Special Education » Child Find and Identification of SPED

Child Find and Identification of SPED

What is Child Find?

Child Find describes the obligation of all public schools to locate, identify and evaluate children who might need special education services. Charter networks, like Hiawatha Academies, are responsible for monitoring students enrolled in all Hiawatha schools. If Hiawatha Academies suspects a child has a disability, they must go through a process to determine if the student is eligible for special education. Hiawatha uses a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) model to identify students who may be eligible for special education services. 

Hiawatha Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

All Hiawatha Academies schools use a multi-tiered intervention system for identifying and supporting at-risk students. Interventions address students’ academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs. MTSS interventions ARE NOT special education services and are intended to address deficits early in order for students to catch up with their peers. While our MTSS structures may be used to identify students with potential learning disabilities, we also use this process to stem the over-identification of students of color due to the lack of educational opportunities, as well as to support students who need extra instruction but do not qualify for Special Education. Hiawatha Academies involves families in every step of the MTSS process. 


Hiawatha Academies utilizes a 3-tier intervention system:

Tier 1: All students 
All students receive high-quality, research-based instruction provided by qualified educational professionals. Students are screened on an ongoing basis to identify struggling students who may need additional support.

Tier 2: Targeted interventions
Students not making adequate progress in the regular classroom with Tier 1 supports are provided with more intensive instruction targeted to their needs. These interventions are provided in small-group settings in addition to their instruction in the regular classroom. 


Tier 3: Intensive interventions
Students who continue to show little progress at the Tier 2 level are provided with individualized, intensive interventions that target the students’ skill deficits. Students who do not achieve the desired level of progress in response to these targeted interventions may be referred for a comprehensive evaluation and considered for eligibility for special education services. 


What if I am concerned about my child?

Parents may formally request a special education evaluation, and Hiawatha Academies must respond to this request in writing. With the least restrictive environment in mind, Hiawatha Academies may meet with the family to discuss using interventions prior to conducting a special education evaluation.

If you have academic, behavioral, social or emotional concerns about your child, please contact your child’s homeroom or advisory teacher.