Local Operating Guidelines

Child Find


Child Find refers to the process of locating, evaluating and identifying individuals (birth through 21 years of age) in need of special education services. The District coordinates ongoing public awareness Child Find efforts with the Region 16 Education Service Center. The AISD may also conduct early childhood screenings; display public notices; and advertise the availability of services through the media; meetings with private schools; and letters to nursing homes, physicians, residential facilities, group homes, detention facilities, Texas Panhandle Mental Health Mental Retardation, and hospitals.

The AISD has defined a general education process to facilitate meeting the District's Child Find responsibilities by which children suspected of having a disability are referred for an evaluation. Referrals for a special education evaluation may be made by school personnel or the student's parent. Required forms or information concerning the referral process for students currently enrolled in AISD can be obtained from the principal (or designee), educational diagnostician, or speech/language therapist on each campus. Upon receipt of a completed referral the District's Special Education Department personnel conduct a Full Individual Evaluation to identify whether or not the child has a disability.

Guidelines for processing inquiries about referring a child not presently enrolled in the AISD are dependent on the age and enrollment status of the child. Amarillo ISD secretaries, nurses, and counselors maintain a Child Find referral log containing pertinent identifying information obtained when they receive such an inquiry. The information is then communicated to the appropriate personnel or agency based on the following guidelines.

Preschool aged children

For children in the birth - 36 months age range: Within 2 working days from the date a Child Find inquiry is received, school district personnel forward the information to the Texas Panhandle Mental Health and Mental Retardation Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program so an ECI Service Coordinator can be assigned to the case. If the referral is initiated within 90 days of the child's 3rd birthday, AISD may choose to process the referral without routing it through the ECI program.

For children 3 - 5 years of age who have not received services through the ECI program, parents may be referred to the elementary campus closest to their home. In addition, the student's identifying information is sent to that home campus' diagnostician or speech/language pathologist who will, in turn, contact the parent to discuss the possibility of completing a referral for evaluation.

For children approaching 3 years of age who are receiving services through the ECI program, the ECI Service Coordinator will offer the parent an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with school district personnel 120 days prior to the child's 3rd birthday and (if the parent consents to pursuing an evaluation by the district) will provide the AISD with referral information within 90 days prior to the child's 3rd birthday. The District Early Childhood Evaluation Team receives and processes the referrals and conducts the appropriate evaluations.

School Age 5 -21 years

Inquiries about referring individuals in this age range who are not currently enrolled in school should be documented on the Child Find Log and routed to the principal (or designee) on the age-appropriate campus closest to the child's home.

The AISD Special Education Department personnel are responsible for processing referrals and conducting evaluations on students who are enrolled in private schools located within AISD boundaries regardless of where the student resides. If the student resides in a district other than AISD but attends a school within AISD boundaries, the referral will be assigned to the diagnostician serving the AISD campus closest to the private school. If the student resides in AISD and also attends a private school within AISD boundaries, the referral will be assigned to the diagnostician serving the AISD campus closest to the student's home.

Referrals on students who live within AISD boundaries and are home schooled will be assigned to the diagnostician who serves the campus the student would attend if enrolled in school.

Refer to Local Operating Guidelines for Private/Home School students for further information.

Homebound services

When a parent reports that a student is going to be out of school at least 20 consecutive school days due to an extended illness or accident or is likely to miss at least 20 cumulative days during the school year due to a chronic illness, the campus administrator (or designee) is responsible for completing a referral for homebound services and submitting it to the campus diagnostician.