education disagreements or conflicts can be resolved through one or more of the following informal options. These options allow those who know the student best, including parents and school representatives, to work together to develop a solution.
An informal meeting provides an opportunity for parents to directly address their concerns with school representatives. School representatives may include a teacher, principal, dean, the director of special education or others. A conversation will ensure that the school is aware of parental concerns and allow both parties to discuss potential solutions. This may help alleviate misunderstandings or help the school understand the parent’s concerns. If changes to the IEP are needed, the CCC may reconvene, or the parent and school may agree, in writing, to amend the IEP without convening the CCC meeting.
A parent may also make a request to reconvene the CCC meeting. At the CCC meeting, parties will be able to have a productive conversation regarding a student’s eligibility for special education and related services, IEP revisions, student progress, appropriate special education and related services, and any other matter related to the provision of a FAPE.
A facilitated IEP meeting may also be effective if the disagreement is related specifically to developing or revising the IEP. With a facilitated IEP, a trained, impartial professional facilitator attends a CCC meeting and supports the development of an IEP. The facilitator does not make any decisions regarding the student’s IEP, but helps parties resolve their conflicts related to creating the IEP, stay focused, and develop an IEP that best meets the student’s needs. This service is provided at no cost to the parents or schools.
Sometimes, the parent(s) and school personnel are not able to resolve their disagreement through the methods above. With that in mind, Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Department of Special Education offers three options for formal dispute resolution: complaints, mediations, and due process hearings. As the name suggests, formal dispute resolution options are more complex and official than the informal options listed above and may take more time. The quickest formal dispute resolution process may be resolved in a few weeks, while hearings may last from several months to over a year.
A complaint is a claim that the school has not implemented federal or state special education rules. When the IDOE Department of Special Education receives a complaint, a complaint investigator is assigned to determine if a violation has occurred and order corrective action if necessary.
Mediation is a voluntary, mutually agreed upon process in which parent(s) and school representatives meet with a trained mediator who facilitates the development of a written agreement between the parties. The mediator does not make any decisions, and there is no guarantee that the parties will come to an agreement. Mediation may be used to resolve: a complaint; a disagreement from a CCC meeting regarding the student’s identification or eligibility for services; the appropriateness of the educational evaluation, level of services, or placement; or anything else affecting the provision of a FAPE.
A due process hearing is an administrative law proceeding held before an impartial Independent Hearing Officer (IHO). The parent(s) and the school have the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence. At the conclusion of the hearing, the IHO considers all presented information and issues a written decision. A due process hearing can be requested by the student’s parent(s), a student of legal age, or the school. Due process hearings can resolve disagreements involving a number of topics, including: the student’s identification or eligibility as a student with a disability; the appropriateness of the educational evaluation, level of services, or placement; anything else related to the provision of FAPE; reimbursement for services obtained by the parent(s); or student discipline concerns, such as manifestation determinations or disciplinary changes of placement.