Michigan Law, under ACT 451 of the Public Acts of 1976, requires that special education supports be available to all eligible children, from birth to age 26, or graduation, free, at no cost to the parent. Persons residing within Dearborn Heights Schools No. 7, qualified to receive special education supports, will be provided with appropriate programs and/or services by a local educational agency (LEA), the intermediate school district, and/or through an approved contract agreement. The types of supports provided for each student vary depending on individual need.
The special education process begins with a referral. A special education referral is a written statement that a child has a suspected disability that interferes with learning and may have a need for special education supports. Anyone who is concerned, including parents, teachers, social workers, licensed physicians, nurses, foster parents, or representatives of other agencies, may refer a person suspected of having a disability. In most cases, this referral will be handled at the local school level.
Within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the referral, the school district shall notify the parent or guardian in writing and request your permission to evaluate your child or schedule a Review of Existing Evaluation Data (REED). This notice must be in your native language and must be understandable to you. This notice also needs to explain why an evaluation is proposed. You should respond to this request within seven (7) calendar days because the school district cannot proceed with the evaluation without your written consent. If you decline permission to evaluate your child, the school district may request a due process hearing to appeal your refusal.
For the evaluation of students suspected of having a Learning Disability, Dearborn Heights SD#7 follows the Wayne County model for the identification of Specific Learning Disabilities and the Michigan State Department of Education Criteria for Determining the Eligibility of a Severe Learning Disability which combines a strong emphasis on Response to Intervention (RtI) and looking at a Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW). See the links below to both the Wayne County Criteria and Process for Determining the existence of Specific Learning Disability and the Michigan Criteria for Determining the existence of Specific Learning Disability.