Referrals, Response to Intervention (RTI), and Individualized Education student studying in classPrograms

Referrals for special education are made through the child’s home school. Students who attend a private school within the school districts boundary may request services by contacting the Special Services Department at 495-3770.


To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, ages 3 through 21, will be educated with children who are non-disabled. Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular education environment will occur only when the nature and severity of the disability is such that education in a regular classroom with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be satisfactorily achieved. The determination of the least restrictive environment (LRE) is a team decision and the child’s parent is a vital member of that team.

Before a child can be placed in a special education program, the student must first have received continuous quality instruction in the regular classroom environment coupled with scientific, research-based interventions for those students who continue to struggle in the regular classroom environment.  This is known as the "Response to Intervention" (RtI) problem solving model.  A psycho-educational evaluation may be completed by a qualified examiner if and when additional data is needed during the eligibility/placement process to determine eligibility for disability categories other than a Speciafic Learning Disability.  Special education eligibility is determined by a multi-disciplinary team that follows very specific eligibility criteria for each of the thirteen disability categories. Upon an eligibility determination an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) must be written jointly by the parents and school personnel in a team meeting. The purpose of the IEP is to:

  • Provide for parental involvement in educational decisions
  • Protect the rights of parents and children
  • Assure that each child with a disability is provided special education and related services appropriate to his or her special learning needs.


The IEP is reviewed at a minimum of once a year.

Early Identification
Early identification of children with significant developmental delays begins in the public schools at the age of 3. If you have concerns about your preschooler’s development, contact Wendy Hagy, Putnam City Special Services, 495-3770.