• slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide

Special Education
Introduction to Special Services

Lee County Schools offer a wide continuum of services for students with disabilities, ranging from self-contained classes to monitor-only status. We continue to develop a program of inclusion for our students with disabilities and we strive to educate our students in the least restrictive environment. If you need additional information, please contact our staff. We are ready to help you.

Director:Robert E. Widener, Jr.rob.widener@leecountyschools.net
SpEd.Coordinator:Doris PresleyDoris.Presley@leecountyschools.net
Special Education SecretaryJimmye Sharpjimmye.sharp@leecountyschools.net
School Psychologist Michele Gamblemichele.gamble@leecountyschools.net
Educational DiagnosticianRenee Chesterrenee.chester@leecountyschools.net
Director of Testing:Susan Chadwellsusan.chadwell@leecountyschools.net
Nurse Coordinator:Jan Mosleyjan.mosley@leecountyschools.net
Medicaid Specialist:Barbara Hines barbara.hines@leecountyschools.net

Lee County Public Schools offer services for all eligible students with disabilities. Currently, according to the December 2009 child-count, approximately 744 students receive special education and related services through a continuum of services ranging from monitor IEP status to full-time self-contained programs. Services are determined by a committee, which includes the parent, and if appropriate, the student.

Written parental permission is required before the evaluation process begins. Referral for consideration for special services may be made to the Child Study Team (CST) at the school the child attends or will attend, or to the Director of Special Services. If the Child Study Team determines that an evaluation is needed, parental permission must be obtained before the process continues.

Considerations for Referral

Before a student can be served in special education, there is a legal process through which he/she must be identified as a child with a disability. This disability must affect educational performance to a marked degree in order for a child to receive special education services. All children with disabilities are not automatically eligible for special education services. Some common sense should be followed in deciding whether or not a child should be referred for evaluation to determine eligibility. In considering a referral, the teacher or parent should ask him/herself, "Is this child functioning academically two or more years below his/her age peers in all subjects or in a specific subject area?" If this is true, the following factors should be considered:

  1. ATTENDANCE: Excessive absences may be responsible for poor educational performance. Referral for truancy should be made.
  2. STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES: Scores that reflect a consistent pattern of low achievement in all areas (below the fifth percentile) may indicate a need to refer. A consistent pattern of low achievement in a particular subject area (more than 20 points below other standard scores) may indicate a need to refer.
  3. VISION AND HEARING: If acuity in these areas has been screened (and corrected if necessary) and the student continues to have learning problems after a period of adjustment, a referral should be considered.
  4. MEDICATION: The fact that a child is on medication is not cause for an automatic referral. Educational performance must be affected in order for a child to receive special education and related services.
  5. RECORDS: If the student is relatively new to the school, there may be previous evaluations of which the school is not aware. Some detective work should be done. Referral may not be necessary if previous recommendations are found and implemented.
If the above factors have been ruled out and evaluation is to be considered, the legal process begins.